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NUCLEAR POWER: SHOULD SASKATCHEWAN GO FOR IT?

Posted by strattof on May 19, 2008

NUCLEAR POWER

SHOULD SASKATCHEWAN GO FOR IT?

 

The Saskatchewan government has been speaking openly about the possibility of a nuclear reactor in Saskatchewan, saying nuclear power development will help us to:

 

  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  • Meet rising demands for electricity
  • Enhance employment and investment opportunities

 

Here are 8 reasons why it is not a good idea to build a nuclear reactor in Saskatchewan: 

 

1.         Nuclear produces greenhouse gases. The nuclear industry is very energy-intensive, using massive fossil fuels—from mining, refining, and enriching uranium, to transporting and storing nuclear wastes.

 

2.         The bulk of the electricity that would be generated by the proposed plant would either be sold to the United States or used in tar sands oil production in Alberta and Saskatchewan. Tar sands oil is one of the dirtiest sources of energy in the world, creating 5 times more greenhouse gas emissions than conventional oil. 

 

3.         Nuclear is a cancer industry. Reactors spread radioactivity in the earth’s air, soil, and water.

 

4.         There is no safe place for nuclear power development. Lake Diefenbaker, one of the sites proposed for the Saskatchewan reactor, is the source of drinking water for about 40% of the province, including Regina. In Port Hope, Ontario, where Cameco owns and operates a uranium refining plant, a 2007 study shows long-term uranium contamination in the bodies both of residents and former nuclear industry workers. The plume of radioactive fallout from the 1986 Chernobyl accident drifted as far as western and northern Europe and eastern North America.

 

5.         Nuclear power has the potential for catastrophic accidents. No insurance company in the world will insure against radioactive contamination of persons or property brought about by a nuclear accident.

 

6.         Nuclear reactors produce ever-accumulating radioactive wastes as spent fuel that will have to be managed for millennia. No safe and secure system of storing nuclear wastes in perpetuity has been created.

 

7.         Nuclear power does not make economic sense. A nuclear power plant is several times costlier to build than other types of power plants. No nuclear plant has ever been built without millions of dollars in government subsidies.

 

8.         Nuclear energy is not practical. Uranium, like oil, is a non-renewable resource. If nuclear power could replace all coal presently used for generating electricity, we would run out of accessible uranium in less than a decade. Thus developing nuclear power just postpones the inevitable. The real need is to develop energy conservation measures and renewable sources of energy, such as wind, solar, and geothermal power.

 

Sources: The Leader Post; Globe and Mail; Helen Caldicott, Nuclear Power is not the Answer, Jim Harding, Canada’s Deadly Secret.

Voice your views about the development of nuclear power in Saskatchewan. Contact

Premier Brad Wall: 787-9433; premier@gov.sk.ca

Energy and Resources Minister Bill Boyd: 787-9124; minister.ER@gov.sk.ca

Minister of the Environment Nancy Heppner: 787-0393; minister.env@gov.sk.ca

To sign an online non-nuclear petition, go to http://www.PetitionOnline.com/nonuc1sk/petition.html

The petition will eventually be forwarded to the Saskatchewan Legislative Assembly.

 

 

The petition will eventually be forwarded to the Saskatchewan Legislative Assembly.

   

 

 

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