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No Known Solutions For Nuclear Clean-Up

Port Dover Maple Leaf Letter to the Editor: RW Goodlet - July 22, 2009

This is in response to the learned "Sound Off" caller of last week, who speaks of the positive aspects of nuclear waste, the promising outlook of its future use, and the theory in the reprocessing of this toxin via advanced cycle reactors. This process has no bearing on the Nanticoke proposal or any current nuclear plant proposal. The reactors short-listed for Nanticoke are not of this type and, in fact, such reactors do not even exist. The talk of advanced cycle reactors is counting on some future breakthrough to solve problems we are creating for the generations to come, not today.

By now the people of Norfolk and Haldimand are exploring the ramifications of living in a nuclear community. There is much to learn and decipher. We already know the quantity of nuclear waste is low if one compares to coal for example, yet we also know that nuclear waste is toxic, it has an extraordinary long life and that there is no solution to the handling of its long life aboard this planet. To refer to the advanced cycle reactor theory as the solution is nuclear speak. This sales pitch is old and just depicts the shortsightedness inherent in human nature.

Reprocessing?

The US refuses to reprocess fuel due to the risk of nuclear weapons proliferation. Reprocessing extracts plutonium, better suited for nuclear weaponry than for nuclear energy.

Canada followed the US lead and adopted a national policy against reprocessing nuclear fuel in 1979.

Reprocessing is not an option, merely a distraction.

Source; http://www.nonuke.net/NukeInfo/tabid/1146/Default.aspx

Britain’s Reprocessing Plant Problems

Thorp nuclear plant may close for years; Faulty reprocessing facility threatens UK atomic plans Critics call for plug to be pulled on 'white elephant’

The company that runs the Thorp nuclear reprocessing plant admitted that it may have to close for a number of years owing to a series of technical problems.

Under strict orders from the government's safety watchdog, the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate, the plant's operators, Sellafield Ltd, is expected to have little option but to mothball the reprocessing plant for at least four years.

Source; The Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/may/19/thorp-nuclear-plant-white-elephant

Japan’s Reprocessing Plant Problems

Delays at Japan's ill-fated nuclear plant;

Rokkasho Reprocessing Plant plagued by technical difficulties.

Out of action for six months from the end of 2008 due to problems in its vitrification facilities.

Attempts to restart the plant failed last November.

In January, 2009, 150 litres of high-level liquid radioactive waste leaked.

At full capacity, Rokkasho can process 800 tons of spent fuel and extract 8 tons of plutonium from it annually. NOTE: 8/800=1%; Reprocessing only extracts 1%. 99% is new, and an even more toxic, liquid, radioactive waste.

Source; United Press International, Asia Division: http://www.upiasia.com/Politics/2009/05/20/delays_at_japans_ill-fated_nuclear_plant/3478/

We should be discussing real solutions and/or real alternatives to nuclear as opposed to hope and theory. To be responsible citizens to this planet, there has to be actual solutions in place before we contemplate the piling up of spent fuel at Nanticoke or anywhere else for that matter. Now is the time to let the councils of Norfolk and Haldimand know that our communities are made-up of intelligent people who do not want this cop-out to energy production. Let your representatives know you want responsible energy production for the future generations by making it clear that your community is not a willing host.