Pickering nuclear plant ordered to quit killing fish

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The Pickering nuclear power plant is killing fish by the millions. Close to one million fish and 62 million fish eggs and larvae die each year when they’re sucked into the water intake channel in Lake Ontario, which the plant uses to cool steam condensers. The fish, which include alewife, northern pike, Chinook salmon and rainbow smelt, are killed when they’re trapped on intake screens or suffer cold water shock after leaving warmer water that’s discharged into the
lake. The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission has told Ontario Power Generation, which operates the plant, to reduce fish mortality by 80 per cent. And in renewing Pickering A station’s operating licence last month, the nuclear regulator asked for annual public reports on fish mortality and the effectiveness of steps OPG is taking to reduce rates. “Quite clearly we were talking about a lot of fish,” says a spokesperson for the commission, adding that while the kill has been going on “forever,” environmental issues were only recently added to licensing considerations.

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