January 18, 2011
North America's much-touted nuclear revival is in jeopardy, but it is not environmental and safety concerns that are undermining it. The industry is finding it increasingly difficult to make the economic case in both Canada and the United States.
The enormous capital cost of building reactors is just one factor holding back the long-promised nuclear renaissance. Just as critical is the risk that already high costs will balloon as companies build new-generation plants that must be able to withstand the impact of a terrorist crashing an airliner into one.
The Conservative government’s efforts to sell off Canada’s nuclear power agency secretly collapsed this week after the most likely buyer walked away from the negotiating table…
For one thing, AECL is not the commercial prize it may have been in its commercial heyday of building its famous Candu nuclear reactors around the world.The agency has not sold a reactor since the 1990s, and had none on its books when the Harper government decided to sell the whole thing. AECL's current refurbishment of reactors in Ontario and New Brunswick are both so far over budget and behind schedule that Canadian taxpayers are facing hundreds of millions of dollars in contract penalties.
Sources close to the failed negotiations with Bruce Power say no matter who finally ends up with AECL, the government will remain on the hook for the billions of dollars in outstanding liabilities for reactor refurbishments and nuclear waste disposal. Finally, AECL earned an international black eye from the roughly $600 million it wasted building two new medical-isotope reactors that don't work, and likely will never be put into operation.
Sources also told CBC News that behind the scenes, the Ontario government has been complicating any possible deal-making with onerous demands of its own.
Ontario’s dirty coal-fired electricity generation rose by 29% last year according to the Independent Electricity System Operator.
Ontario has more than sufficient coal-free generation capacity to shut down its dirty coal plants today, yet Ontario Power Generation (OPG) continues to operate its giant Nanticoke coal plant to export power to the United States.
Exporting dirty coal power may be good for OPG's bottom line, but it is not good for our health or our climate. According to Ontario Government calculations, OPG’s coal-fired electricity generation caused up to 158,000 asthma attacks last year. It also released harmful particulate matter, lead and mercury into our environment while pumping out thousands of tonnes of greenhouse gases.
Please send a letter to Premier Dalton McGuinty and ask him to tell OPG to stop exporting dirty coal-fired electricity to the U.S.
We are only weeks away from the 2011 federal budget and the federal government continues to give billions of dollars in tax breaks to the companies producing oil and gas in Canada. Analysis shows a total of $1.4 billion per year in federal tax breaks alone, with a disproportionate share going to dirty fuels such as the Alberta Tar Sands.
Read more here: http://www.climateactionnetwork.ca/e/news/2010/release/index.php?WEBYEP_DI=82
Ratepayers paid $52.8M in December to subsidize sales to Quebec, U.S.
Ontario's opposition Progressive Conservative Party would overhaul the province's feed-in tariff program for producers of renewable energy if it wins the October provincial election, a party leader said on Wednesday. "Going forward, absolutely, we would not be signing these contracts," Yakabuski said.
This is the startling finding of Auspoll's latest research, a poll of 1500 Australians' attitudes on energy generation. Australians were often divided along gender lines.
Wikileaks cables have revealed a disturbing development in the African uranium mining industry: abysmal safety and security standards in the mines, nuclear research centres, and border customs are enabling international companies to exploit the mines and smuggle dangerous radioactive material across continents.
Reaching Critical Will, a project of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, has compiled a list of nuclear weapon-related articles that have been released by Wikileaks. Articles cover topics such as the Non-Proliferation Treaty, nuclear disarmament, nuclear cooperation with India, the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, missile defense and more. To see Reaching Critical Will’s list, click here.
Russian nuclear officials have warned of another Chernobyl-style nuclear disaster at Iran's controversial Bushehr reactor because of the damage caused by the Stuxnet virus, according to the latest Western intelligence reports.
Farmers say high profile carbon sequestration experiment is a bubbling, dangerous failure. - By Andrew Nikiforuk
Canadian Parliament is all set to ratify in February the civil nuclear deal with India. Canadian High Commissioner Stewart G. Beck said the Nuclear Power Agreement (NCA) signed with India in June last year ending a 36-year-old freeze in civil nuclear cooperation is likely to be ratified by parliament in his country next month. Once in place, the agreement will allow India access to Canadian nuclear technology, equipment and fuel.
Thursday, January 20, 7 p.m.
Steelworkers Hall, 25 Cecil Street (East of Spadina, South of College), Toronto
Over 190 countries, developed and developing, met late 2010 at COP16 in Cancún to come up with an agreement to respond to the world climate crisis. Come and listen to the reports of Canadian experts who went there to protest or to witness the negotiations. Vigorous protests inside and outside the conference spoke for the world's peoples in our struggle for climate justice.
Co-organizers: Toronto Climate Campaign; Council of Canadians (Toronto Chapter); Toronto Bolivia Solidarity
Stop a $35 Billion Nuclear Handout: No More Blank Cheques for Ontario Power Generation and its Darlington Nuclear Station.
They contain postcards addressed to Premier McGuinty and the Leader of the Opposition Tim Hudak. Order FREE copies here. Give them to your friends, neighbours, local coffee shops, etc. Help get the word out that there are lower cost and safer ways to meet all our electricity needs without investing tens of billions of $$ in nuclear energy.
Ontario Clean Air Alliance
Tel: 416 926 1907 x 246
625 Church Street, #402
Toronto, ON M4Y 2G1
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