February 8, 2010
No degree of prosperity could justify the accumulation of large amounts of highly toxic substances which nobody knows how to make "safe" and which remain an incalculable danger to the whole of creation for historical or even geological ages.
Nuclear power is one hell of a way to boil water!
- Albert Einstein
Premieres: Thursday, February 11, at 8 p.m. on CBC Television
Repeating: Thursday Feb. 18, 10 p.m. ET/PT in CBC News Network
Imagine that one morning you wake up to find out your nearest neighbour may be a nuclear power plant. This is the story about two women who travel from their farms in Peace River, Alberta to Kincardine, Ontario searching for answers to questions that are devastating their families and threatening their once harmonious community.
Think-tank says worldwide demand for nuclear energy unlikely to grow much before 2030, if at all
"Most promoters and critics agree that the economics of nuclear power is the single most important constraint on nuclear expansion. The economics are worsening rather than improving, especially as a result of the recent global financial and economic turmoil."
Fréchette said nuclear power is also facing stiffer competition from alternatives such as wind, solar, energy efficiency and conservation, and the move to build smart grids that allow smaller sources of power to be located closer to consumers. "New approaches to distributing electricity are not going to be very favourable to nuclear," she said.
A significant expansion of nuclear energy worldwide is unlikely to occur before 2030. This provides a window of opportunity to urgently fix the currently inadequate system for governing nuclear energy to avoid accidents, nuclear terrorism and weapons proliferation.
These are the key findings of the three-and-a-half year Nuclear Energy Futures project released today by The Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) in Ottawa.
The case for nuclear power as a low carbon energy source to replace fossil fuels has been challenged in a new report by Australian academics.
It suggests greenhouse emissions from the mining of uranium - on which nuclear power relies - are on the rise. Availability of high-grade uranium ore is set to decline with time, it says, making the fuel less environmentally friendly and more costly to extract.
A significant proportion of greenhouse emissions from nuclear power stem from the fuel supply stage, which includes uranium mining, milling, enrichment and fuel manufacturing. Others sources of carbon include construction of the plant - including the manufacturing of steel and concrete materials - and decomissioning.http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7371645.stm
Researchers at the CHUS's Centre de recherche clinique Étienne-Le Bel (CRCELB) and the Université de Sherbrooke, in collaboration with Advanced Cyclotron Systems Inc. in Richmond, have just demonstrated that technetium 99m can be produced using a cyclotron. Diagnostic testing indicates that cyclotron-produced technetium 99m is fully equivalent to that obtained from nuclear reactor, such as the Chalk River facility.
Background: Nuclear proponents often point to nuclear medicine as an area where nuclear reactors fuelled with uranium are needed to produce medical isotopes. But the use of isotopes in nuclear medicine preceeded the first nuclear reactors by many decades. Furthermore, medical isotopes can be produced without reactors by using "particle accelerators" which do not have the safety, radioactive waste and weapons-proliferation problems associated with nuclear reactors. - Gordon Edwards
Obama is poised to vastly expand a bitterly contested nuclear loan guarantee program that may cost far more than expected, both financially and politically.
President Barack Obama is endorsing nuclear energy like never before, trying to win over Republicans and moderate Democrats on climate and energy legislation.
Amory Lovins, a leading sustainable energy expert with the Rocky Mountain Institute in Colorado, argues that there is no economic, environmental or security rationale for the kinds of Gen IV reactors most often promoted, including fast reactors. In a recent analysis titled “‘New’ Nuclear Reactors, Same Old Story,” Lovins points out that these reactors are touted for their ability to burn plutonium, a radioactive waste product created in currently operating nuclear power plants. However, that would require plutonium reprocessing facilities, which creates a whole other bunch of thorny problems.
The nuclear industry, once an environmental pariah, is recasting itself as green as it attempts to extend the life of many power plants and build new ones. But a leak of radioactive water at Vermont Yankee, along with similar incidents at more than 20 other US nuclear plants in recent years, has kindled doubts about the reliability, durability, and maintenance of the nation’s aging nuclear installations.
Nuclear power is heavily subsidized by taxpayers and ratepayers, is prone to delay and cost overruns, and incurs radioactive risks, including the apparent impossibility of safely storing radioactive waste. Nuclear reactors consume vast quantities of precious water. Investing billions of dollars in more nuclear power would divert funding that would be better spent on energy efficiency and safer, cleaner renewable energy such as solar, wind and geothermal.
In terms of climate, even if nuclear power were a good idea, it would be impossible to build enough reactors in time to make a significant reduction in carbon emissions.
Thirteen years after Canada and other nations pledged $768-million to render the destroyed nuclear reactor safe, the cost has ballooned to $2-billion and the job still isn't done.
Ontario residents can now hang their clothes and linens outside to dry after the Premier lifted the ban on outdoor clotheslines. Previously there were restrictions in many Ontario subdivisions because clotheslines were considered unsightly. The province's new regulation will overrule neighbourhood or lease rules.
Premier Dalton McGuinty said the move is aimed at curbing use of energy-sucking dryers, which burn up to six per cent of Ontario's power.
This recent change is one of many in a movement pushing for less restrictions in the use of clothes lines. A new documentary, Drying For Freedom, highlights the banning of clothes lines in over 50 million homes in the United States, translating 5 billion dollars a year in electricity bills. The documentary follows the battle for the right to dry clothes asking why drying clothes became an environmental and social catastrophe and questions clotheslines being banned.
Visit Let's Hang Out Canada website
Visit Drying For Freedom website
View January 2010 The Sierra Club News Letter
Decision may end two decades of national debate over nuclear waste disposal in Nevada
The Ban the Bomb movement isn't dead. It strutted its stuff in Paris this week at a conference of nuclear activists, under the banner of the Global Zero campaign. Delegates recalled the horror of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and made the case for a world rid of nuclear weapons. They also won friends in high places.
A bold initiative to eliminate nuclear weapons merits more than a chilly French politenesshttp://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/its-time-to-set-the-course-for-global-zero/article1455374/