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Deal on New Nuclear in Ontario Could Be in the Offing

Both Stephen Aplin and The National Post seem to think a deal between the federal Conservatives and the Ontario Liberals on nuclear energy may be imminent. Stay tuned.

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Comments

Simon Schotsman said…
If Ontario is planning to go Nuclear it has a hard time convincing a lot of people that going Nuclear is an environmental friendly idea. Nuclear is not!
Consider the amount of heat that is pumped into the Lakes in its effort to cool reactors. And what about the heat that rises out of their enclosures and heat the atmosphere continually? Tell me, is that not part of what we call "Global warming?" Consider Europe. Some reactors had to be shut down because the water levels had dropped so low that it was no longer possible to cool the reactors. Even shipping was affected. Do the politicians think us that dumb that we can not reason out that by continually dumping in heated water from the reactors cooling processes into the waterways and Lakes, it increases the rate of evaporation?
Both the prime minister and the premier have been informed that there is an alternative way to create electrical power without causing air pollution, global warming and wasting more of our non-renewable fuel sources. And how do we do that? By using a free and endless resource available world-wide, providing a constant reliable electrical power source, not dependent on solar or wind conditions. Furthermore, have we not learned our lesson as to the debts we incurred going Nuclear?
Take a look at your monthly hydro bill. Those charges named "Debt reduction" will be forever on our bills because we have not even started paying on the costs of de-commissioning existing Nuclear Generating Stations.
The remaining debt on having gone Nuclear is stil 35 billion dollars and all our payments made, don't seem to make an iota of difference!!
Gentlemen, be careful. You are playing with the future of many generations to come!
There is a better way. And it certainly will not even come close to the staggering costs of building Nuclear facilities. We have a better answer.
I liked Alpin's point, "If the rumour is true, then Stephen Harper and Dalton McGuinty will make Ontario’s power generating sector better than Kyoto compliant, and put the entire province within easy reach of becoming the first advanced industrial economy to achieve the critical Kyoto target." That is quite a statement.
Anonymous said…
Who in the hell is Stephen Aplin?
Anonymous said…
In answer to Simon Schotsman, global warming has NOTHING to do with the heat released by man-made activities and everything to do with the heat-trapping gasses released by man-made activities. Nuclear doesn't release greenhouse gases. The heat wave in Europe was not caused by manmade "thermal" pollution. The heat generated by manmade activities is small potatos compared to the solar energy striking the Earth. Moreover, during the California heat wave this past year, much of the wind capacity was sitting idle waiting for a breeze to blow (that tends to happen during heat waves).
Brian Mays said…
Simon Schotsman said...

If Ontario is planning to go Nuclear it has a hard time convincing a lot of people that going Nuclear is an environmental friendly idea. Nuclear is not! ... Consider the amount of heat that is pumped into the Lakes in its effort to cool reactors. And what about the heat that rises out of their enclosures and heat the atmosphere continually? Tell me, is that not part of what we call "Global warming?"

Simon,

If you're going to try to be an "environmentalist," at least be prepared to learn a few of the key points to make yourself sound credible. I can understand if you flunk the test on nuclear (many "environmentalists" do), but you should at least know the alleged causes of "global warming." Go ask a climate scientist -- you just got an "F".

And in case you have not figured out, the answer to your last question (quoted above) is NO.
Jim Hopf said…
All thermal power sources; nuclear, coal, gas, geothermal, solar thermal, etc… discharge heat into the local environment. It is an unavoidable fact for almost all types of power plants. Thermal discharge into the air and/or water, however, has a negligible impact on global warming. Emissions of greenhouse gases such as CO2 or methane are all that matters. All non-fossil sources (nuclear or any renewable) are basically equal in their ability to reduce global warming, as all the power they generate is emission-free.

In the European heat wave, overall nuclear capacity had to be scaled back a few percent for lack of sufficient cooling water. Solar thermal (or geothermal) plants would have suffered the same fate. Meanwhile, overall wind power production was virtually zero throughout the heat wave. Winds are usually low or non-existent during heat waves, when power is needed most. The notion that renewables are less vulnerable to variations in weather is absurd, as “the weather” is basically the source of their power.

All plant decommissioning and waste management costs are fully paid for by the industry (in the US anyway) and are included in the price of power. The cost is only about 0.25 cents/kW-hr. The costs of solar PV, solar thermal and even wind power are as high or higher than nuclear even when all costs are considered.
robert merkel said…
Simon, nuclear reactors do tend to be slightly less efficient converting heat into electricity than contemporary coal-fired or gas-fired power stations, so for a given amount of electricity generated you end up with more surplus heat which needs to be disposed of.

This means you need more cooling water, and can indeed more evaporation from lakes. However, if this is a problem, there are cooling tower designs that use air, not water, to cool the plants; and, furthermore, the efficiency loss that will be incurred if we ever actually build "clean coal" power stations will probably result in the coal-fired power stations using the same or more water than nuclear.

In any case, however, this is not what is causing global warming, according to climate scientists. The amount of heat dumped *directly* into the atmosphere by humans is miniscule compared to the amount provided by the sun (yes, even in Canada...). The problem with global warming is all about the increased amounts of CO2 and other gases in the atmosphere not letting heat escape into space as readily as it used to.

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