Parti Quebecois government will close Gentilly-2 nuclear power plant
The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, September 11, 2012 10:24PM EDT
MONTREAL -- The Parti Quebecois government of Pauline Marois intends to keep its promise to close the Gentilly-2 nuclear power plant in Becancour.
Eric Gamache, a spokesman for Marois, gave the confirmation after a coalition of activitists opposing the plant demanded assurances from the premier-designate.
The activists spoke as a new film, "Gentilly Or Not To Be," opened. It questions the safety of having the nuclear plant.
Some were celebrating.
“We're happy. It will benefit everyone,” said Philippe Giroul of the anti-nuclear-power group Sortons le Quebec du nuclaire.
The government of outgoing Premier Jean Charest decided in 2008 to rebuild the plant at a cost of about $2 billion but stopped work after the Fukushima disaster in Japan in 2011.
Donald Martel, the newly elected Coalition party member for the area where the plant is located, says he favours rehabilitating the site but not at any price.
He says he hopes the PQ government doesn't make a hasty decision.
A decision on the plant will have to be made quickly -- its licence ends this year.
Many oppose the closure, as hundreds would be out of work if the facility closed.
“First of all we're looking at 700 jobs and very specialized jobs, so it's very, very difficult to replace those jobs. They cannot be replaced another Hydro-Quebec job,” said Marcin Kazmierczak of the Canadian Union of Public Employees.
His business-counterpart echoed those thoughts.
“The plant provides three times as many indirect jobs in a region that had more of its fair share of economic setbacks,” said Jean-Denis Girard of the Becancour Chamber of Commerce. “The community is also split over the issue of risks involved.”
A Greenpeace activist protests outside Hydro Quebec offices in Montreal Wednesday, April 13, 2011 demanding the closure of Gentilly-2, Quebec's only nuclear generating station. (Graham Hughes/The CANADIAN PRESS)