No Nukes News

Aug. 19, 2009


Quote of the Week:

 "This is just a new way of farming. We're farming energy," Jon Kieran said of the field that was thick with corn this time last year.

Let the Race Begin

The by-election in St. Paul’s (central Toronto riding) was just announced for Sept. 17th – join in the fun! Elections are an incredible opportunity to reach out to the electorate. Voters are alert, and candidates and their parties are paying attention to voters’ concerns.

Ontario’s electricity system is at a crossroad – whether we go nuclear or renewable is a key public policy issue, particularly given the financial challenges facing the province.

OCAA is aiming to make Ontario’s energy future an election issue through door-to-door canvassing/leafleting, subway station blitzes, candidates questionnaire, and more. Help us get the word out!

Let me know if you can spare an evening/afternoon or 2 over the next 4 weeks and I’ll set you up. Thank you!

Canada loses out as U.S. ups green ante

The Obama administration's titanic $60 billion spending plan for the U.S. clean energy sector is luring investors away from green businesses in Canada, threatening the industry's growth here.

Storing nuclear waste a $24-billion problem

There are two million high-level radioactive fuel bundles sitting at temporary storage sites in Canada, as the Nuclear Waste Management Organization wrestles with the mandate of finding a community to host a central storage facility for the waste for perhaps tens of thousands of years.

Solar farm takes root in Arnprior

"This is just a new way of farming. We're farming energy," Jon Kieran said of the field that was thick with corn this time last year.
He said by year's end the steel posts will support 312,000 solar panels and form the largest solar farm of its kind in Canada. At peak capacity it will produce 20 MW -- enough energy to power 7,000 households.

Lavish US Lobbying Pushes Nuclear Energy

Climate change and the resulting need for low-carbon energy sources is driving the current interest in nuclear energy despite the industry's near universal legacy of staggering cost-overruns, technical difficulties and dependence on enormous government subsidies.

Government interest in new nuclear energy plants seems far more political than practical or economic in light of the fact that Europe's latest nuclear plant under construction in Finland is four years behind schedule and 50 to 70 percent over budget. 

Any claims that nuclear is a viable low-carbon or clean energy source are negated by its extraordinary costs that have increased at least five-fold in the past decade. 

"Nuclear energy has always been heavily subsidised by governments around the world," Ellen Vancko, a nuclear energy analyst at the Union of Concerned Scientists, a U.S.-based non governmental organisation.

Nuclear Steals Billions from Other Technologies

Why is nuclear energy back on the table?

One reason is a powerful U.S. lobby where 14 energy companies spent 48 million dollars in 2007 alone to convince American politicians to give the industry huge loan guarantees because they cannot get financing anywhere else, says Ellen Vancko, a nuclear energy analyst at the Union of Concerned Scientists, a U.S.-based non governmental organisation (NGO). 

This lavish lobbying effort by the energy and nuclear power sector has been ongoing since the mid-1990s, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a U.S. NGO and now totals at least 953 million dollars. 

Even more has been spent to convince the public that nuclear is one of the keys to energy security so that there is significant public support for new reactors, a Gallup Environment Poll reported this year

Reprocessing isn't the answer

By Richard L. Garwin, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Comments on this piece on reprocessing by Dr. Gordon Edwards:

With the cancellation of the Yucca Mountain Project for the permanent geologic storage of irradiated nuclear fuel, many nuclear proponents are arguing in favor of "recycling" the used fuel to "extract the unused energy".  What they really mean is "reprocessing" the irradiated fuel in order to recover the man-made element plutonium, which constitutes 
less than one percent of the irradiated fuel.

This article is written by a pro-nuclear scientist who has worked in the nuclear weapons program as well as in the peaceful nuclear power program.  He explains why reprocessing is not a sensible approach because it solves none of the problems that it pretends to address -- for example, it does not solve or even reduce significantly the problem of storing high-level radioactive waste  forever.  

What the article does not address is the enormous security risks attached to the commercialization of plutonium as a nuclear reactor fuel.  Plutonium is immediately weapons-usable; a major study by Sandia Labs has shown that just a handful of people, working for a short period of time without elaborate equipment, can extract any plutonium that has been incorporated into fresh nuclear fuel.  Once extracted, that plutonium can be used to make a nuclear explosive device of enormous destructive power.


A nuclear boost

Energy Grit Leader Michael Ignatieff reaffirms support for nuclear power

No Nukes

Hawthorne confirmed that Bruce Power dropped plans to build two nuclear reactors in Nanticoke due to plummeting demand for electricity in Ontario. The business case that existed for new reactors last year disappeared over the winter due to a steep downturn in manufacturing brought on by the global recession.

With demand for electricity in Ontario faltering, Bruce Power will concentrate on refurbishing two reactors at the Bruce A facility in Tiverton.

Pedal for the Planet

Pedal for the Planet is a KYOTOplus initiative. KYOTOplus is a national, non-partisan, petition-centered campaign for urgent federal government action on climate change.

This summer, people across Canada are joining Pedal for the Planet, a cross-country relay to call for action on climate change.

Cyclists will converge on Parliament Hill in mid-September, relaying our expectations for a Copenhagen climate treaty on to Ottawa.

Ontario: On August 24, a team of cyclists will leave Windsor, Ontario, heading to London, Stratford, Kitchener, Guelph, Burlington, Mississauga, Toronto, Pickering, Oshawa, Belleville, Kingston, Perth and Ottawa. To join the rides, contact Emma Cane, Sierra Club Ontario Chapter,, (416) 960-9606.

For more information, visit To sign the online petition, visit