Energy Minister Smitherman announces that the province is slamming on the brakes on the Darlington nuclear new-builds!

No Nuke News - July 4, 2009

While we’re celebrating the delay, we think it’s a negotiating tactic on the part of Smitherman/McGuinty to pressure the feds to bail out AECL by subsidizing new nukes for ON. So now we’re turning our efforts towards the federal gov’t. Please send a message NOW to Prime Minister Harper and all the federal leaders and tell them to say NO to subsidies for Ontario nukes!

2. Hey all you writers out there – we need you
You’ve likely read by now that the province of Ontario has put the new Darlington nuclear contracts on hold pending a bail out from the feds. Now the pressure is on Harper to save AECL.

We need to flood the papers with letters, comments and even op-eds congratulating the provincial gov’t for suspending new nuclear procurement, and describing the incredibly wide range of more attractive alternatives available to Ontario .

But the province’s strategy of asking the federal government to bail out AECL and thereby subsidize Ontario ’s nukes is no solution to nuclear’s prohibitive costs. Green energy is the answer, and the solution is to put our Green Energy Act to work by rolling out the green power and jobs.

Timing is of the essence so don’t delay! Also, being concise is key. Focus your message. Just aim for one clear idea per letter rather than trying to squeeze in several. Write for the masses. 100 words is best, 200 max.

3. Here are some articles that have been rolling off the press this week. They need to be responded to, both through comments online as well as letters to the editor.

Energy: Ontario feels the price isn’t right

AECL’s future in doubt as Ontario suspends nuclear power plans

AECL’s future in doubt as Ontario suspends nuclear power plans

Darlington expansion on hold

Bruce nuclear plant unsafe, workers say

Reactor design puts safety of nuclear plants into question

Nuclear tennis match

High price for reactors gives Ontario cold feet

Darlington project suspended

Smitherman rolls dice on new nuke deal

Project halt ‘severe blow’ to AECL

Ontario shelves costly nukes

Ontario holds off choosing reactor builder; wants better bid from AECL

Ontario drops plans for 2 new nuclear reactors

Feds can save nuclear project: McGuinty

Ontario Puts Nuclear Upgrade Plans on Ice

Nuclear delay called risky; Suspension of new power station plan could hurt Ontario 's ability to provide electricity, critics say

Time for caution on nuke plans

Here is an excellent letter to the editor submitted by Greg Allen of Toronto...

Rather than a tennis match, a more apt depiction is a shell game where taxes for corporate welfare are shuffled about.

The editorial plays into the nuclear lobby's extortion racket that claims we have no viable alternative. Minister Smitherman's much repeated aphorism, that the wind doesn't always blow and the sun doesn't always shine, is supposed to dismiss the prospects of replacing nuclear and coal with renewable power. Nuclear plants don't always run, often for years as in Ontario 's recent experience, and coal was burned to make up lost capacity. European studies already demonstrate the ability to deliver dependable, competitive electrical service without nuclear or coal, using an optimum combination of wind, hydraulic, solar, bioenergy, and storage assets.

With the Green Energy Act in hand, the Ontario government needs to get planning the post-carbon, post-nuclear electrical system and energy economy. Our future depends on it.

4. Human Health Implications of Uranium Mining and Nuclear Power Generation

From the extraction of uranium from rock formations, through the milling, refining, and enriching of uranium, to the operation of reactors, and the unsolved dilemma of what to do with spent fuel, there are major health effects at every stage of the nuclear fuel chain.


An analysis by economist Mark Cooper at the Vermont Law School claims that adding 100 new reactors to the U. S. power grid would cost taxpayers and customers between $1.9 and $4.1 trillion over the reactors’ lifetimes compared with renewable power sources and conservation measures.

The analysis factors in studies from Wall Street and independent energy analysts estimating the efficiency of renewable energy at 6 cents per kilowatt hour versus 12 to 20 cents per kilowatt hour for nuclear. Cooper says those costs will fall on either ratepayers through higher electric bills or on taxpayers through large subsidies.

No nuclear power plants have been ordered in this country for three decades. Once touted as "too cheap to meter," nuclear power simply became "too costly to matter,"

6. Renewables Approvals

The Ministries of the Environment and Natural Resources are holding public information sessions around the province to discuss the new environmental approvals process for renewable energy projects they have proposed. You canparticipate in the consultation process via email, deadline July 24th. Tell the MOE that your voice is from the silent majority and that you support wind energy in the Province of Ontario . Tell them that setbacks should be based on proven science as they have been to-date.¬iceId=MTA2NDQ5&statusId=MTU5NjQ1¬iceHeaderIdString=MTA2NDQ5

I Support Wind Power has a great list of links about wind power, mostly Canadian.

7. Nuclear liability limit called too low

The Conservative government is putting the nuclear industry ahead of the lives of Canadians with a proposed law limiting damages in the event of an accident.

Some background to this story from Dr. Gordon Edwards:

Many people are unaware that they cannot buy insurance for their property or their persons that will protect them financially in the event of a nuclear accident. Every insurance policy has a "nuclear exclusion clause" that voids all coverage in such an event.

To encourage and subsidize nuclear power, the federal government has a special law which limits the liability of the owner of any nuclear plant to a small portion of the anticipated financial damage from such an accident (it's sort of a "nuclear deductible" clause) while the Government -- that is, the taxpayer -- provides total coverage (the amount authorized by Parliament) for the tens of billions of dollars in damages to citizens who suffer the devastating effects of such an accident.

This "Nuclear Liability Law" also exempts equipment manufacturers from any liability whatsoever, even if their equipment was defective and caused the nuclear accident to happen.

A few questions come to mind.

(1) If this industry is so safe, why won't the insurance companies cover them?

(2) If nuclear accidents are so improbable, how come the owners of nuclear plants won't build these reactors unless they are given legal protection from full financial liability by the Government?

(3) If nuclear suppliers are so reliable, why won't they sell equipment for nuclear plants unless they have a law which protects them from all liability?

8. France imports UK electricity as nuclear plants shut

France is being forced to import electricity from Britain to cope with a summer heatwave that has helped to put a third of its nuclear power stations out of action.

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