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Supporting The Expansion Of The Darlington Nuclear Facility

1140 words - 5 pages

Expanding the Darlington Nuclear Facility will economically generate larger quantities of emission-free electricity, while conserving land area. First of all, the Darlington Nuclear Facility currently generates roughly 20 per cent of Ontario’s electricity with low operational costs, which can comfortably satisfy a city of 2 million people (Ontario Power Generation Inc., 2013). Expanding the facility will generate even larger quantities of electricity. The Darlington Nuclear Facility has a capacity factor of about 95 per cent (Ontario Power Generation Inc., 2013). Basically, this statistic shows that the reactors in the facility operate at their highest potential 95 per cent of the time. The Darlington Nuclear Facility is able to effectively and efficiently generate large quantities of electricity because of this. On the contrary, solar and wind alternatives have a capacity factor of a mere 2 per cent because they are intermittent (operating irregularly – such as only when the wind blows or sun shines) (Lemar, 2010). This proves that the Darlington Nuclear Facility, in comparison, is a far more reliable source of electricity. Secondly, the operational costs of the facility are at – or below – the same cost of the alternatives, meaning it generates more electricity than renewable sources at the same costs. Therefore, expanding the Darlington Nuclear Facility would be more beneficial than investing in renewable alternatives because it would generate larger quantities of electricity at an economical value.

Thirdly, the Darlington Nuclear Facility generates electricity that is virtually emission free. Expanding the facility will further assist in the reduction of pollutants that lead to smog, acid rain, and global warming (Ontario Power Generation Inc., 2013). If Darlington Nuclear Facility were expanded, it would contribute greater than 20 per cent of Ontario’s electricity. This would decrease Ontario’s dependence on the burning of fossil fuels (such as coal or natural gas), which is a large contributor to global warming (Lemar, 2010). Environmental damages as a result of the burning of fossil fuels are worse than damages done by the entire nuclear industry (including catastrophes) (Lemar, 2010). Clearly, the Darlington Nuclear Facility would produce much cleaner electricity. Fourthly, expanding the Darlington Nuclear Facility would ultimately conserve large amounts of land. This seems puzzling, but it is true. Renewable energy sources consume vast amounts of land to produce the same amount of electricity one nuclear facility can produce. For example, a nuclear facility operating on a total land area of four square miles would produce the same (or more) electricity as wind turbines travelling 2,178 miles (Lemar, 2010). Other renewable sources require specific weather conditions to function effectively – like solar panels – and hydroelectric require expensive damns and flooding. Thus, expanding the Darlington Nuclear Facility would save land that...

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