Wednesday, February 01, 2006

The Ole’ Nuclear Brouhaha, or How I Learned to Love Nuclear Waste

There’s a brouhaha in Ontario over future energy. Wonderful! Brouhahas over future energy should be taking place everywhere. Even if you are not living in Ontario, this should be of interest. If you’re in the States, you may be ruminating over Bush’s admission to the oil addiction. Or should I say addiction to the Middle East? At least he says he likes renewable energy. He's mad about nuclear though, isn't he?

If you're living in Ontario, please take note. Nuclear energy is on the table and there are powerful arguments against it. If you don’t want nuclear, please let Premier McGuinty know by February 12 (see below). Your voice is important!

Ontario announced that it plans to shut down its coal plants by 2009. Coal plants are no friend to the environment and your lungs, as I’m sure you know. The concern is that the province will fall short in offering Ontarians adequate energy alternatives by the end of the decade. So they are looking into nuclear energy and gas, in addition to wind, solar and other renewable sources.

The Sierra Club of Canada presents cases for and against nuclear in their newsletter, Scan

In a Nutshell
The provincial government is seriously considering nuclear because it doesn’t spew GHG emission in the air when it generates energy, and it generates LOTS of it.

However, nuclear energy produces nasty waste. How nasty? Try storing radioactive material for a quarter of a million years. You think I’m exaggerating. I’m not. Engineers seem to think that they can store radioactive waste for 250,000 years…in the ground. I wonder if the word hubris means anything to them?

When you consider that human beings haven’t even been around for that long, it really makes you wonder. God only know what’s going to happen in, oh say, 10,000 years. Or 95,000 years. Or 10.

Nuclear has also proven over time to be very costly.

And another thing…nuclear, and gas for that matter, steal the spotlight from energy conservation and renewable energy development. If we look at nuclear and gas as a ‘helping hand’ towards a renewable future, will we continue to be insatiable with energy? Will we ever learn to curb our wasteful habits?

An argument is made that by conserving energy, Ontario will meet its energy needs as it makes its transition to renewable energy. Cases are made in large PDF reports that you can access from This site is brought to you by the Sierra Club of Canada, WWF, David Suzuki Foundation and Ontario Clean Air Alliance.

To send a message to the Premier, CLICK HERE. Deadline: Feb 12.

You can write to him in your own words or use the message that they provide. Please keep in mind that the former is more effective!

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