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SLOW DOWN ON GENERATING STATION CHANGES, URGES GROUP; Website offers information on alternatives to nuclear power

Cheryl Bauslaugh - Local News - Thursday, August 09, 2007

http://www.brantfordexpositor.ca

A group of concerned citizens in Norfolk and Haldimand has launched a website to inform the public about proposed changes for the Nanticoke generating station.

Councils in both counties have passed resolutions urging Bruce Power and other potential nuclear power plant developers to start an environmental assessment of the Nanticoke site as soon as possible. But members of Grand Erie Energy Quest believe politicians have made a hasty decision without having all the information needed to make an informed choice.

"We just want to get council to slow down a notch," said Dick Goodlet, of Port Ryerse, one of the website's developers.

He said councillors are getting much of their information from Bruce Power, a private company that operates a nuclear generating facility near Kincardine. The province is also pushing nuclear as a quick fix for the ongoing energy shortage- a situation that could become critical once coal-fired stations like Nanticoke are closed.

"They're coming at us like a freight train," Goodlet said.

The group believes there are alternatives to nuclear, including coal gasification - where coal is manufactured into gas to produce electricity. The City of Calgary is looking to this technology to meet its energy needs, he said.

"There are options and we should be talking about them."

The website lists numerous articles and reports on power generation methods, as well as links to articles on other websites, both pro and anti nuclear. There is also an opinion poll where site visitors can indicate their preference for the future of the Nanticoke station, as well as a blog that allows people to discuss the issue with other readers.

"There's lots of information there," Goodlet said. "If you're a concerned citizen, it's worth a read."

Members of the citizens' group will be visiting Norfolk and Haldimand councils this fall to urge politicians not to rush into nuclear. Goodlet said councillors are only looking at the jobs a nuclear plant would create and seem to be ignoring the drawbacks, including the problem of what to do about nuclear waste.

"I think if they could see that there is a viable alternative to nuclear, it gives them something to think about," he said.

More information is available on the group's website, at www.energyquest4nanticoke.ca

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