December 11, 2009
David Suzuki, Al Gore, Toronto, November 2009
Lofty claims about the benefits of nuclear power are coming from the Nuclear Energy Institute and others.
Meanwhile, news, financial and energy journals make clear that boiling water with uranium is the costliest and dirtiest energy choice.
The Parti Québécois, which once called for building a series of nuclear reactors on the St. Lawrence as an alternative to Hydro-Québec’s massive James Bay hydroelectrical development, now wants the province to turn its back on nuclear. PQ energy critic Sylvain Gaudreault called Friday on the Charest government to dismantle, rather than refurbish, Hydro-Québec’s only reactor, Gentilly 2, near Trois-Rivières.
And PQ environment critic Scott McKay said plans to mine uranium in the Sept Îles region, which led 24 Sept-Îles doctors to tender their resignations, “clearly does not meet the test of social acceptability.”
The government says refurbishing Gentilly 2 would cost $1.9 billion, but Gaudreault noted that New Brunswick has spent $20 billion – so far – to refurbish its Pointe Lepreau reactor, which is identical to Gentilly 2.
The PQ critics pointed out that Quebec already has a surplus of electricity and to meet future needs, Quebec should develop wind, solar and biomass energy sources. “Who ever asked Quebecers if they want nuclear energy?” McKay asked.
The planning process can be lengthy and expensive and doesn't guarantee a project will ever get to construction stage. Construction costs, meanwhile, have shot up substantially. Citigroup estimates the cost of constructing a 1,600-megawatt reactor today would be nearly $9 billion. That's excluding decommissioning and waste disposal, as well as expenses associated with improvements to surrounding infrastructure. The planning process can be lengthy and expensive and doesn't guarantee a project will ever get to construction stage. Construction costs, meanwhile, have shot up substantially. Citigroup estimates the cost of constructing a 1, 600-megawatt reactor today would be nearly $9 billion. That's excluding decommissioning and waste disposal, as well as expenses associated with improvements to surrounding infrastructure.
Citigroup goes on to warn against the financial risks of a nuclear plant being hit with an unplanned outage, and how a six-month breakdown can cost a utility hundreds of millions of dollars. Decommissioning and managing waste, it adds, brings its own challenges in terms of cost uncertainty. And this doesn't even consider the potential, however small, of a catastrophic nuclear accident.
Quebec’s Liberal government must stop uranium exploration near Sept Îles and declare a moratorium on uranium mining activities across the province to avoid the mass resignation of 20 doctors in the North Shore town, a Sept Îles doctor said Friday.
Ontario will not be anywhere near its greenhouse gas emissions targets unless drastic changes are made immediately to key industries, the province's environmental commissioner warned Tuesday.
"Premier (Dalton) McGuinty needs to direct Ontario Power Generation to phase out coal plants now to send a message to Copenhagen," said Jack Gibbons, Ontario Clean Air Alliance. "(Targets) are useless if we can't achieve them but the good news is that we can achieve them with strong political leadership."
Ontario has the second largest greenhouse gas emissions in Canada, behind Alberta.
Ontario Environment Commissioner Gord Miller said policies launched to date in Ontario would result in a 23-per-cent shortfall of the (GHG reduction) target by 2020, with emissions actually increasing between 2014 and 2020.
Albertans will finally find out next month whether their energy-rich province will kick-start Canada's so-called nuclear renaissance. Even without a decision, the topic has already prompted several anti-nuclear demonstrations around Alberta.
Saskatchewan is also expected to issue a policy statement on nuclear power generation within weeks, according to a government spokesman. In September, the province released a report that found most residents opposed it. Saskatchewan leads the world in uranium production, but doesn't currently refine it.
It's been 17 years since a new nuclear reactor went into service in this country, and the Alberta project, if built, would be the first in Western Canada. Nuclear power sites are currently operating in Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick.
Nuke waste really does last forever... and so do the annual management costs. -a
It was ground zero for nuclear bomb production, then it became the nation's biggest atomic waste headache. Now the old Hanford nuclear reservation boasts a new distinction: It is the single biggest recipient of federal stimulus contracts.
Greenpeace reports that high radiation levels have been found on the streets of Akokan in Niger due to its proximity to uranium mines owned by Areva.
As the threat of nuclear weapons looms large over the very existence of life on earth, Dr Sue Wareham, International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear weapons’ (ICAN), is calling for a speedy abolition of these weapons and the rejection of nuclear power as a solution to climate change.
"Regardless of whether the individual motivations of the four horsemen are sincere, their institutional loyalties and larger political agendas reflect a political economy that is not only fundamentally at odds with nuclear abolition, but are anathema to peace and justice."
The Pembina Institute has released a fact sheet that outlines many of the benefits that wind power can deliver for Canada.
Pay your MP a visit to demand real action!
Friday December 11th and Monday December 14th
Visit your MP to demand that Canada support a fair, ambitious and binding global climate agreement in Copenhagen.
Find out what’s going on in your town or register an event here: http://www.climateactionnetwork.ca/e/action/events/real-deal.php
Tell your MP that you know that Canada has won more Fossil of the Day awards than any other country – shame! http://www.fossiloftheday.com/
Global Day of Action: Candlelight Vigils, Rallies, Marches, and Protests
Saturday December 12th
Toronto: "Sign The Real Deal" Wall and Vigil
Location: The University of Toronto, Earth Sciences Building, 33 Wilcocks Street, Toronto, Ontario
Time: 3pm - 7:30pm, Saturday December 12, 2009
Canadian Action Network is partnering with the Toronto Climate Campaign to host an indoor rally from 3pm to 5:30pm. The indoor rally will include speakers, bands, face-painting, and live report-backs from representatives attending the Copenhagen treaty negotiations. People will also have the opportunity to write a personal message stating what they want the world's leaders to agree to in Copenhagen on a massive 8-foot-high 10-foot-long wall.
Following the event, from 6pm to 6:45pm we will march with candles to Queens Park, University and Wellesley Avenues, Toronto, Ontario M5H2N2.
At 7pm we will hold a candlelight vigil at Queens Park, Toronto.
For more information, contact: Jess Bell, CAN
(416) 937- 0076 firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.climateactionnetwork.ca/e/
Live Copenhagen webcast