November 11, 2010
“Any technology needs to be evaluated in terms of long-term sustainability. Nuclear is the most totalitarian kind of energy because you are making decisions for people who have not been consulted – people who are not yet born.” - Alternative Nobel Prize winner Raul Montenegro
“We have lost faith in the government until they prove that their politics is for the people and not for the corporations.” - NGO chief Kersin Rudek
After a year-long process to sell AECL, the government has failed to attract any international bidders who could bring financial heft and global marketing clout to the company, which was once a global leader in reactor sales but is now relegated to the sidelines.
The Harper government has been critical of AECL for many years due to its frequent taxpayer-financed cost overruns, its inability to sell reactors and its troubles at the Chalk River nuclear research laboratories.
Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty warned Ottawa back in June that its effort to sell Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. could scuttle a provincial proposal to buy new reactors from the company, a deal that would boost the long-term value of the federally owned corporation.
The Harper government is eager to rid itself of the financial problems of AECL, which has lost $493-million in the past two years. The government has allocated some $1.6-billion to the company over that period, including $446-million to cover cost overruns at its Candu refurbishment projects in New Brunswick, Ontario and South Korea, and $228-million for development of the ACR1000 reactor.
Without the financial backing of the federal government, it is unlikely AECL and Ontario can reach an agreement on new advanced Candu reactors. Instead, the province is now considering buying an enhanced version of the older model Candu 6, which carries less development risk, though AECL boasts the advanced Candu would be more cost effective over the long term.
Action: With the click of a button, please send Premier McGuinty an email telling him that taxpayers and consumers should not pay for any nuclear cost overruns. Fixed-price bids should be required. Invest in lower cost and lower risk options. http://www.cleanairalliance.org/letter_to_dalton2
1000 injured in nuclear protests, police at breaking point
More than 50,000 people from all parts of the country and all walks of life attended a rally on a field close to Dannenberg. Thousands then marched through the autumn woods, splitting into small groups to descend into the valley, break through police lines to chain themselves to the rails or remove gravel from the tracks to delay the train. According to Spiegel, 7000 people alone took part in the road and railway blockades along with 17,000 police officers from France, Croatia and Poland who joined in the biggest security operation ever mounted against protestors against the a train carrying nuclear waste to a depot in an isolated part of Lower Saxony’s countryside. At great personal risk, tens of thousands of people gave an example of courageous and peaceful non-violent resistance that will surely go down in history.
Greenpeace has staged protests against a nuclear waste convoy which it claimed was “the most radioactive shipment in history” amounting to the radioactive equivalent of 11 Chernobyl disasters.
Sun, wind, hydro and geothermal energy are natural sources accessible to everyone all over the world without making any difference. And they are renewable, free and available in the long run. Only the widespread knowledge about the possibilities of renewable energy can ignite an international movement and take the absolutely necessary energy transition.
Watch the 8 minute trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=15S-Pz3s3Rg
``What is clear is that, as of today, Bruce Power is getting money from people who are paying for power as a way of cushioning the impact of cost (overruns)'' said Tabuns.
Shawn-Patrick Stensil of Greenpeace Canada explains: ``We know that nuclear costs are going up, as we've seen with Bruce A, but we also know that green energy costs are doing down over time,'' said Stensil. ``So commitments to lock into these large nuclear projects today, just as we did with Darlington in 1974, could lock us into higher electricity prices for decades.''
Darlington was supposed to cost $3.9 billion but ended up costing more than three times that amount, $14.4 billion, and is largely responsible for the 'stranded debt retirement' charge still levied on electricity bills. The industry vowed in 2005 that it had tackled the delays and cost overrun problems with nuclear projects, but the Bruce refurbishment is proof that's not true, added Stensil. ``It would be cheaper to use a portfolio of green energy options than new reactors at Darlington, but both Hudak and McGuinty refuse to look at that option.''
Members of Northwatch and affiliated groups from across the province spent Sunday sharing information and forming strategies to counter nuclear industry plans to expand production and bury its waste. Shawn-Patrick Stensil, of Greenpeace Canada, told about two dozen people taking part that the nuclear industry's survival plan will effectively put a cap on how much green energy can be integrated into the grid in the future. Brennain Lloyd, of Northwatch, gave an overview of the industry's strategy to bury the high level waste from generating stations deep into the ground. “The technical case (for a deep underground storage system) has not been made," she said. Lloyd said an informed community "will decide not to bring this into their territory” and Northwatch suggests that the sooner they say no, the sooner the industry will focus on ways of managing waste closer to where it is created.
Vermont has elected a governor pledged to make the state truly green by shutting its decrepit, leaking nuclear plant. And the town closest to that reactor has voted to take it by eminent domain if necessary, a step unprecedented in world history. In reaction, the nuke's owner (Entergy) has turned tail and put the plant up for sale. (So far, no bidders).
In direct opposition, this post-election week has been marked by radioactive crowing from a dark age industry demanding massive government loan guarantees from "free market" Congressional Republicans. Armed with oceans of unaccountable corporate/billionaire cash, Karl Rove's new nuclear GOP wants to dump Adam Smith and pump public billions into a failed industry that cannot compete. The industry continually points to France's industry as a model. But it's mute to the fact that France's leaky, error-prone nukes are owned, operated and regulated (sort of) by the French government. A national socialist prototype, the EDF/Areva edifice---like its counterpart in Japan---would melt and die in an open market.
The International Energy Agency wants to wean the world off fossil-fuel subsidies that it says artificially inflate global energy demand. The agency is urging Group of 20 nations to slash their estimated $312-billion (U.S.) in annual support. It is estimated, however, that support for renewable energy is only about 60 per cent of the amount provided to fossil-fuel producers. In Canada, the federal government provides roughly $1.4-billion in tax breaks and support for R&D to the oil industry, while three provinces - Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Newfoundland and Labrador - account for roughly the same amount, said the International Institute for Sustainable Development in a report released last week.
Dirty Business reveals the true social and environmental costs of coal power and tells the stories of innovators who are pointing the way to an alternative energy future. The film examines what it means to remain dependent on a 19th century technology that is the largest single source of greenhouse gases. Can coal really be made clean? Can renewables and efficiency be produced on a scale large enough to replace coal?
Watch the 3 min. trailer here: http://www.dirtybusinessthefilm.com/dirty-business-trailer
Just last week, the Windsor economic development agency said up to one in 10 of that battered city’s new jobs are in renewable energy. That’s up to 600 new jobs making new, clean energy. A couple of weeks ago, a second solar manufacturing plant was announced for Guelph. Almost 600 direct jobs will be created, with hundreds more in spinoffs. It’s no accident that just the week before, four more units of a polluting coal power station were shut. Other manufacturing plants have been announced in Windsor, London and Toronto. With each one that opens, the California-style constituency for renewable energy grows; it’s not just about clean air, it’s about pay cheques, too.
Across rural Ontario, we’re seeing an economic rejuvenation thanks to clean energy. Farm families have already begun to receive cheques thanks to the solar panels and windmills they’ve installed. Over the next three years, the province will see 10 times as many solar panels installed than existed across the whole country at the end of 2009. These will come through the 15,000 rooftops and fields due for solar power — pumping more than 1,000 megawatts into our electricity grid. Enough power for a million homes. Consider this: the world’s largest solar farm is in Ontario. It pumps in 80 megawatts into the grid, and employed 800 people to build it.
Then there’s wind. In about a year, contracts have been awarded for more than 1,500 megawatts of wind capacity. That’s 650 windmills about to go up, each one employing someone, each one generating clean energy to replace coal.
Port Hope is sitting on a carcinogenic time bomb that residents can only escape by moving out of town, a renowned doctor and anti-nuclear activist warns. Historic low-level radioactive waste buried in parks, ravines, streets, industrial sites, the harbour and hundreds of backyards poses a “life or death” threat and can’t be safely remediated, according to Dr. Helen Caldicott. Digging out more than 1.2 million cubic metres of soil, enough to fill 500 Olympic-size pools, will take a decade and cost at least $260 million. The final scope and price tag are unknown.
Tues. Nov. 16, 7:30 pm
St. Mark’s Parrish Hall, 51 King St, Port Hope, Ontario
Tickets: $15 Adults, free for students with student card
Order tickets here: ph. (950) 885 1572
Dr. Caldicott is founder of Physicians for Social Responsibility and a nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize. For 30 years she has educated the public about the medical hazards of the nuclear age.
Eric Fawcett Dinner and Forum
Sunday 14 November, 1:30 - 4:00 PM, Toronto
Forum One: International Law & Institutions: Building Peace & Security
Forum Two: Towards an Arctic Nuclear Weapons Free Zone
For more info: http://www.scienceforpeace.ca/eric-fawcett-dinner-and-forum
The Ontario Sustainable Energy Association is hosting its 2nd annual Community Power Conference 2010 this November 15-16 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.
Do not miss the Community Power sector's premier event of the year. http://cpconference.ca/
95 min. documentary film, USA
Thursday November 18th, 7:30 PM
National Film Board Cinema, 150 John Street, Toronto
PWYC at the door (suggested donation $5)
Amnesty International Toronto celebrates its fifth annual Reel Awareness Film Festival with four days of some of the best human rights documentary and feature films shown around the world.
See film description here: http://www.aito.ca/reelawareness/films/climate_refugees/index.html
See full festival program here: http://www.aito.ca/reelawareness/index.html
Order FREE anti-nuke and anti-coal postcards/leaflets to distribute to your friends and neighbours! http://www.cleanairalliance.org/get_involved_order_pamphlets
And watch the 11 minute video with Jack Gibbons, Ontario Clean Air Alliance on how the proposed Darlington nuclear re-build will drive up electricity bills http://www.cleanairalliance.org/
Ontario Clean Air Alliance
Tel: 416 926 1907 x 246
625 Church Street, #402
Toronto, ON M4Y 2G1
Our Facebook Group
Sign Our Petition
No Nukes News