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Fitzgibbon believes that Quebec will “one day” need nuclear power

Quebec will “one day” have to use nuclear power to achieve its decarbonization objectives by 2050, Minister of the Economy and Energy Pierre Fitzgibbon declared Thursday.

Mr. Fitzgibbon anticipates that the issue will be addressed within 18 months, when the government will assess the resources at its disposal to reduce greenhouse gases.

“Nuclear power will become essential in the world to decarbonize, to have low-carbon energy. In Quebec, we are not there because we have never explained why nuclear power could fit into our energy resources,” he declared to Dutyon the sidelines of the study of the budgetary appropriations of his ministry.

The Minister recently visited the Darlington Nuclear Generating Station in Ontario, a facility operated by Ontario Power Generation.

“They have four CANDU reactors, they are going to build four small modular reactors and there is a park in the back where the children go there with their families on the weekends,” he said. Ontarians have understood that there is no security issue with nuclear power. »

A day

Mr. Fitzgibbon knows that Quebec public opinion still fears the security risks in the exploitation of nuclear energy. He gives the example of the Fukushima disaster in 2011, which preceded the decision of the Quebec government to close the Gentilly-2 nuclear power plant in Quebec.

But, personally, Mr. Fitzgibbon considers that nuclear energy will be essential to accomplish Quebec’s energy transition. “I think we’ll have to use it one day,” he said.

According to the minister, there could soon appear limits to means such as hydroelectricity, wind, solar and renewable natural gas to achieve the 2050 targets.

“In a year, a year and a half, we will perhaps realize that building ten dams to have renewable energy will not be realistic, that perhaps there will not be any wind turbines in my yard in Terrebonne, that perhaps there won’t be enough solar here. Maybe there won’t be enough residue to make renewable natural gas. Consequently, there will be a lack of clean energy to decarbonize,” he explained.

Mr. Fitzgibbon is aware that at this time proof remains to be made that nuclear power could be used in Quebec.

“Will Quebec want to get on board with this? Today the answer is no because we still have the prospect that we have enough water, wind, not to go nuclear,” he admitted.


Mr Fitzgibbon will introduce a much-anticipated energy sector bill by June, which will provide for the design of an integrated resource management plan. The role of the minister will then be to spark a debate where experts will come and express themselves.

“We have to educate the population, we have to explain to the population why the Americans, why Ontario is going nuclear and that it is healthy for the community,” he said. In Quebec, we did not have this debate because we did not need to have it. With water and electricity, we had surpluses. »

Mr. Fitzgibbon believes that the government has not, until now, “well explained what role nuclear power could play in Quebec.”

“There is a lot of work to be done to educate the public and the ministry why we should perhaps consider nuclear the way Ontario is doing,” he said.

The management of nuclear residues, however, constitutes an important issue, underlines the minister who observed five trailers in Darlington where waste from the last quarter of a century is stored.

“You say oops! There’s uranium in there, he said. I myself would not be able to convince you that it would not be dangerous. There is work to be done.

Source: Actual News Magazine