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Nuclear Energy

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janfromthebruce
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Joined: Apr 24 2007

The last bit is because lots of other people obviously don't mind going camping beside a nuclear plant. I didn't say anything about building more nuclear plants but to assert that all nuclear is bad, and the misrepresentation that all nuclear can make bombs is also a distortion of the facts.

Like I said, i don't see it as a mess as one asserts here. And I also know that the mismanagement was done on purpose to sell it to corporation cheap which was the Harris way. It's managed well and workers actually appreciate it out of govt hands do to the political nature of nuclear energy.

And it's much better to have good working relations with the company which also puts safety first than crappy relations - can't have it both ways!

So i will repeat, I would preferred a mixed energy system, without industrial wind turbines but small co-generated wind and solar so communities are not divided. No system is perfect and personally people need to visulize what their energy system will actually look like rather than a romantic version. So to replace nuclear energy, Ontario would have to build turbine windmills, all along the lake shore of Huron, 10 miles deep. Now that doesn't interest me but for those who want that, I think it should be put all along the shoreline of lake Ontario, 10 miles deep. For the cause of course!


Boom Boom
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Joined: Dec 29 2004

I've posted this group before a couple of years ago, and it's quite active (it's a Facebook group):

Sept-Îles Sans URANIUM

excerpt:

Sept-Îles sans URANIUM est un groupe de citoyens qui s'opposent à l'exploration et à l'exploitation de mines d'uranium au Québec.

Nous demandons un moratoire, sur l'exploration, l'exploitation de mines d'uranium et la fermeture de la centrale nucléaire Gentilly 2.

 Our NDP MP Jonathan Genest-Jourdain is a member. Cool

(I'm an early member of the group, but I left when it went inactive a while ago; just rejoined recently)


6079_Smith_W
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Joined: Jun 10 2010

I guess we're going to see pretty soon what will happen. 

Japan just shut down the last of its 50 reactors today for maintenance:

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia-pacific/2012/05/20125563044129587.html

It is the first time since the 1970s that Japan has been without nuclear power.

Also, I haven't seen any major news coverage, nor even an opinion in a scientific journal on this (so I am not sure of the validity of the claim), but Japan's former ambassador to Switzerland says the Fukushima 4 reactor, which has 11,000 cooling rods stored in it, is the greatest threat to life on earth:

http://akiomatsumura.com/2012/04/682.html


Fidel
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Joined: Apr 29 2004

janfromthebruce wrote:
I believe we should always have a mix and never rely on one. Living in the industrial wind turbine area of Ontario, I can say that the cost of producing a gig of wind in comparison to procuding a gig of nuclear actually completely contradicts your "belief of cost" associated with production.

If nuclear power was profitable, then private enterprise would not be going caps in hand to government looking for subsidies from taxpayers. Nuclear power is expensive and dangerous and not as clean as pro nuclear advocates admit.

The Star wrote:
But there's more to it than critics of renewable energy would you have you believe: new data helps to clarify how prices are linked more to nuclear power than clean energy programs.

While Germany and a host of other countries are moving away from nuclear power, our two old line parties in Ontario are stuck in the 1950's with plans to maintain and expand nuclear power.


autoworker
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Joined: Dec 21 2008

One of the objections to Charest's 'Plan Nord' is a proposed uranium mine that threatens to contaminate the Innu. There is much resistance to Quebec's imperialist project.


janfromthebruce
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Joined: Apr 24 2007

Fidel wrote:

janfromthebruce wrote:
I believe we should always have a mix and never rely on one. Living in the industrial wind turbine area of Ontario, I can say that the cost of producing a gig of wind in comparison to procuding a gig of nuclear actually completely contradicts your "belief of cost" associated with production.

If nuclear power was profitable, then private enterprise would not be going caps in hand to government looking for subsidies from taxpayers. Nuclear power is expensive and dangerous and not as clean as pro nuclear advocates admit.

The Star wrote:
But there's more to it than critics of renewable energy would you have you believe: new data helps to clarify how prices are linked more to nuclear power than clean energy programs.

While Germany and a host of other countries are moving away from nuclear power, our two old line parties in Ontario are stuck in the 1950's with plans to maintain and expand nuclear power.

Fidel, Bruce Power gets 8 cents per kilowatt hour and wind gets 80 cents per kilowatt hour - so who is the taxpayer subsidizing? And Bruce Power is making money hand over fist and no cap in hand.


Boom Boom
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Joined: Dec 29 2004
Taxpayers have been the financial backers for every reactor built in Canada.

6079_Smith_W
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Joined: Jun 10 2010

Did you read the article I posted upthread? 

Here it is again:

http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/CanadaAM/20090602/raitt_documents_090602/


Fidel
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Joined: Apr 29 2004

Pembina: The monetary costs of nuclear

Cherise Burda wrote:
Nuclear is in fact among the most expensive energy sources in Ontario. ...

What's important to keep in mind is that the estimate for nuclear assumes the reactors are built on time and on budget - something that has never happened in Ontario. In fact, our hydro bills still include an expense line item for the stranded debt for over-budget nuclear reactors built over three decades ago.

Howard Hampton said the same thing about cost overruns in his book, Public Power: The Fight for Publicly Owned Electricity.

And with regard to power generation and distribution in general, Hampton says that the history of public and private power in Ontario shows that publicly owned electricity has been the cheapest on average. Hampton does say that it matters less who owns the power but that publicly-owned power projects produce the least expensive power. The real problem is neoliberal deregulation, which has proven disasterous in a number of U.S. states including California. Deregulation hasn't worked to deliver cheaper power in Ontario or anywhere else in Canada. Their market ideology in power generation and distribution is a failed experiment, and it's an expensive mistake for governments and voters to want to avoid making again.

And I think Hampton has since said that general rule applies to green power projects subsidized by taxpayers as well. The private sector, whether based in Canada or the U.S., has a history of not fulfilling contractual obligations to the province leading to cost overruns and delays.

I think that nuclear power is perhaps a good alternative power source for the future when scientists can figure out a way to complete the nuclear fuel cycle and squeeze more power from uranium leaving less radioactive waste to have to deal with. But with US defunding of basic r&d into nuclear power physics since the post-Reagan era, and a lack of research in general in western countries, the world is about 30 years behind the nuclear eight ball so to speak. Reagan might have been a hawk and a warmonger, but apparently his administration understood the need to invest in nuclear power physics. 

Perhaps the European research in Switzerland will produce new scientific insight into power physics and be a game changer for humanity within our lifetimes. Who knows?

One of the most urgent themes Hampton expresses is that environmentalists and scientists have said that we must learn to live where nature can support us. The future is renewable energy and micro power generation. If we start now we could halve our reliance on nuclear within 20 years or so. But we need to decide to take that road. Money spent on folly only delays the future.


autoworker
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Joined: Dec 21 2008

Not to worry: When Earth is no longer inhabitable, the 1% will have already moved to another planet. It's all good!


Fidel
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Joined: Apr 29 2004

I think they are even further behind on space exploration. Neoliberals have been so busy salting away profits from the world's natural wealth that now even the one percent are imprisoned on the same planet they've busied themselves with destroying.


janfromthebruce
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Joined: Apr 24 2007

I agree Fidel in micro generation and that publically owned and managed power is cheaper. I believe that every developing energy source costs taxpayer money and subsidized. Thus, nuclear was subsidized and so is wind and solar, big time. And it is why nuclear is cheaper cost right now and others are not.

But the others are not publically owned, unlike how nuclear was and hence taxpayers are being soaked and why your hydro bill is now going through the roof. Remember that nuclear is not blowing carbon all over the place, unlike natural gas or oil. And remember that both wind and solar are intermittent and thus need permenant backup - and that my friends is natural gas and all it's water poisoning fracking process.

I still believe in a mixed system.


Fidel
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Joined: Apr 29 2004

Thanks Jan. I think a mixed system is what we need, too. We can't just shutdown nuclear power and expect to replace it overnight.

I thought Hampton made a lot of sense in his book. He gave a lot of credit to Amory Lovins for aiding Rae's government in planning for the future. Ontario was the first province with a plan to deal with greenhouse gas emissions by the mid 1990s. I think Lovins' negawatts concept is an important one. 

 


janfromthebruce
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Joined: Apr 24 2007

I also thought Hampton made a lot of sense too but how Rae dealt with the nuclear issue was less than ideal, and particularly during the worse recession since the depression (we've had a few since). It's good to have a discussion without it becoming personal with name calling. I always appreciate that with you Fidel.


Fidel
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Joined: Apr 29 2004

Name calling? Me? I don't know why you might expect such juvenile behaviour from yer's truly. Innocent

I think the bills for Darlington came due and payable for Ontario by the time Rae's government was elected. It was another expense the NDP didn't need at the time. They never supported nuclear - it's always been the other two parties.


NDPP
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Joined: Dec 27 2008

Don't Nuke TO: Nuclear Facades: A Trip to Darlington

http://www.dontnuketo.org

"Now Ontario is pushing to build two new reactors in Darlington in a project that will cost us more than $30 B dollars.."


quizzical
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Joined: Dec 8 2011

janfromthebruce wrote:
It's good to have a discussion without it becoming personal with name calling. I always appreciate that with you Fidel.

as an avid participant in this thread this is a li'l concerning. are ya referring to another discussion here? 'cause i haven't seen any name calling in this one or i over-looked it. if it's this one could ya quote it? if not maybe it shouldna been brought into this one it  clouds the concerns and issues we have.


janfromthebruce
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Joined: Apr 24 2007

I prefer to stick to the topic at hand and that was a conversation between Fidel and I. I remember the situation at Darlington and it happened at a bad time.

I believe that any energy creation will cost lots of money and we do need a reliable system of energy. Sure wouldn't want to go back to the brown out days or when we ended up in the dark and without power for any length of time.


quizzical
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Joined: Dec 8 2011

maybe its my local but never have experienced brown outs. albiet without experience i think i would take brown outs before approving nuclear power here or close to me. there can be any types of 'bad times' that can happen anytime we are humans and prone to failure under any different number or types of conditions. there is no room for failure at  the nuclear power level and that's the prob.

if you prefer to stick to topic plz refrain from what could be considered unfounded smears of people posting in this thread.


janfromthebruce
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Joined: Apr 24 2007

Well quizzical, each to their own. Not sure where you live in Canada but I know there is a wide difference across Canada in terms of their main electrical energy source.

That was between Fidel and I and if one noted, Fidel didn't take it as a "smear" in anyway.

 


Boom Boom
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Joined: Dec 29 2004

Prof. Doug Brugge on the medical effects of uranium mining and how mining particularly harms Native peoples

excerpt:

Topics discussed in this episode include the health effects of radon, how uranium mining induces lung cancer, the cover-up of the harm caused to Native American uranium miners and their communities, the enlargement of uranium mining operations in Australia and elsewhere, and how Native peoples in many places, from India to Canada to North America and Australia, find themselves in harm’s way when their land is found to contain mineable uranium.


Fidel
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Joined: Apr 29 2004

janfromthebruce wrote:
I believe that any energy creation will cost lots of money and we do need a reliable system of energy. Sure wouldn't want to go back to the brown out days or when we ended up in the dark and without power for any length of time.
 

I know what you mean, Jan. I remember the brownouts. I remember following the Lewis Wheelan story in the news. What happened to young Lewis was two major tragedies in his short lifetime.

I think we live in a badly designed world. I think industries and government are looking at saving money and their bottom line. According to the experts like Lovins, their desire to cut costs should be driving their need to save energy. There is so much waste today. According to the experts, energy efficiency and conservation must be part of any future economic expansion. Manufacturing will become smarter and more efficient. High tech is the future. I think the future could be very promising. Children are the future, and they are depending on all of us to make the right choices. We shouldn't let them down.


Boom Boom
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Joined: Dec 29 2004

Rabble.ca: 'Barred' from Port Hope: An interview with Dr. Helen Caldicott

Q - What do you think of the nuclear industry in Canada?

As I read voraciously about Canada, I learned about its dark nuclear underbelly. I had no idea that it had provided the uranium for the bombs in America until 1957, including the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs, that Cameco is the biggest producer of uranium in the world... [uranium] that can go into the making of bombs now and in the future, in a very fragile world, as we can see with Egypt. Also, that the disease that will accrue from the radioactive waste leaking and contamination of food for the rest of time, will, over time, produce random compulsory genetic engineering, and epidemics of malignancies, particularly in children.

This is absolutely, purely, a medical issue. Port Hope epitomizes the whole nuclear fuel cycle from A to Z -- The refining of uranium all the way through to nuclear power to the production of radioactive waste to the production of nuclear weapons.

I thought it imperative that Canadians be taught about this because they seem to be fairly oblivious to what is going on. They're good people but they need to learn.


janfromthebruce
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Joined: Apr 24 2007

Fidel wrote:

janfromthebruce wrote:
I believe that any energy creation will cost lots of money and we do need a reliable system of energy. Sure wouldn't want to go back to the brown out days or when we ended up in the dark and without power for any length of time.
 

I know what you mean, Jan. I remember the brownouts. I remember following the Lewis Wheelan story in the news. What happened to young Lewis was two major tragedies in his short lifetime.

I think we live in a badly designed world. I think industries and government are looking at saving money and their bottom line. According to the experts like Lovins, their desire to cut costs should be driving their need to save energy. There is so much waste today. According to the experts, energy efficiency and conservation must be part of any future economic expansion. Manufacturing will become smarter and more efficient. High tech is the future. I think the future could be very promising. Children are the future, and they are depending on all of us to make the right choices. We shouldn't let them down.

absolutely agree with that. Brownouts and blackouts can indirectly cause death - stuck in an apt in a wheelchair on the 20th floor. And yes to energy efficiency and conservation go hand in hand.


quizzical
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Joined: Dec 8 2011

janfromthebruce wrote:
 absolutely agree with that. Brownouts and blackouts can indirectly cause death - stuck in an apt in a wheelchair on the 20th floor. And yes to energy efficiency and conservation go hand in hand.

see we can all agree about energy efficiency and conservation. it's a start.

happily i can't agree with comparisons to a handful of brown out deaths to the millions of dead-dying-will die-from the use of nuclear energy to appease our thirst for ever more power and a 'high quality" lifestyle.


MegB
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Joined: Nov 28 2001

Any form of energy generation is going to have a negative impact: wind power has some not entirely substantiated human impact, and most definitely kills birds and bats who feed on insects.  You can't go to Dufferin County (site of an increasingly massive wind energy effort) in the summer months and sit outside -- you'll be bitten within an inch of your life.  Solar is good, but not consistently reliable.  Neither wind nor solar is easily storable in anything longer-term than a giant capacitor.

Electric cars and bikes produce less fossil fuel effluent into the environment, but they rely on the grid. 

Nuclear energy, while safe when protocols are strictly adhered to (natural disaster aside) isn't regulated and inspected the way it should be.  People get sloppy, things go wrong. Staff cutbacks on both the technician side and the legislative side favour accident.  Ask anyone who lived in and worked for Pickering's nuclear community in the 80s. And then there's uranium mining.  It's private sector, it's regulated but very little enforcement is in place because of gov't staffing cutbacks, and even before that, the waste from the mining was an issue.  A huge issue.

So what do we do?  If we're going to play with fire, we'd better have a crew of firefighters on hand.  If we're going to use highly toxic and deadly elements for fuel, then we better have the people in place to ensure that the elements don't escape into the environment (nearly impossible).

It's a complex issue that deserves a complex analysis and solution, implemented by people who have the field staff and the budget to oversee.  We don't have that now.  We have conservation.  Don't use so much.  We have "green" energy, which isn't really green but is maybe the lesser of the evils.  Jury's out on that. 

It's all fixable and doable, but without the political will, we might as well be pissing in the wind.


janfromthebruce
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Joined: Apr 24 2007

yes to what Rebecca said, although I would suggest that the Bruce plant is run always with safety in mind. And it does require political will.


MegB
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Joined: Nov 28 2001

janfromthebruce wrote:

yes to what Rebecca said, although I would suggest that the Bruce plant is run always with safety in mind. And it does require political will.

All the plants are run with safety in mind -- it's the reality that concerns me.


janfromthebruce
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Joined: Apr 24 2007

well I belief that safety at the plant is utmost. They are always winning safety awards.


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