Some environmental groups argue that increased instances of surplus baseload against a backdrop of falling demand call into question the need for new nuclear generation in Ontario.
Next month's deadline for selecting the company to build Ontario's new nuclear reactors will likely be delayed, admits Energy Minister George Smitherman.
Smitherman said AECL's problems with its aging NRU reactor in Chalk River, which could be out of service for months, wreaking havoc on the world supply of isotopes used in medical imaging, would have no impact on Ontario's eventual decision.
An Ontario environmental alliance is floating the proposed Lower Churchill Falls hydroelectric project as a better alternative to nuclear power in that province.
The development of the Lower Churchill Falls project in Labrador and hydroelectricity imports from Quebec can replace Ontario's aging nuclear reactors, according to a report released by the Ontario Clean Air Alliance.
'Distributed power' to save Earth
Economist Jeremy Rifkin galvanised the Research Connections 2009 conference in Prague with a roadmap to simultaneously solve the economic and energy crises.
He proposed a pan-European strategy of small-scale energy generation and smart energy grids that make everyone a partner in energy.
What is more, he said, the plan would create millions of jobs and foster investment that would see the end of the current economic crisis.
Mr Rifkin leads a roundtable of 100 top CEOs and government officials who have subscribed to the plan.
Members of the Green Energy Act Alliance, a coalition of leading environmental groups, industry associations, farmers and labour groups, were at Queen's Park today to congratulate the Liberals and NDP on the adoption of the Green Energy and Economy Act. The Act outlines an ambitious and globally significant strategy to improve conservation, increase renewable energy generation and create green jobs.
By Peter Tabuns, NOW Magazine
If we want to encourage people to generate more green energy, we need to guarantee they will have markets to sell it. Just like Germany and Denmark, two of the world’s green energy leaders, already do. Local companies want Ontario to as well.
The government has other ideas, which threaten to undermine the good intentions behind the proposed law. Simply put, instead of guaranteeing markets for renewable energy like wind or solar, McGuinty is guaranteeing the nuclear industry at half or more of Ontario’s electricity market. And when the nuclear power plants generate more power than the system can use we pay customers to take it.
The Globe And Mail
Friday, May 15, 2009
The Ontario government has selected Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. as the leading bidder to build the province's first new reactors in a generation, but wants assurances Ottawa will share the risks on the multibillion-dollar project, sources say.
A key issue is how much risk the federal government would assume for any cost overruns. The province wants a company to design and build reactors on a so-called turnkey, fixed-price basis in the hopes of avoiding the mistakes associated with previous projects, which saddled Ontarians with $12-billion in debts.
The new reactors are part of the Ontario government's plan to spend $26- billion expanding and refurbishing its fleet of reactors to help meet the province's electricity needs over the next two decades. But such projects can be politically risky because costs for raw materials and labour are rising.
George Smitherman, the province's Deputy Premier in charge of infrastructure, "had sticker shock at all the bids," a source said.
Sources say Ontario wants Ottawa to provide financial support and backing for AECL's price guarantees. At the same time, Queen's Park has long worried about Ottawa's commitment to AECL - the federal government is mulling either selling a majority or minority interest in the company. But AECL's future is intrinsically linked to Ontario, because its value will depend on whether it can sell reactors in its home province.
Energy [R]evolution is a groundbreaking report that shows how Canada can cut global warming pollution to the levels needed to prevent the worst effects of global warming while also meeting the energy needs of a growing world and phasing out nuclear power.
Greenpeace and the European Renewable Energy Council commissioned the report from the German Aerospace Center.
Download the document: http://www.greenpeace.org/raw/content/canada/en/documents-and-links/publications/energy-revolution-report-2009.pdf
The Ontario Power Authority masterminds the planning of the electricity system for the Ontario government, but the chairman of its board of directors is excusing himself from discussions over nuclear power because he might be perceived as having conflicts of interest.
The OPA chairman, John Beck, also heads Toronto-based Aecon Group Inc., one of the country's largest construction companies.
Sierra Club Canada is urging Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) to refrain from dumping radioactive water into the Ottawa River, following another leak of tritium from the NRU reactor at Chalk River.
The NRU reactor was shut down following a power failure on May 14. According to AECL, the reactor is now leaking heavy water at a rate of 5 kilograms per hour, and releasing radioactive tritium into the air. AECL has not disclosed details about how much tritium is being released into the atmosphere and the Ottawa River. However, it has revealed that the tritium releases exceeded action levels.