Friday, December 21, 2007
Renewable is doable
The Ontario provincial government is planning to spend $46 billion on nuclear energy over the next twenty years, even though it has been shown that all of Ontario's energy needs can be met without coal and without nuclear power: see Renewable is Doable.
"Saying we need nuclear plants to meet base load demand in Ontario is like saying you need a mainframe computer to access the internet, It may have been the case in the past, but countries around the world are showing that the next generation energy system is more diverse, greener and a lot more flexible." - from Renewable is Doable report.
Caption: charts which illustrates that the green energy plan, proposed by WWF and Pembina, is less costly and pollutes less than the coal-phase and nuclear plan advocated by the province. Click on charts to enlarge or go to source site.
Caption: Three different scenarios in the Renewable is Doable plan - Ontario Power Authority (OPA) plan, which keeps coal until 2014 and introduces nuclear energy, and "soft green" and "deep green" alternatives, both of which supply Ontario's energy needs at less cost than the OPA plan and with fewer emissions.
Advocates of nuclear energy say that another Chernobyl won't happen. But there is a risk that it could. The Darlington and Bruce power plants are a CANDU design. In 1993Greenpeace issued a report Nuclear design flaw could lead to CANDU core meltdown. For additional articles which cast substantial doubt on the safety and viability of Ontario's nuclear energy industry see Energy Probe on nuclear power.
Here is the critical question: if there is a risk that the CANDU reactors could become unstable, is it not better to decommission them (shut them down)?
A further problem is that the nuclear waste lasts for 25,000 years! These advocates will not be able ensure that the waste does not contaminate future generations or be used for nuclear weapons. Canada cannot even limit the use of CANDU reactors for nefarious purposes right now! Do the benefits of nuclear energy justify the risks? See the photos below and ask yourself it is possible to put a cost on this suffering.
To see the effects of radioactive contamination, see this video: Slideshow of photos from Chernobyl and these photos: Pictures from Chernobyl
Students Against Climate Change is sending all of these photos to every Member of Provincial Parliament, along with the Greenpeace report and an essay by Prof. Larry Schmidt on the ethics of nuclear energy and the WWF report showing that 100% renewable energy is possible in Ontario and that it can supply the "base load" for this province's energy needs. If the MPPs are people of integrity they will oppose nuclear energy as irrepsonsible.
Why, you ask, did Ontario endorse nuclear energy? Their consultants all come from the nuclear energy sector.
Caption: BELARUS. Minsk. Children’s Home No 1. This hospital receives many of the most deformed babies soon after birth. Nurse Alla Komarova hugs 3-year-old Yulya, whose brain is in a membrane in the back of his head. Paul Fusco / Magnum Photos
To help contact: Canadian Aid for Chernobyl
And to prevent this in Ontario contact your MPP.
William Lawless, whistleblower extraordinnaire - effectively shut down the radioactive waste containment industry in the U.S. when he revealed that the waste was leaking. To this day, the nuclear industry has still not developed a safe method of storing nuclear waste (and probably never will because the half-life of the waste exceed the capacity of any material to store it). Acts of personal courage against the evils of the military-industrial complex, should be honoured.