November 20, 2009
In June 2009 former Energy Minister George Smitherman suspended the procurement process for two new nuclear reactors when Atomic Energy of Canada’s bid came in at $26 billion – 3.7 times the Ontario Power Authority’s (OPA’s) forecast.
Nevertheless, according to the OPA’s recently released 2010-2012 Business Plan, the McGuinty Government is still committed to contracting for two new nuclear reactors at the Darlington Nuclear Station (2,400 MW) and the refurbishment of the Bruce B Nuclear Generating Station (3,300 MW)
According to the OPA’s Business Plan, 50% of the new supply that it will contract for between 2010 and 2012 will be nuclear.
1-Minute Action: Please email Premier McGuinty and tell him: Ontario’s taxpayers cannot afford another government boondoggle. There is no need for the OPA to contract for new nuclear projects. Ontario can meet its electricity needs at a much lower cost by a combination of energy conservation and efficiency, wind power, water power imports from Quebec, and by converting our apartment buildings, shopping centres, hospitals and factories into small scale but highly efficient combined heat and power plants. Protect Ontario’s electricity consumers and taxpayers from high-cost and unreliable new nuclear power projects!
Leaving aside the potential dangers inherent with nuclear plants and the waste they generate, there’s a pragmatic argument to be made in favour of alternatives simply based on cost. Nuclear plants have always come in way over budget, underperformed and then required billions in refurbishing expenses.
Alternative energy supplies and a push toward conservation would be more effective and far cheaper than the nuclear option. With greater efficiencies, we could reduce overall demand by as much as 50 per cent by the time many of Ontario’s aging reactors reach the end of their lifespans in 2021, says Jack Gibbons of the OCAA.
“We have to focus on the lowest-cost options if we are going to act quickly and meet the province’s target of an 80 per cent reduction in greenhouse gases by 2050. We can’t afford to continue to waste money on projects that don’t work.”
As well, a decentralized approach would see far more economic benefits. Small projects to upgrade insulation values and make homes more efficient, for instance, would provide local jobs in communities across the province. Small co-generation projects would spread the work, and provide for a more reliable network. None of those upsides exist with huge, centralized nuclear plants.
Canadians should be concerned about birth defects and cancers caused by radioactive tritium in their drinking water according to Tritium on Tap, a report by Sierra Club Canada. The report also notes that routine and accidental releases of tritium are rising.http://www.sierraclub.ca/national/media/item.shtml?x=3017
Claims will now top out at $650-million, up from the previous $75-million ceiling
The compensation figure, contained in a bill now before Parliament, is much less than amounts in some other countries, including the United States, Japan and Germany. Reactors in the U.S. have a call on about $10-billion to cover accidents, the Japanese have about $1.4-billion and the Germans have unlimited liability.
Shawn Patrick Stensil, Greenpeace, contended that because nuclear plant operators have a relatively low limit on the amount of insurance they need to cover accidents, they are able to sell power at rates that do not reflect the true costs of generating it. It is special treatment that isn't available to other industries. “This is a huge hidden subsidy,” he said of the damage cap of $650-million.
Greenpeace issued a report this week estimating there would be about $50-billion in health damages from a worst-case accident at just one of Ontario's Bruce stations, located on a relatively isolated section of Lake Huron.
Greenpeace’s report and blog: Towards full liability for nuclear power plant operators
Note: The nuclear industry is the only enterprise in North America that requires special legislation to protect it from financial liability in case of an "accident". -a
Does Canada really want to help sell nuclear technology to a country that is in the midst of such a volatile region, a country that in the 1970s appropriated our first foray into building Indian nuclear reactors to help fashion nuclear weapons, a country whose nuclear reactors would be an ideal ground zero for jihadists?
Mr. Harper certainly thinks so.
Watch Gordon Edwards (Canadian nuclear analyst) nail Canada for aiming to sell nuclear reactors to India, a country that refuses to sign onto the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
“To negotiate with India as if India was a full party to the Non-Proliferation Treaty when they have never signed it, the Harper administration is apparently willing to give India all the benefits of membership without actually requiring anything from them, not even requiring them to sign the treaty, not requiring them to forgo their nuclear weapons, not even requiring them to prevent building new nuclear weapons. This is a terrible signal to be sending to the rest of the world. It really underscores a sense of hypocrisy.” And it will undermine an already vulnerable Nuclear Non-Proliferation treaty.
Click on this link, and then the button to the right with Gordon Edward’s name. It’s a 3 minute clip:
The trip that was supposed to complete a nuclear technology transfer agreement and an accord protecting foreign investment produced zilch…
AECL then needs to win the Ontario contract for new reactors. Although the province chose AECL's new reactor over foreign bidders, the government said the price was way too high and is seeking federal financial help. It is also pondering whether, with new forecasts for big surpluses in natural gas in North America, nuclear is too expensive and risky anyway.
In which case, AECL would be finished, because refurbishing its reactors in Ontario and New Brunswick is over-budget, its Maple reactors do not work, the Chalk River reactor broke down and AECL's new reactor won't have been sold anywhere in the world.
If the U.S. wants to help stop global warming, nuclear power is not the way to go, according to a new report released today.
The Environment California Research & Policy Center concluded that launching a nuclear power industry nearly from the ground up is too slow and expensive a process. Energy efficiency standards and renewable energy options are better solutions, researchers said…
And given the costs of running a power plant, clean energy could deliver five times as much progress per dollar in lowering pollution.
The Sask. Party government's initial strong interest in nuclear power has seemed to cool of late, especially since the September release of the report into public consultations on the UDP, which found strong opposition to nuclear power from respondents.
Both Boyd and Premier Brad Wall have cited the cost of nuclear power as an increasing concern for the province.
16 November, Baltic Sea: Today six activists from the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise boarded the cargo ship Happy Ranger in the Fehmarn Belt between Denmark and Germany. The activists are carrying banners reading “Nuclear Madness, made in France”. The ship is carrying steam turbines supplied by the French nuclear company AREVA to the Olkiluoto 3 nuclear reactor currently under construction in Finland.
The plan to use copper for sealing nuclear waste underground has being thrown into disarray by corrosion in artifacts from the Vas
Build Ontario economic recovery by leading global warming action
As the eyes of the world turn to the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Ontario must be ready with a strong carbon cap- and-trade plan that will reduce global warming pollution and make the province competitive in a world where action on climate change is the new bottom line, say 23 of the province's environmental organizations.
Saturday November 21st, 12:00 noon, meet at Yonge and Bloor, Toronto
More than 23,000 nuclear weapons worldwide threaten all Life on earth. 1 in 6 people face malnutrition everyday. And military spending is higher than ever. It's...
TIME TO WAKE UP!
*March in your pajamas!
*Bring alarm clocks, bells, whistles, pots and pans, banners.
*Walk to the Peace Garden, Nathan Phillips Square.
A part of Canada's World March Days.
Info: email@example.com / http://www.worldmarch.ca/
Sign the petition and send it to your friends.
Under the current Kyoto Protocol, nuclear energy is rightly excluded from the possible solutions available to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Yet the nuclear industry, in collaboration with certain countries, is pushing for this dangerous and polluting technology to be included in the Copenhagen climate agreement as a “clean” technology.
Already we have collected 31,000 signatories... Help us reach out to a lot more people! Sign and send the petition to all your friends. Contribute to the fight for the climate and for a nuclear-free world: