December 18, 2009
- Jayantha Dhanapala, President of the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs
AECL hasn't sold a new reactor in years and its maintenance costs are spiking. In each of the last two years, Ottawa was forced to spend hundreds of millions in extra funding on AECL to cover costs that were not forecast in its main spending estimates.
The Saskatchewan government announced yesterday that it will not get into the nuclear business until at least 2020. The Alberta government also said this week that it won't pump any money into nuclear projects. And last June, the Ontario government put its plans to build new reactors on hold indefinitely, citing concerns about pricing and uncertainty about AECL's future."The nuclear renaissance is dead on arrival," said Shawn-Patrick Stensil, an anti-nuclear campaigner with Greenpeace who welcomed news of the sale.
New York Times
The operation emerged from Canada’s participation in the Manhattan Project of World War II but ultimately proved to be one of the government’s longest-running financial drains.
Without public subsidies, "it is extremely unlikely that private-sector developers will be willing or able to take on the construction, power price and operational risks of new nuclear stations," bank giant Citigroup reported last month.
Does the relatively cheap electricity and low carbon footprint justify construction costs, radioactive waste and proliferation dangers?
If they were to take out a classified ad, it would read something like this: "Wanted: safe, willing home for 40,000 metric tons of nuclear waste. Must be Canadian. Phone for details."
"We carefully evaluated the company's initial plans — however, uncertainty around long-term costs to consumers remains a lingering concern," provincial Energy and Resources Minister Bill Boyd said in a news release.
Several provinces, including British Columbia, Manitoba and Nova Scotia, have banned nuclear power plants.
The 25-year-old reactor at Point Lepreau, NB is in the midst of a troubled $1.4 billion refurbishment. The plant was to open in September at a cost of $1 billion, plus $400million in replacement power. But delays, cost overruns, and technical issues have pushed that to 2011, forcing the province to spend an extra$400 million on alternate power and spurring calls to abandon the plant.
The problems with Atomic Energy of Canada's refurbishment of the plant have raised questions here about the soundness of large nuclear power plant investments.
The nuclear power industry's efforts to promote new reactors as a solution to climate change is inspiring creative protests by environmentalists.
by Dr Herman Scheer
Alberta is open to the nuclear power generation business, but it will not pump one penny into any project that is brought forward, the government says.
"I think nuclear in Alberta is dead in the water if the government keeps their promise on that," said Shawn-Patrick Stensil of Greenpeace Canada.
The public generally opposes nuclear, especially residents who live anywhere near a potential reactor. Energy Minister Mel Knight should respond by saying no to nuclear.
Nuclear option risky business
Governments, including Alberta's, would be stuck paying for the storage of radioactive waste "for perpetuity," he adds. Edwards notes private insurers are chronically loathe to underwrite nuclear plants; "Wall Street ... wants taxpayers to be the risk-taker." And the industry is alone, he says, in having legislation drafted to drastically limit its liability in case of catastrophe.
Critics of NB Power sale say nuclear facility unknowns make deal hard to judge
Health and safety concerns prompt push for referendum in Quebec, where exploration has spiked since 2004
Sept-Iles residents continue to pressure Quebec to slap a moratorium on uranium exploration in the province, despite the government's promise to open a debate on health and safety concerns surrounding the industry.
Canada is red-faced at the Copenhagen climate-change conference as a result of a spoof news release purporting to be from Environment Canada announcing Canada was bringing in bold new emissions reduction targets.
The authentic-looking release, which was announced on a fake Jim Prentice Twitter account, caught many observers off guard and a fake story about it landed on a fake Wall Street Journal website - all an elaborate ruse to embarrass Canada, which is being considered the "dirty-old man" of the conference for its intransigence on negotiating better targets.
Video plus text:
RTE, the state-controlled electricity distribution network, is warning of possible blackouts in some regions because of unseasonably cold temperatures. “The electrical system is strained,” the group said in a release on Dec. 16. Although France frequently exports surplus power to neighboring countries, in recent days it has had to import from Germany.
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Beyond Nuclear -- in coalition with Citizens for Alternatives to Chemical Contamination, Citizens Environmental Alliance of Southwestern Ontario, Don’t Waste Michigan, and the Michigan Chapter of the Sierra Club -- has filed its 16th contention in the Fermi 3 new reactor proceeding before an NRC licensing board challenging the quality assurance violations associated with General Electric-Hitachi's "Economic Simplified Boiling Water Reactor" design. The coalition has called for the new reactor licensing proceeding to be suspended until QA on the ESBWR design can be assured.
Canadian Solar Inc said on Thursday it plans to build a C$24 million ($22.9 million) plant to manufacture solar panels in the province of Ontario, taking advantage of rich incentives for renewable power projects. The Chinese company said it has begun site selection for a facility to make 200 megawatt modules. The plant is expected to create 500 manufacturing jobs and turn out enough capacity to power 60,000 homes per year.
The villagers thought he was crazy, but when the lights went on, the world noticed
Green power entrepreneurialism in Ontario is bursting out of the gates. A program designed to get more solar panels on rooftops and wind turbines in the ground has surpassed all expectations since its Oct. 1 launch, the Star has learned.
More than 2,400 budding power generators – a mix of homeowners, farmers, community cooperatives and aboriginal groups – have applied to the Ontario Power Authority's feed-in-tariff (FIT) program. A first in North America, the program pays green power producers a generous rate for the renewable electricity they sell onto the grid. It is modelled on similar programs in Germany and Spain.
A Copenhagen cartoon…