April 16, 2010
“I think one of the concerns is that, by definition, as you have expansion of nuclear programs, peaceful programs, there is going to be an increase in the nuclear by products that come out of those facilities, as well as the expertise that is available to run them.” John Brennan, Obama’s chief counterterrorism adviser
President Obama's nuclear summit aims to keep terrorists from procuring nuclear weapons. But the US is encouraging countries to develop civilian nuclear power. But what are the proliferation risks?
The Nuclear Research Service reports that "in comparison to renewable energy, nuclear power releases four to five times more carbon dioxide per unit of energy produced taking into account the whole fuel cycle."
The risk of a horrific accident, no safe long term repository for million-year radiation of spent fuel, the risk of nuclear proliferation that would make not only nuclear war more likely but also a terrorist use of a nuclear bomb, and the astronomical cost of nuclear power compared to efficiency and renewables leads many to question the wisdom of new nuclear power - especially when the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and other research endeavors seem well on the way to resolving the intermittency problem for renewables that is used as the reason for the need for new nuclear power.
Canada must truly become an honest broker and stop its deceit about nuclear power
By Paul McKay, author of Atomic Accomplice http://paulmckay.com/
Despite belated, growing alarm about world stockpiles of fissile fuels, Ottawa continues to sell uranium as a commodity no less benign than wheat, wood or potash, and to pitch reactors which are also plutonium production machines.
Yet physics tells us uranium and plutonium are as innately conjoined as fire and smoke, or the twisted double helix of DNA. By promoting a nuclear export policy which gives primacy to closing current sales while assuming future world security is irrelevant, Ottawa is compelling Canadian diplomats and consular officials to practice a brand of deep denial which is pathological, and promote a commerce without any conscience.
WASHINGTON Nearly 50 world leaders meet in Washington next week for a summit aimed at preventing nuclear terrorism. It will be one of the largest such gatherings on U.S. soil since World War Two.
Please join me in writing to Prime Minister Harper, urging him to work for a world free of nuclear weapons.
Romania has currently one nuclear power plant with two functional reactors in Cernavoda (South-East of Romania). Cernavoda is situated in an area with high earthquake risk. The Romanian Government plans to build two more nuclear reactors (Cernavoda 3 and 4 ). These reactors are of an outdated Canadian design, the CANDU 6.
The design of CANDU 6 is under critique because of several key flaws:
- It has a positive reactivity coefficient – one of the design factors leading to the Chernobyl catastrophe. Because of this, CANDU reactors are not allowed inthe USA, Germany or France;
- Because it uses heavy water, it leaks more of the radioactive substance tritium into the environment than other designs. This could be dangerous for vulnerable people like pregnant women and children under four years old living in the nearby town of Cernavoda;
- It is relatively easy to divert spent fuel from the reactor. India used a similar design to obtain plutonium for its nuclear bomb in 1974. We don't want Cernavoda to become a model for other countries who may be interested in nuclear weapon production.
Sign the petition here: http://www.greenpeace.org/romania/campaigns/nucleare/signthepetition
On Wednesday, President Obama signed a historic treaty with Russian President Medvedev to cut nuclear arsenals by a third and get serious about preventing other countries from moving forward with their nuclear programs.2 And next week, world leaders will come together for a historic summit to tackle this very challenge.
But the right-wing hawks are up in arms. They're trying to scare the country into thinking that having more nuclear weapons makes us safer.3 President Obama needs to know we have his back as he takes a bold stand on this issue. Can you sign this petition from our friends at Global Zero to support eliminating these dangerous weapons from the face of the earth?
While it is bad economics to distort the market by subsidizing green energy, it is equally unfair to ignore the hidden health-care and climate-change costs of coal-fired electricity and the externalized costs of nuclear power.
It should be acknowledged that subsidies to dirty electricity are hidden while green energy subsidies are fully costed, giving green energy an unjustified bad rap as uneconomical.
If consumers paid the true cost of coal-fired electricity, as reflected by a carbon tax, and if the accurately costed nuclear power included the hidden liabilities of limited insurance liability, reactor decommissioning costs, stranded debt charges and opportunity costs, then conservation and renewables like wind would become economically viable without subsidies.
Frank de Jong, past leader, Green Party of Ontario
The New York Times: Three months ago, American intelligence officials examining satellite photographs of Pakistani nuclear facilities saw the first wisps of steam from the cooling towers of a new nuclear reactor. It was one of three plants being constructed to make fuel for a second generation of nuclear arms.
Find out everything you wanted to know about the dangers of tritium.
Tritium Primer: http://www.tapcanada.org/tritium-primer/
One-page fact sheets produced by the Tritium Awareness Project: http://www.tapcanada.org/key-tritium-resources/
The Tritium Awareness Project is gathering signatures on the following petition which requests that the federal government phase out the use of tritium exit signs in Canada:
Despite its recent investment in wind energy, Ontario will periodically ask wind operators to turn off their turbines, leaving gas and nuclear operating.
Hydro in Niagara: A century ago, naysayers said renewable energy was too expensive for Ontario AP
A century ago, naysayers said renewable energy was too expensive for Ontario. But Niagara Falls is still paying dividends.
If there is a lesson worth remembering, it is that the investments being made today in modern forms of renewable energy can be for this century what the turbines at Niagara Falls were for the last: the foundation of our future prosperity and a source of pride.
Ontario's Environment Commissioner, Gord Miller, wants to learn about barriers and incentives you've experienced in conserving energy. Report your pleasure or frustration:
WHAT IS IN THE AIR YOU ARE BREATHING?
Thursday, April 22, 7 pm
Koffler House, U of T, 569 Spadina Ave, Room 108 (North of College), Toronto
Dr. Pieter Jugovic, CommunityAIR
Angela Bischoff, Ontario Clean Air Alliance
Lin Grist, Clean Trains Coalition
Toronto Island Airport, Metroxlinx diesel trains, coal power plants—how do these affect the air we breath? Join the Toronto Climate Campaign on Earth Day as we hear from climate campaigners on the safety of Toronto air and what we can do to improve it!
For more info: Toronto Climate Campaign: http://www.torontoclimatecampaign.org/, firstname.lastname@example.org
Finding Hope: Confronting Climate Wars - with Gwynne Dyer & Elizabeth May
Wednesday, April 21st at 7:30 pm
Trinity-St. Paul’s United Church , 427 Bloor St. W. (1 block west of Spadina Rd. ), Toronto
Join us the night before the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day for an amazing event. Two of the strongest voices on the planet speaking to the climate crisis will join forces to demand action. Gwynne Dyer, award winning author, journalist and Elizabeth May, author, environmental lawyer, and leader of the Green Party of Canada, collaborate to rebuild energy toward global climate action through the theme Finding Hope: Confronting Climate Wars. Ralph Benmergui broadcaster, performer and host of Jazz FM in Toronto will be master of ceremonies.
Gwynne Dyer’s most recent book Climate Wars warns of the security threat posed by the climate crisis. The Pentagon and British intelligence service understand the threat; Canada 's government does not. Elizabeth May whose book, co-authored with Zoe Caron, Global Warming for Dummies explains the science, the threat and outlines hopeful solutions, will lead us through the politics and find hope to avert that threat.
Book signing will follow. Tickets are $15 each. Order your tickets online or call 1.866.868.3447 x 239 http://greenparty.ca/node/14247