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Say No! To Nuclear Power

Writing4Fun
April 26th, 2006, 04:10 PM
Visit this website (http://www.cleanair.web.ca/cg/opaletter.html) to send a letter to Premier McGuinty telling him what you think of his plan to build more nuclear plants in Ontario.

chico2
April 26th, 2006, 04:56 PM
Well,coalplants have to go,I just wish we in Canada would get wind-mills like in most European countries,Sweden has no more nuclear plants.
McGuinty think's the windmills are ugly,but nuclear plants are not:confused:

Writing4Fun
April 26th, 2006, 05:01 PM
McGuinty thinks the windmills aren't "reliable". Well, d'uh! One windmill on Lakeshore Blvd. isn't the same as a whole wind farm! Personally, I think wind farms are very pretty. :) I've been wanting to get a wind generator and some solar panels for my house, but I have to save up for them. :( Have you seen the new Bullfrog (http://www.bullfrogpower.com/) energy company? They're not available in my area yet, but you can bet I'll sign up for them if/when they get here! :thumbs up

chico2
April 26th, 2006, 05:07 PM
Interesting read,I'll certainly look in to it...
Why is it that Canada and the US,seem to care so little about our environment and the future,is it all about $$$?

meb999
April 26th, 2006, 05:19 PM
McGuinty think's the windmills are ugly,but nuclear plants are not:confused:

I think they're pretty - -alot prettier then a nuclear plant...

Rick C
April 26th, 2006, 05:45 PM
Patrick Moore, one of the founders of Greenpeace, coincidentally was making the case in FAVOUR of nuclear power in the Washington Post a few days ago.

In the early 1970s when I helped found Greenpeace, I believed that nuclear energy was synonymous with nuclear holocaust, as did most of my compatriots. That's the conviction that inspired Greenpeace's first voyage up the spectacular rocky northwest coast to protest the testing of U.S. hydrogen bombs in Alaska's Aleutian Islands. Thirty years on, my views have changed, and the rest of the environmental movement needs to update its views, too, because nuclear energy may just be the energy source that can save our planet from another possible disaster: catastrophic climate change.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/04/14/AR2006041401209.html

He's right. Nuclear power has to be on the table again.

Rick C
www.goldentales.ca

Writing4Fun
April 26th, 2006, 05:55 PM
Sorry, but I have to respectfully disagree with both of you (Rick C and Mr. Moore, I mean). ;)

Nuclear waste has to be stored for thousands of years before it can be disposed of. Where, exactly, is all this waste supposed to be held? We don't even have room for our own household garbage anymore. And how do we know that it will, in fact, be safe throughout those thousands of years? How do we know what the true risk factors over those millennia really are?

Human error was the cause of the disaster that happened in Walkerton. That was "only" water treatment. I would not want to be around when human error was responsible for a nuclear meltdown. Sorry, it may be as clean as can be, but I still don't trust it. Humans will make mistakes, and the outcome of a mistake at a nuclear power plant is just something I'm not willing to gamble with. Especially when there are perfectly viable, natural, renewable, safer options that are being overlooked simply because they take a little more time and effort and money to implement. Wind power may not be the whole answer, but it can be a part of a broader solution.

Schwinn
April 26th, 2006, 10:14 PM
There is a wind farm on top of the mountain near Owen Sound. I saw it a couple of weeks ago. I thought it was cool, but it also kind of creeped me out. Don't know why...it was neat, though.

I always pictured the one downtown going too fast in a windstorm. Suddenly, Toronto is a couple of kms closer to Buffalo. I also thought it was a good solution to the pollution coming over from the states (they've found that the majority of the pollution that is causing air quality alert days is actually pollution blowing across the river). Just throw it in reverse, blow it back!

I personally don't have a problem with nuclear plants. They've been around more than 30 years, and, relative to thier numbers, have a good safety record. It's clean energy, and they have storage facilities to handle the waste. As well, they are currently researching a way to recycle the waste, find a use for it. It's been a while since I read the article, but it was promising. I'd also argue that coal generating plants have hurt a lot more people that nuclear ever has, and for nuclear to catch up, it would take several disasters.

I don't think nuclear is the ideal solution, but right now, it is the best we have. I, too, would prefer wind generation, but the amount that would be required to bring our energy generating up to our demand makes that solution prohibitive. Starting next month, we're going to see serious economic ramnifications of the shortfall on our bills, so we need solutions now.

One other problem I have with that site is where they give McGinty an A for his plan to shut down coal genertor plants. While I support that, his plan is nothing more than a PR move that doesn't make sense once you get into the meat of it (like most of the current provincial government moves...never mind what works, what looks good to the public?). For months we heard that our generation was near it's limit, and we'd be looking at rolling black-outs if there was any more demand placed on the system, and THEN he shuts down a plant...BEFORE we have any plan in place to replace it. So I guess my next question would be, how much damage is being done to the enviroment by the remaining coal plants being taxed further by increasing the demand of them? Yea, that deserves an A.

I, too, was going to look at either solar panels or wind genertion for my house, but like hybrid vehicles, until the savings justifies the cost so I can afford it, or I suddenly have a disposable income more than the occasional rental at Blockbuster, I'm afriad I won't be making any purchases any time soon.

wdawson
April 26th, 2006, 10:27 PM
schwinn........those are my thoughts also

jawert1
April 26th, 2006, 11:06 PM
I lived and went to college on the very cusp of the Pennsylvania coal region as well as Berwick Nuclear Power Plant. Let me tell you, the extremes are terrifying. On one hand you have this mountainous area that has been utterly ravaged by mining (both strip and deep mountain mines), and on the other, you have this nuclear plant sticking out like an eyesore on the very edge of the countryside. I've seen the horrors of what happens to entire regions dependent upon fossil fuels for their survival (and now have seen a movie loosely based on what happens when those mines catch fire - nice bit of fictional musing too) and have felt the terror of a small but well organized protest against the increased water pressure flow in a nuclear reactor rather than expanding the holes the nuclear rods went into. Thankfully PA does not have very high seismic activity, one level 6 earthquake would send the plant into meltdown and take with it all the surrounding communities. After having spent some time in the UK, especially Wales, where windfarms are especially common and the dependence on fossil fuels is decreasing, I am still in amazement at our idiocy and rejection of such a plentiful energy source (I'll refrain from a US political statement here). As Schwinn pointed out, until such natural options become more affordable, we're stuck. And here's the awful result of what happens (I wish I photoshopped that pic - it's real):
http://www.offroaders.com/album/centralia/centralia.htm

http://www.offroaders.com/album/centralia/images/centralia13.jpg

Rick C
April 26th, 2006, 11:56 PM
There are about 27 nuclear power plants under construction around the world with, I think, about 75 planned, being thought of, etc.

China is going towards nuclear power in a big way.

If I'm not mistaken, France is basically entirely powered by nuclear energy.

Strange as it may sound, natural gas and other energy costs to run the Athabasca Oil Sands are becoming so high that one company at least has contemplated nuclear energy.

And uranium stocks have gone through the roof . . . . . the first new uranium mine in something like 20 years just opened in Namibia about a month ago.

Like it or not, the economics of it indicate a developing trend. Nuclear is back in business.

Rick C
www.goldentales.ca

Prin
April 27th, 2006, 12:39 AM
Wind and water are not as "clean" as we think. To have hydro power, we have to block a river, causing serious flooding. On top of blocking migration routes of many animals, the plants and trees that end up under water suffocate and release mercury into the water, which the fish soak up, and then the Cree and others eat. Not great.

Windmills are put in areas where there usually were not forests before, and a lot of the studies suggest that this will have a HUGE impact on the world winds and will change the climate of places (move the rain and weather around among other things). (My step sister is researching the effects- maybe I should listen to what she says more... ;))

Anyway we get power, we interfere with nature.

IMO, they should find something to do with the waste of nuclear before expanding anything.

Schwinn
April 27th, 2006, 12:49 AM
The French actually currently reprocess the nuclear waste, essentially recycling it. In North America, it has, until now, been considered more economical to store it rather than reprocess it. The United States is considering looking at reprocessing as opposed to storing nuclear waste.

Rick C
April 27th, 2006, 12:38 PM
Double coincidentally, more on nuke power in the Washington Post today:

Another lure for companies looking at nuclear power: Companies that gambled on nuclear plants that no one wanted just five to seven years ago are making good profit on those plants now.

Take Constellation Energy Group, the parent of Baltimore Gas and Electric. Constellation took control of the Calvert Cliffs, Md., nuclear plant from BGE at a time when the value of the plant was thought to be a fraction of its book market value. That assessment was an important part of rate negotiations in 1999, and state officials and consumer groups balked at the chance to have a new assessment done in 2001, for fear that the nuclear plant would fail to get relicensed, be worth even less or require unforeseen repairs.

Nationwide the story is similar. The 103 U.S. nuclear plants run at around 90.5 percent of capacity, up from 56.3 percent in 1979, according to the Nuclear Energy Institute. They account for 20 percent of the nation's electricity. (Their output has kept pace with growing U.S. demand. So has coal-fired electricity, while hydropower hasn't kept pace and oil is rarely used.)

But taking over an existing plant is better business than building one from scratch, many say.

That has been less of a problem in other countries. There are more than 30 nuclear plants under construction around the world. China, which has nine plants, might build as many as 30 more over the next 15 years.

Countries with existing nuclear plants have done little to pare them back. France gets three-quarters of its electricity from its 56 nuclear plants and emits much lower quantities of greenhouse gases than the United States. Even Sweden, which planned to shut down all of its reactors after Chernobyl, has shut down only one. Russia hasn't needed any new plants; its economy contracted after the Soviet Union collapsed and it has plentiful coal, oil and natural gas reserves.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/04/26/AR2006042602460.html

Rick C
www.goldentales.ca

jjgeonerd
April 27th, 2006, 01:17 PM
Wind and water are not as "clean" as we think. To have hydro power, we have to block a river, causing serious flooding. On top of blocking migration routes of many animals, the plants and trees that end up under water suffocate and release mercury into the water, which the fish soak up, and then the Cree and others eat. Not great.

Windmills are put in areas where there usually were not forests before, and a lot of the studies suggest that this will have a HUGE impact on the world winds and will change the climate of places (move the rain and weather around among other things). (My step sister is researching the effects- maybe I should listen to what she says more... ;))

Anyway we get power, we interfere with nature.

IMO, they should find something to do with the waste of nuclear before expanding anything.

In addition, pretty much anyplace that is suited for hydroelectric power already has a dam and powerstation (at least in the US). It takes a pretty specific set of geologic and topographic circumstances to make one viable. As an aside...almost 100% of Settle's power is hydroelectric.

We have a few very large windfarms in Washington. They are in plains areas, so very few trees, if any, were cut down. I too like them, but I believe another problem is they are very space inefficient. They take up a huge amount of land (which could otherwise be forest, farmland, etc) and return a relatively small amount of energy. Like hydro, they also require a fairly narrow set of circumstances (topography, weather paterns, etc) to be viable.

I'm also a fan of solar. If everyone would have solar panels on their roofs it would help alot. I'm not sure what the cost of this would be though. :confused: I read somewhere a long time ago that we could easily collect enough solar energy from satellites to power the entire world (dur to lack of atmosphere filtering the radiation); however, the technology doesn't yet exist to store the energy, or deliver it down to the surface. I don't know if that's true or not.

Nuclear power doesn't really bother me, although it definitely has downsides. However, modern plant design makes a meltdown very, very, very unlikely. The biggest problem is disposing of the waste. It would be less of a problem if the US would recycle theirs like France, but there is still a small amount that requires disposal. We have a perfect place in Nevada (Yucca Mountain), but everyone is worried about getting it there. I believe France encases theirs in glass and drops it to the bottom of the ocean (since water contains the radiation). I'm not sure if they still do it though...or if it's a good idea. :confused:

The problem with power is that nothing is free. No matter what we do, there will be a consequence. When considering coal, just remember: If you burn a ton of coal you create a ton of waste. This is either disposed of in landfills (ash and material trapped in stack scrubbers), or discharged into the atmosphere. No matter what you do, matter cannot be created or destroyed, only changed. Fundamental law of Physics.