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Referendum victory for environmentalists...

Residents Assessment of Pickering Nuclear Plant in Canada.

In Canada's first-ever referendum on nuclear power, citizens of the Town of Pickering have voted overwhelmingly to call for an environmental assessment on the Pickering Nuclear Generating Stations, before Ontario Hydro proceeds with rehabilitation of the aging reactors.

The referendum was placed on the ballot of Pickering's municipal election on November 10, 1997. 87% of Pickering voters (17,038 out of a total of 19,599) supported the YES side in the referendum, calling for an environmental assessment. Durham Nuclear Awareness spearheaded a campaign of door-to-door leaflet handouts, poster displays, and advertisements, urging residents to "Vote YES to Assess!"

The referendum follows a decision by Ontario Hydro last August to tempo rarily shut down the four reactors at the Pickering "A" nuclear station. The more than 25 years old reactors are the oldest and most accident-prone nuclear power reactors in Canada. Ontario Hydro in tends to restart the aging reactors beginning in the year 2000. Chief Nuclear Officer Carl Andognini stated that work to rehabilitate the plant would begin in January 1998.

Until February 1998, there has been no decision on the Assessment at the Ministry or at the Ontario Hydro.

More information:

Dave Martin, Durham Nuclear Awareness (DNA) Box 104, Uxbridge, ON L9P IM6 Canada ph/fax: +1-905852-0571, e-mail: nucaware@web.net.