February 22, 2010
Uranium is the raw material of a power-elite who has taken Mother Earth’s every living creature hostage
-- The late Petra Kelly, German Green Party
Nobody Can Undo the Doo Doo from a Candu let alone contain it. Tritium, the radioactive sibling of hydrogen, is created by fissioning inside a CANDU reactor. They use heavy water. Heavy water then becomes radioactive water. Chemically there is no way to separate radioactive water from stable water. Because Lake Ontario water provides the coolant water, it becomes populated with radioactive water before it is released back into the Lake. Lake Ontario is now a tritium dump.
-- Tim Seitz
Ontario Power Generation announced a reinvestment plan Tuesday which would see a $300 million upgrade to allow Pickering to run for approximately another decade, as well as the intention to refurbish the four reactors at Darlington, to extend their lifetime to about 2050. OPG officials say firm costs can't be known until preliminary studies, set to be carried out over the next four years, determine the scope of work to be completed during the refurbishment. Rough, very preliminary estimates indicate refurbishment of Darlington's four nuclear reactors, to extend their generation capability to about 2050, will cost $6 billion to $10 billion, says Infrastructure and Energy Minister Brad Duguid.
Ontario electricity customers have the right to know the sticker price on the refurbishment of the Darlington nuclear plant, NDP MPP Peter Tabuns says. "You don't make a multibillion-dollar decision based on a guess," Tabuns said Tuesday. "Either they're withholding numbers from the public or they're making a guess. In either case, that's indefensible."
Note: According to OPG’s news release, the restart of Pickering A Unit #1 was completed on time and on budget. This is not true! In 1999, OPG estimated that the total cost of returning Pickering A Unit #1 to service would be $213 million. Its actual cost was 4.8 times greater at $1.016 billion. Looks like OPG is up to its old tricks of deceiving the tax-paying public. If they want to upgrade Pickering and refurbish Darlington, they should be upfront with the costs – no more low-balling, leaving Ontario’s electricity consumers to cover the inevitable cost overruns. Ontario Energy Minister Brad Duguid should demand that the bids for the Pickering upgrade and Darlington refurbishment be a fixed-price one – that is, any cost overruns must not be passed on to Ontario’s electricity consumers or taxpayers. This is the rule that former Energy Minister George Smitherman established for the procurement process for two new nuclear reactors at Darlington. As a result Atomic Energy of Canada (AECL) was forced to submit an honest price bid that reflected the true cost. When Smitherman saw AECL’s honest $26 billion price tag, he had sticker shock and cancelled the procurement process.
Action: Please ask our new Energy Minister, Brad.Duguid@ontario.ca to protect consumers and taxpayers by applying the Smitherman Rule to the proposed Pickering B upgrade and the Darlington refurbishment – that is, both bids must be fixed-price – Ontario’s electricity consumers and taxpayers should not have to pay for nuclear cost overruns. (Please cc me.)
At least 217 workers at the Bruce Power nuclear plant northwest of Toronto were potentially exposed to a release of radiation last November, possibly the largest radioactive contamination in Canada, according to the country's national nuclear watchdog.
It is believed to be one of the largest mass exposures to radiation at a Canadian nuclear site.
It will be another four months at least before all 192 workers who may have been exposed to dangerous radiation at the Bruce A nuclear plant in southern Ontario know whether their health has been jeopardized. Unusual levels of radioactive particles in the air were first detected on Nov. 26 and Nov. 28 as workers for the private consortium were refurbishing feeder pipes inside the vault of the dormant reactor. That work has now been halted.
An incident that may have exposed hundreds of workers at Bruce Power to low levels of radiation has revealed an apparent gap in safety procedures at Canadian nuclear facilities.
Ontario Power Generation announced Tuesday that it will spend $300 million to keep the Pickering nuclear station open for another decade before it's mothballed, and will spend an undisclosed amount to refurbish the Darlington nuclear station.
Greenpeace Canada applauded Ontario Power Generation for admitting it was too costly to keep the Pickering nuclear station open for more than another 10 years. ``Today's announcement shows the cost estimates used to justify this government's commitment to nuclear power are not credible at all, and we should be revisiting the 2006 commitment to keep nuclear at 50 per cent of the supply over the long term,'' Stensil said. ``It'll bankrupt us if we implement that plan.''
By Amory B. Lovins
Electricity production is shifting rapidly and profoundly from giant coal- and gas-fired and nuclear plants to “micropower”—cogenerating electricity together with useful heat in factories and buildings, plus renewables (not counting big hydro dams).
There’s no business case for building nuclear plants—nor other central power plants.
To the surprise of many, nuclear power’s collapse is also good for climate protection. New nuclear plants could save carbon, but two to 20 times less per dollar, and 20 to 40 times less per year, than buying the market winners instead—micropower and efficiency. If greenhouse-gas emissions are a problem, we need the most solution per dollar and per year; anything less will reduce and retard climate protection. We need judicious, not indiscriminate, investment—best buys first. We don’t need everything, we can’t afford everything, and every dollar and year we spend on one choice excludes other choices.
Eventually, extravagant government largesse might create a nuclear rebirth of sorts — but it might end up strangling better solutions in their cribs or prevent them from ever being born.
Obama has announced some $8.3 billion in loan guarantees for two new reactors planned for Georgia, which are unable to withstand natural cataclysms like hurricanes.
As Vermont seethes with radioactive contamination and the Democratic Party crumbles, Barack Obama has plunged into the atomic abyss.
President Obama's announcement Tuesday of loan guarantees for nuclear power plants may encourage new construction, but a problem still remains that has plagued atomic energy for decades: what to do with nuclear waste?
By Amy Goodman, Democracy Now
From economics, to the environment, to the prevention of nuclear threats, Obama's nuclear loan guarantees fail on all counts.
Bad news continues to flow from the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant. Levels of radioactive contamination are growing in several on-site wells at the power plant, according to the Vermont Department of Health (VDH). Vermont Senate vote on closing nuclear plant could come next week.
As President Obama advocates expansion of America's nuclear power industry, pushing for billions of dollars in federal incentives and announcing plans to build the first nuclear plant in decades, a long-running facility in Vermont is leaking a cancer causing carcinogen. The Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant is leaking possibly dangerous levels of tritium, a radioactive byproduct of the nuclear process.
Uranium mining speculation lacks comprehensive health and safety regulations while the ethics of Canadian exported uranium, which can lead to depleted uranium used in zones of war, needs greater scrutiny. Abandoned uranium mines and the subsequent hazards experienced in forgotten communities have also been virtually ignored in Canada leading to tragic, unmitigated circumstances.
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
South Africa has stopped funding the development of the pebble bed modular reactor, leaving the project company looking at 75% cuts in staff.
Background: More evidence that the wheels are coming off the "nuclear renaissance" concept. When large reactors ran into financial roadblocks due to "sticker shock", many nuclear enthusiasts started touting small reactors as the answer, including the pebble bed reactor concept for Alberta's tar sands industry. Think again, folks. - Gordon Edwards.
Sure, you've heard of wind and solar power, biofuels, hydroelectric, tidal and wave power, but Mother Nature provides an endless bounty of alternative energy sources beyond those that we use today. Clean, green energy is all around us in the natural world, and scientists have only begun to answer the question of how to tap it. Here's a list of 10 practical sources of alternative energy you've probably never heard of.
The Conservation Council of Ontario is proud to announce that we will soon launch Canada's first video website devoted exclusively to conservation. Be one of the first to take part in our project by making a video to celebrate your project or identify your local challenge. Posting a video is easy! Simply follow the instructions www.weconservetv.ca
The Global Wind Energy Council, a trade association based in Brussels, estimates that wind power capacity grew by 31 percent worldwide in 2009. According to the trade group, more than 500,000 people are now employed by the wind power industry around the world, and the market for wind turbine installations last year was worth about $63 billion.
Old King Coal should abdicate now, the Ontario Clean Air Alliance says.
Set to be shuttered by 2014, the province's four remaining coal-fired electricity generating plants could in fact be closed now, largely because the province is using less power than expected.
For more info: http://www.cleanairalliance.org/node/808