Report paints grim picture of Fukushima-scale nuclear accident in Pickering via Toronto Metro

A Fukushima-scale nuclear incident at Pickering plant would mean the loss of 154,000 Toronto-area homes for up to 100 years, says an environmental group.

A Fukushima-scale meltdown at the Pickering nuclear power plant would exact a devastating human and economic toll on the province, causing 26,000 cases of cancer — nearly half of them fatal — and the evacuation of 154,000 homes in York and Durham regions and east Toronto.

Some areas would be uninhabitable for 100 years.

Losses from uninsured housing alone would be in the range of $125 billion.

That’s the catastrophic scenario outlined in a report by the Ontario Clean Air Alliance, published on Sunday to coincide with the seventh anniversary of the earthquake that triggered the Japanese nuclear disaster.


The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the FBI reported that a Kansas plant, known as Wolf Creek, was the target of one such attack, according to the New York Times.

Cleaner electricity could be supplied more cheaply without the risk of human and economic devastation, said Gibbons.

The Clean Air Alliance says that the 47-year-old Pickering facility, the oldest nuclear generating station in the province, is running on 1960s and 1970s technology.


In 2016 OPG took the plant out of service to conduct $75 million in maintenance. A news release at the time said OPG had invested more than $200 million in the Pickering station since 2010. The agency’s website says that Pickering provides 14 per cent of the province’s electricity. Last year, the plant was running 80 per cent of the time, above its target of 71.5 per cent.

That’s not good enough, said Gibbons.

“If you believe in nuclear power you should be building brand-new, state-of-the-art nuclear stations, which are much safer than Pickering,” he said.

“You wouldn’t drive up and down the 401 in a 47-year-old car. I don’t think it’s reasonable to continue to operate a 47-year-old nuclear station that was only designed to last for 30 years.”

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