Re "Keeping the lights on"

Myron Gordon and John Wilson
October 9, 2002

Myron Gordon and John Wilson, who have been working for various unions to promote nuclear power and a continuation of the Crown-owned electric monopolies, are advising New Brunswickers to continue their dependence on the trouble-prone Point Lepreau reactor and to avoid competition.

Gordon and Wilson have big credibility problems. For years, these two have been claiming that nuclear power plants are and will be vastly profitable. When Ontario leased its Bruce nuclear complex to a consortium led by British Energy, Gordon and Wilson claimed that $20 billion had been “literally given away.” Their claims were closely studied by Ontario’s provincial auditor, who reported earlier this year that the lease, which brings in a pitiful sum barely enough to cover clean-up costs, was in fact fair value.

The U.K. government’s competitive restructuring of its formerly government-owned electricity sector – called a “disaster” by Gordon and Wilson – resulted in rate cuts for households of 30%, big cuts in air pollution, and big improvements in service quality for poor people. The U.K.’s move toward markets also cut through the fog of government financial reporting and proved the truth of nuclear economics. The nuclear industry there is now on the edge of bankruptcy despite massive subsidies. Only pro-nuclear ideologues could call the U.K.’s competitive reforms a “disaster.”

Gordon and Wilson are now complaining about the Public Utility Board’s analysis of the Point Lepreau renovation proposal. Perhaps the reason they decided not to appear before that tribunal to defend their fringe economic theories was the prospect of being subject to cross-examination by those who might have read the Ontario provincial auditor’s report.
Tom Adams, Executive Director, Energy Probe

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