September 8, 2010
“I believe in energy conservation. I believe in renewable energy. And I believe in bicycles. So this all fits together.”
-- Graham Fowler, on the Ride for Renewables from Pickering to Darlington, Ontario
2 min. video, Greenpeace
Ride for Renewables – from the Pickering nuke plant to the Darlington nuke plant
Over thirty cyclists rode from Pickering to Darlington to demand the government replace Pickering with green energy instead of new nukes at Darlington.
Check out photos of the trip here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/greenpeace_canada/sets/72157624801464902/show/
And watch the 4 min. video of the trip: http://www.youtube.com/greenpeacecanada?gl=CA&hl=en#p/a/u/1/o-scLOO98iw
Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment was published by the New York Academy of Sciences. The book is solidly based--on health data, radiological surveys and scientific reports--some 5,000 in all. It concludes that based on records now available, some 985,000 people died, mainly of cancer, as a result of the Chernobyl accident." An important lesson from the Chernobyl experience is that experts and organizations tied to the nuclear industry have dismissed and ignored the consequences of the catastrophe," it states.
The consequences on public health are extensively analyzed. Medical records involving children--the young, their cells more rapidly multiplying, are especially affected by radioactivity--are considered. Before the accident, more than 80% of the children in the territories of Ukraine, Belarus and Russia extensively contaminated by Chernobyl "were healthy," the book reports, based on health data. But "today fewer than 20% are well."
There is an examination of genetic impacts with records reflecting an increase in "chromosomal aberrations" wherever there was fallout. This will continue through the "children of irradiated parents for as many as seven generations." So "the genetic consequences of the Chernobyl catastrophe will impact hundreds of millions of people."
"Every single system that was studied--whether human or wolves or livestock or fish or trees or mushrooms or bacteria--all were changed, some of them irreversibly. The scope of the damage is stunning."
And it is a clear call for no new nuclear power plants to be built and for the closing of the dangerous atomic machines now running--and a switch to safe energy technologies, now available, led by solar and wind energy, that will not leave nearly a million people dead from one disaster.
The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) will hold a one-day public hearing to consider the application by Bruce Power for a transport license to ship 16 radioactive steam generators through the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway to Sweden for "recycling" in the fall of 2010, from Owen Sound, Ontario. Each steam generator weighs about 100 metric tonnes.
Concern has been expressed about two dangerous precedents (1) allowing the transport of radioactive wastes through the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway; and (2) allowing contaminated metal from CANDUs to be melted and sold as scrap for unrestricted use. As recently as 2008, Bruce Power and CSC said the decommissioned steam generators cannot be recycled and stated that they will be stored on-site as radioactive waste.
Please consider intervening at the hearing. Deadline to file the outline of your submission is Sept. 13. You can send in a written presentation, and/or present in person in Ottawa or via teleconference. You can file your submission via email to email@example.com or by completing the online form available at: http://www.nuclearsafety.gc.ca/eng/commission/intervention/index.cfm.
It is also important to have many spectators at the hearing, so please attend even if you are not an intervenor. The hearing will be webcast live on September 29.
To find out more about the issue go to:
Aboriginal voices have joined the growing international chorus opposing plans to ship radioactive nuclear generators along the Great Lakes.
A high-profile environmental group says Canada's nuclear regulator has "prejudiced" its public hearing by already concluding that Bruce Power's plan to ship steam generators through the Great Lakes doesn't pose a significant safety risk. Derek Stack, executive director of the Canadian-American group Great Lakes United, said the low-level radioactive waste shipments should be halted until the plan is subjected to full community consultation. More than 60 non-governmental organizations have signed a petition to oppose the shipments.
Mounting delays to the refurbishment of the Point Lepreau nuclear reactor have prompted a postponement of similar work at the Gentilly 2 station in Quebec.
Sept-Îles residents set up a mock mining camp in Quebec City, near the national assembly.
The International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) adopted a resolution at its International Council meeting on Sunday in Basel, Switzerland, calling for a ban on uranium mining and the production of yellowcake (uranium oxide). The resolution described both processes as “irresponsible” and “a grave threat to health and to the environment”.
After Over $50 Billion Spent by U.S., Japan, Russia, UK, India and France, No Commercial Model Found
High Cost, Unreliability, Major Safety Problems and Proliferation Risks All Seen as Major Barriers to Use
The legislation (Ontario's Green Energy and Green Economy Act) has been hugely successful, motivating thousands of ordinary people to mount solar panels on their roofs, spurring local manufacturing, and attracting international investment. The overwhelming response to the opportunity to profit from producing clean energy makes it possible to close the coal plants and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, contradicting naysayers who argue that renewable energy cannot meet demand.
Gallant complains about the millions of dollars being spent on what he characterizes as subsidies for green energy, but he fails to mention the subsidies for coal or nuclear power.
Instead, he blames recent rises in electricity prices on renewables, even though the vast majority of clean electricity contracted under the Green Energy Act is not even on line yet -- and when it is, it will make up only a small portion of the province's energy. Gallant doesn't like what he sees when he looks at his electricity bill but neglects mentioning the line items for the never-ending debt we keep paying for our nuclear plants. He faults renewables for the cost of upgrading Ontario's aging grid, although the largest allocation is for a new transmission line to carry power from the refurbished Bruce reactors.
Electricity use has soared in Toronto and across the province this summer, driven by hot weather.
But the sharp increase underscores the need for the province to push energy conservation more aggressively, says the chair of the Ontario Clean Air Alliance. He said it’s a warning signal that the province needs to pay more attention to curbing power use rather than increasing supply. But current efforts are skewed toward producing more power rather than saving energy, Gibbons said. “For every dollar the Ontario Power Authority has spent on conservation and demand management, they’ve contracted for $40 of new supply,” he said.
Gibbons said the power authority should be funding local utilities to hire students to go door to door, selling conservation programs like Peaksaver, just as energy retailers have sales staffs on the ground to sell their products. “There’s no reason why the Peaksaver program can’t be as successful as the Blue Box,” he said.
Upgrading just 40% of buildings would generate 625,000 jobs and cut U.S. energy bills up to $64 billion a year
Energy efficiency is THE core climate solution: The biggest low-carbon resource by far.
Quebec is by far Canada’s largest producer of electricity, largely due to its abundance of hydroelectricity sources.
“We’ve got electricity through the wazoo,” says Daniel Breton, an energy activist with a group called Maîtres Chez Nous – 21st Century, which seeks independence from fossil fuels. “In a situation predicted to be in surplus until at least 2023, to launch more is completely irresponsible,” Breton says.
We usually give coal the stink eye for the ways it harms the earth's surface when it is extracted, and the way it harms the earth's systems when it is burned. But we also need to hone in on the way coal harms our fresh water supplies. Between 800 and 3,000 gallons of water are used to extract, process and dispose each ton of coal. And with 1 billion tons of coal used per year in the US, that equates to as much as 75 trillion gallons of water wasted on dirty energy each year. Circle of Blue has put these stats and many other jaw-dropping figures into a compelling infographic.
Check out the Full Sized infographic on Circle of Blue
New wind farms in Chatham-Kent-Essex are helping Ontario phase out coal production while adding renewable hydro to the grid, says Chatham-Kent Essex MPP Pat Hoy.
"Ontario has sufficient electricity generation and transmission resources available to maintain reliability over the next year-and-a-half, according to the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) in its latest 18-month outlook," Hoy says in a news release.
As the number of wind farms increases in Ontario, so does the controversy that surrounds them. It seems people either love them or hate them.
"I'm for wind turbines because we have to go with the future. The future means we have to go with different energies. Some are saying people get sick with wind turbines, but this is not proven yet. What is proven is that people who live close to nuclear power stations have gotten cancer. I don't like to think about if we had nuclear power at Nanticoke and there was an accident. It would run into Lake Erie where we have all our drinking water.
"Wind turbines do not pollute. They might kill the odd bird, but most birds get used to them and fly around them. We're also killing birds with our cars, but no one is saying we should quit driving our cars." Seitz said some neighbours have said the swooshing noise the turbine blades make can be bothersome. He believes people will get used to the noise, just as they get used to other noises, such as traffic.
According to Agence France Presse (AFP), the French government will launch next month a tender for contracts of 10 billion euros ($12.6 billion) to build 3,000 MW of offshore wind capacity. This may be only the beginning as the government wants to produce up to 6,000 MW via offshore wind by 2020.=
Science for Peace and The Centre for Global Change Science welcome to Toronto the world’s foremost climate scientist and author of Storms of My Grandchildren, Dr. James Hansen, for 2 days of public talks, meetings with students and political lobbying.
Wednesday, September 15
McMillan Theatre, Edward Johnson Bldg (North), 80 Queens Park, Toronto
5:30 pm 6:30pm Science presentation by Dr. James Hansen
6:30 pm 7:00pm Intermission
7:00 pm to 8:45pm Climate Reality: A Conversation with Dr. James Hansen, Naomi Klein & Clayton Thomas-Muller, moderated by Cynthia Wesley-Esquimaux.
Help us push the Ontario coal phase out this year!
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Tel: 416 926 1907 x 246
625 Church Street, #402
Toronto, ON M4Y 2G1
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