March 19, 2010
Nuclear power grew out of the nuclear weapons program, and the nuclear fuel cycle still produces the elements — uranium and plutonium — which can be used to make nuclear weapons or radioactive “dirty bombs”. The nuclear industry argues that any nation or terrorist does not need a nuclear power plant to make a bomb, they just need uranium enrichment. This is true. However, the only “legitimate” reason to enrich uranium is to use it in a nuclear power plant. The continued promotion and sale worldwide of “civilian” nuclear reactors thus gives nations the excuse to operate uranium enrichment programs, as we have seen in Iran. - Craig Severance
New nuclear power likely cannot succeed as a business proposal and thus would require massive government support. This begs the question however — should not Due Diligence also be applied to the proper use of taxpayer monies? If so much is at stake for the U.S. and the world, should the U.S. really be leading the way in throwing taxpayer monies at an industry without asking the right questions
Op Ed by Jack Gibbons, OCAA
Ontario now has a very comfortable surplus of coal-free electricity generation capacity. The upshot is that we can put our four remaining coal plants on standby reserve today without jeopardizing the reliability of our electricity system. A decision to idle these plants would result in a virtual end to their emissions that destabilize our climate and pollute our air.
Order your FREE leaflets now. Get your friends and colleagues to send these postcards to Ontario’s Premier McGuinty asking him to shut down our existing 4 coal plants before the G20 this summer.
Read and order our new leaflet here: http://www.cleanairalliance.org/get_involved_order_pamphlets
Also, please email Minister Duguid and ask him to phase-out coal before the G20 Summit; firstname.lastname@example.org
How do jurisdictions with more expensive electricity cope? It's simple: they use less of it. That's the remarkable thing about higher prices. It's an efficient way to squeeze waste out of the system.
…the Vermont Yankee situation demonstrates that from the mining of uranium ore to the storage of radioactive waste, nuclear reactors remain as dirty, risky, and as costly as they ever were
Canada's climate researchers are being muzzled, their funding slashed, research stations closed, findings ignored and advice on the critical issue of the century unsought by Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government, according to a 40-page report by a coalition of 60 non-governmental organisations.
Nuclear war of any kind would devastate the Earth's environment and cause incredible cooling in surface temperatures. Yet these climatic consequences are never considered by the nuclear weapon states when they are formulating their nuclear doctrines.
Charles S. Faddis is the former head of the CIA's unit focused on fighting terrorism involving weapons of mass destruction.
The stakes here are enormous. A team of terrorists, which was able to seize control of a nuclear power plant, could cause it to melt down with relatively basic knowledge of the plant's operation.
The Indian government withdrew the introduction of a bill that seeks to limit the liabilities of companies setting up nuclear power plants in the country. India's opposition parties say the bill was being pushed through because of U.S. pressure, that it does not protect Indian citizens in case of a nuclear disaster and that most of the burden for any cleanup falls on taxpayers.
Editor’s note: Sound familiar? This is the same story in every country that has nuclear power – nuclear companies are protected while taxpayers take on the liability risks, not to mention health and environmental risks.
Taxpayers will assume 100 percent of the risk of the expansion of Plant Vogtle
Nuclear power cannot be financially viable without taxpayer support, which includes not only federal loan guarantees but also risk insurance and production tax credits that manipulate the cost of nuclear generated energy.
The shareholders won’t have to worry though, because the state legislature has ensured that all of Georgia Power’s customers will pay any “prudent” construction costs for the construction of Plant Vogtle. The surcharges will appear on most customers’ monthly bills starting in January 2011.
Editor’s note: Sound familiar? Ontarians are still paying the stranded debt of our reactors built in the 70’s and 80’s - $150 per person per year, and we will be for yet another decade.
Ottawa's wrong to cut back on research spending
The United States outspends Canada on renewable energy by a per-capita ratio of 14 to 1, a gap that is expected to widen to as much as 17.8 to 1 under the Harper government's new budget, the Pembina Institute estimates.
Arctic and nuclear weapon states need to work together to rid the Arctic region of nuclear weapons, finds a new report by security analysts Michael Wallace and Steven Staples. “Cold War–era nuclear weapon policies and practices in the Arctic, such as nuclear submarine patrols and over-flights by bombers, pose an environmental risk to the region, and an unnecessary security threat to the international community,” said Steven Staples, President of the Rideau Institute.
The Ottawa Citizen, Editorial
But sometimes we forget the little things that our grandparents knew: The cheapest energy is the kind you never have to generate.
Local power utilities in Germany have formed an anti-nuclear power alliance saying that planned longer running times for nukes are endangering their plans to invest billions in climate-friendly green energies.
The local utilities are pressuring the federal government to either drop the nuclear extension or shut down coal burning stations instead.
The Toronto Renewable Energy Coop (TREC) has recently launched their ‘Our Power’ program to help residential homeowners with the assessment and purchase of PV solar panels for their rooftops. With Ontario’s new microFIT program in place, homeowners can get paid to generate renewable electricity on their roofs; directly offsetting fossil-fuelled power generation.
Find out how much you can make and how many tons of GHGs you will offset. Membership is free and your site assessment is only $25. Sign-up today at www.ourpower.ca
A talk by author, journalist and educator Richard Heinberg.
Mon. Mar. 22
6:30 pm Primer and overview of Peak Oil issues by members of Post Carbon Toronto
7:00 pm Richard Heinberg
Trinity St. Paul’s United Church, 427 Bloor (West of Spadina)
Richard Heinberg is widely regarded as one of the world’s most effective communicators of the urgent need to transition away from fossil fuels. With a wry, unflinching approach based on facts and realism, Mr. Heinberg exposes the tenuousness of our current way of life and offers a vision for a truly sustainable future.
For more info: http://www.meetup.com/PostCarbonTorontoMeetup/calendar/12703066/#comments
A 2-day Retreat in Toronto - April 16-17, 2010
Register now: http://ucalgary.ca/oikos/retreat/Toronto