Encouraging news!

It’s always good to add a little good news to one’s day!

The World Bank and United Nations on Wednesday appealed for billions of dollars to provide electricity for the poorest nations but said there would be no investment in nuclear power.

“We don’t do ,” said World Bank president Jim Yong Kim as he and UN leader Ban Ki-moon outlined efforts to make sure all people have access to electricity by 2030.

 

And, in case I missed this one, I’ll add it now, too!

Nuclear reactors are not a viable source of new power in the West, Morningstar analysts conclude in a report this month to institutional investors.

Nuclear’s “enormous costs, political and popular opposition, and regulatory uncertainty” render new reactors infeasible even in regions where they make economic sense, according to Morningstar’s Utilities Observer report for November.

“Aside from the two new nuclear projects in the U.S., one in France, and a possible one in the U.K., we think new-build nuclear in the West is dead,” Morningstar analysts Mark Barnett and Travis Miller say in the report.

This view puts Morningstar on the same page as former Exelon CEO John Rowe, who said in early 2012 that new nuclear plants “don’t make any sense right now” and won’t become economically viable for the forseeable future.

 

Real reasons to hope for an end to nuclear energy.

Too little of late, and now Japan: a roundup

P’n’P’s been ignoring you all. Sorry ’bout that. I’m back for a bit, anyway.

To start, here’s a rundown of good links for those who want to know.

Here‘s what the Japanese government has said.

The Sunday update from the Union of Concerned Scientists, a representative of which appeared on Rachel Maddow’s show.

Green activists in Japan have a voice in this as well.

The Nuclear Information and Resource Service is providing regular updates as well.

And, well, of course, the nukers themselves want us all to believe it’s all hunky-dory.

To end, for now, does anyone know where Japan gets its uranium?

UPDATE: Had to add a couple of bloggers: Arms Control Wonk and your heart’s on the left

Words of Caution to SK Taxpayers

Again, a little something from the Inbox for you, dear Reader.  What I can’t figure out is why the Canadian Tax Payers Federation isn’t in a big huff about all this!

Tax-payers are already paying, or will pay for:
- the research and other costs of developing the tar sands (roads,
infrastructure, etc.)
– the water reservoirs (dams) needed for the nuclear reactors (billions of dollars)
– most of the costs of a nuclear reactor (billions of dollars)
– all the costs of the power transmission lines (billions of dollars)
– radioactive waste disposal costs (billions of dollars for eternity) and
– we are paying for lobbyists in Washington.

Taxpayers should be aware of how much money we are, or will be, contributing to the nuclear and to the tar sands companies – – unless we take a stand. The best place to take a stand is on whether or not we want nuclear reactors here. It is not us that needs them as an energy source. If we don’t want nuclear reactors and we stop them, the huge energy source needed for tar sands development does not exist – – unless the Government is willing to use up natural gas supplies for tar sands processing. That would mean running us out of a relatively clean energy source to develop a very dirty energy source, and notwithstanding the fact that most of the infrastructure for heating our homes is for natural gas. The reactors have to have access to large volumes of water. We stopped (at least temporarily) the construction of the HighGate Dam on the North Saskatchewan River near the Battlefords. We would have paid billions of dollars for the HighGate Dam or “reservoirs” as the Government likes to call them.

The assumption of the Government is that these projects are going to proceed:

Wall Heads to Washington

Tuesday, 03 March 2009

The province will have some representation at an Energy Council in the US this week.

Premier Brad Wall will be giving a major speech at the council, which goes from tomorrow until Saturday. Wall plans to talk about carbon capture and clean investments in the province, as well as nuclear opportunities.

March 8, 2009 FINANCIAL POST

http://www.canada.com/Sask+premier+pushes+clean+energy+technology/1366452/story.html

… Wall spent part of his trip to Washington scouting D.C. lobby firms, with the intention of hiring one to protect the province’s interests on Capitol Hill.

“We hope to get a firm that’s not just got some ability to open some political doors. We need to continue to open financial doors and attract capital to the province,” he said.

“They would be boots on the ground in the Capitol.”

During meetings with several prominent U.S. lawmakers – including senators Joe Lieberman and Lindsey Graham – Wall also discussed Saskatchewan’s interest in developing small nuclear reactor technology as a way to replace the burning of natural gas in the production of oilsands oil.

“There are challenges and risk to these technologies, but we will cause ourselves innumerable more problems if our default position is to do nothing,” Wall said.

Of course, certain risks come with having a higher profile in Washington – especially regarding energy and the environment.

Alberta had early success promoting itself as a safe and secure source of foreign oil, but is now struggling to combat anti-oilsands sentiment among U.S. lawmakers under pressure from the environmental lobby.”

Bruce Power feasibility report viewed with skepticism

This landed in my Inbox and so I duplicate it here for the benefit of PnP’s readers, whomever you may be.

Bruce Power feasibility report viewed with skepticism.

By C. Pike

Pike writes from Waseca, Sask.

Western Reporter, March 5, 2009

Nearly every newspaper I picked up in mid-January had tucked inside A Report on Bruce Powers Feasibility Study.

Feasibility study, my left foot. It was practically a motherhood and Saskatoon pie manual put together by an Ontario company wanting to make a lot of money while pretending to be the fairy godmother to the people of Saskatchewan, with a nuclear gift. Pandora’s box, more likely.

The report contains pictures of spacious prairie land; a little girl watching the combines, a farmer in a field of canola, a grain elevator – which-has likely been torn down.

I expect the pictures were chosen by the public relations people. I could not help but yield to a childish impulse while I made a sketch (not to scale) of a nuclear power plant on those pictured food growing acres.

Isn’t it interesting that a company from Ontario, now a have-not province – and we shouldn’t gloat – flees the sinking ship to scurry to the have province? Isn’t it interesting that a project, more or less on the back burner for some time, is presented during a recession, with a glowing offer of jobs, jobs, jobs? Hmmm. Glowing. Isn’t that a radioactive thing?

The manual tells us that it has “community officials excited.” Well, it has developers excited, developers who don’t live here, excited about making money.

We are told that the majority favors nuclear. Was that poll in the areas where the nuclear power plant might be built? No one around here, near the North Saskatchewan River, has come forward to say they were polled.

According to the Saskatoon Star Phoenix, the majority appears to be 52 percent. And did those 52 percent indicate they understood anything about nuclear power plants?

Bruce Power claims on page 13 that they will “examine the possibility of establishing a clean energy hub to generate electricity and hydrogen through wind and solar. People in Saskatchewan overwhelmingly support the use of wind (94 percent) and solar (95 percent).”

I’m no mathematician but doesn’t 94 percent and 95 percent eclipse 54 percent? Therefore, why can’t our politicians get cracking on wind and solar power using some of the money in the coffers of our have province, and not leave it to Bruce Power to throw it in as a come along.

Solar in particular is becoming more and more efficient and amazing. The Scandinavians are doing wonderful things with this renewable resource; renewable and not liable to blow us up or come back to haunt future generations with deadly waste from uranium.

Bruce Power offers to help drive economic growth in Saskatchewan. I wish it could always be realized that growing food has and should be said to do the same.

It is claimed that there will be 2,000 workers to build a nuclear power plant, and 1,000 permanent workers.

And so I quote again from the manual, page 16: “A new nuclear facility of just over 1,000 MW would have the same reduction on greenhouse gases as taking half of Saskatchewan’s vehicles off the roads today.”

That’s nice. But what will all those thousands of workers and suppliers be driving? Bicycles?

Page 15 informs us that the plant will operate for 60 years. Sixty years and then what? Oh well, I won’t have to worry. Let people yet unborn decide what to do with a giant pile of concrete and a heap of nuclear waste. The manual tells us nothing about that.

Has Bruce Power been meeting with aboriginal chiefs and councils to offer them large sums of money if they will take the nuclear waste? The 21st century version of blankets, beads, and smallpox.

Bruce Power claims to look forward to “consult with impacted communities and aboriginal peoples.” Aren’t we one and the same?

And I can’t resist being vulgar over that word “impacted.” In the cattle-raising community, an impacted cow is one that has been constipated, a cow which just might have been fed the wrong diet.

I see that on the last page of the manual there is an outline of what an environmental assessment does and there is the word “radioactivity” and there are the words “human health.”

Why should I, or anyone else, those of us whom a certain politician has called people of “ignorance and scare-mongering,” welcome someone from away without asking questions? Questions like, is this plant being built in Saskatchewan to send power to Fort McMurray?

We should try to educate ourselves and so should politicians. There is a lot of information out there besides the Scouts honor kind put out by Bruce Power.

.

A fact-finding group has been accused by local media of not inviting them to their initial planning meetings. I’ll bet you Bruce Power never invited the media to their planning meetings.

There will indeed be public meetings, grassroots meetings which anyone can attend. Will you?

Someone years ago wrote, “the shepherd tries to persuade the sheep that their interests and his own are the same.”

And I have added to that, “and so does the wolf.”

Nukers lobbied to have Keen fired?

Remember the Chalk River Scandal?  Remember how we got a taste of just how much Harper hates “uppity women”?  Remember how he treated Linda Keen, how he and his cronies fired her for no real reason?

Well, thanks to intrepid reporter, Greg Weston, of Sun Media, P’n’P has learned that

industry insiders say lobbyists had long been trying to get rid of Keen for reasons that had nothing to do with medicine. Their clients were companies that stand to make huge money from the next generation of Canadian nuclear power reactors called the Advanced Candu, or ACR-1000. Rightly or wrongly, it seems, the iron-fisted Keen was getting in the way.

Keen would not agree to conduct a special review of AECL’s new toy design.  But, exit Keen and enter Binder and everything changed!

Almost immediately after Binder took over from Keen, the supposedly independent, quasi-judicial safety commission reversed itself and agreed to conduct a pre-project review of Atomic Energy’s new ACR-1000 reactor design.

Seven months later, the commission concluded its review, finding the new Candu complies with “regulatory requirements and meets the expectations for new nuclear power plants in Canada.”

It’s  like, well, it’s like MAGIC! Or something, eh?

Thanks to BCer in Toronto for pointing me to the article!

Canadian Cancer Society Manager Says No to Nukers!

This is significant!  The new manager at the Canadian Cancer Society in Lloydminster is taking a stand against a nuke reactor!  There’s a meeting in Lloydminster on March 19 at the Wayside Inn.

New manager and new fights for Cancer Society

Posted By Allison Wall

The Lloydminster Canadian Cancer Society is taking an unprecedented stand against a possible nuclear power facility near Paradise Hill.

Although the Saskatchewan government recently issued a release encouraging Bruce Power to continue laying groundwork for a possible facility in northwest Saskatchewan, the Canadian Cancer Society Lloydminster unit has developed a policy to educate the public about the health risks associated with nuclear facilities.

“The start is to educate people about it before they can make a decision on it … and people can voice their opinions,” said Wendy Clague, new manager of the Society’s Lloydminster unit.

The policy is the first of its kind for the Cancer Society in Canada.

“I spoke today with the division in regards to this policy,” she said. “At this point, the national Canadian Cancer Society doesn’t have policy right now on this issue. However, with a unit such as Lloydminster to bring it up to the division, the division will have to go forward to the national level.”

Increased cancer risk has been associated with nuclear power facilities in some studies – a fact that made some at the meeting uneasy.

“We know there are many benefits to nuclear power, but we also know that nuclear facilities create many situations that affect the human health, plant life and the earth itself,” said Don Retzlaff, a guest at the Canadian Cancer Society Lloydminster unit annual general meeting. “There has been a considerable amount of research in the United States and Europe that indicated that nuclear power plants can create serious health problems.”

Retzlaff said statistics in United States and Europe have indicated a sharp increase in breast cancer, lung cancer, liver cancer and pancreatic cancer, particularly in women and children.

“In Germany and Ireland, women and children living within 50 kilometres of a nuclear facility have a one in six chance of developing leukemia,” said Retzlaff.

In October, a group of six city officials from Lloydminster, along with representatives from North Battleford and Prince Albert, toured a Bruce Power facility in Ontario.

“I think we have the responsibility as council, to be able to have all the information that we can get and get it compiled to the community knows what’s going on,” said Mayor Ken Baker.


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Article ID# 1473262

No Nukes Organizing in Paradise (Hill)!

>
> http://www.meridianbooster.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=1473272
>
> Nuclear reaction
>
> Meeting draws hundreds in nuclear debate
>
> Posted By Graham Mason
>
> More than 400 people crowded into the Kinsmen Hall in Paradise Hill Monday night to hear what former University of Regina professor Jim Harding had to say about the dangers of nuclear power.
>
> The meeting was organized by a group called Save Our Saskatchewan, which was formed last month by residents concerned about the prospect of a Bruce Power nuclear plant being stationed somewhere in the region along the North Saskatchewan River.
>
> Harding criticized the company for downplaying the environmental cost of building and fueling the plant while grouping it with wind and solar energy.
>
> “When you say something is green, it doesn’t make it green,” Harding told the crowd. “It’s true that a nuclear power plant doesn’t emit carbon, but everything else does along the nuclear fuel chain.”
>
> “The promotions are one-sided, they dis-inform by omitting.”
>
> He accused the company and provincial government of deception in selling nuclear power to the public.
>
> “Unfortunately, some of us aren’t people of our word, words are manipulated so much. There’s so much spin going on here that we all have to start taking a deep breath and wonder whether we’re hearing anything at all,” said Harding. “They’re just asking each other to come to each other’s events to animate support to make it look like public opinion supports this.”
>
> No representatives from Bruce Power attended the meeting, but in a telephone interview with the Booster, company spokesperson Steve Cannon responded to the criticism.
>
> “At this point it’s too early for anybody to be making a decision of any kind,” said Cannon. “What we’re asking is that people in Saskatchewan take a step back from some of the rhetoric and just look at the facts of it.
>
> “If, at the end of the day, you have good facts, good information, and you still don’t support the technology – we respect that, we understand that.”
>
> Cannon said Bruce Power would continue talking to landowners before making any decision on a final site for an environmental assessment, reiterating no specific site has yet been chosen.
>
> ”I know some people have tried to draw that inference because we’ve been speaking to landowners but that’s just not the case,” he said.
>
> Daron Priest farms in an area near one of the landowners contacted by the company.
>
> “One of the proposed sites is very close to our farm, and I’ve got some real concerns and even more so tonight after listening to the speakers,” said Priest. “There are a lot of concerned people I think.”
>
> Meggan Hougham, secretary of SOS, was pleased with the turnout in Paradise Hill.
>
> “There was a good discussion and lots of good questions and we couldn’t have been happier,” said Hougham. “(The group is just) local people in response to hearing a power plant was proposed for the area just concerned and they wanted to do something about it.
>
> Harding told the audience the only truly green option was renewable energy such as wind and solar, which don’t require toxic metals as fuel or water as a coolant.
>
> “(Bruce Power’s) own polls show overwhelming support for going the renewable route,” said Harding. “When did you ever get an energy source that could be a health policy, a water policy, as well as an energy policy?”
>
> Cannon said the environmental cost of nuclear is diminished by its long lifecycle.
>
> “Where does a wind turbine come from, where does the steal come from, the process to build solar panels, to build windmills, the material is all mined, it’s all refined, it’s the same type of thing,” he said.
>
> According to the company, construction of the plant would create 20,000 direct and indirect jobs, and when complete, the plant will provide 1,000 full-time jobs and 900 indirect jobs over 60 years.
>
> Even though this would be Bruce Power’s first reactor built from the ground up, Cannon said the company is up to the task.
>
> “We’re well versed in what this would require,” he said. “We’ve already restarted two reactors and we’ve got another project underway now to restart two more and in a way that’s even more challenging and complex than if we built right from scratch.”
>
> He admitted that the power output of the proposed plant was more than enough to meet the province’s domestic needs, but pointed out that there was a demand in neighbouring jurisdictions. He also dismissed Harding’s claim that nuclear power spelled a major health risk.
>
> “It does a disservice to the highly educated people who work in the industry and live near the facilities to believe that we would ever choose to live here and work in an industry that poses a cancer risk for us, it’s just not the case,” said Cannon. “It’s a scare tactic to be quite frank, but it’s a question that people have and we understand it.”
>
> “I think people just have to do research on that and find out the true facts for themselves,” he said.
>
> A public meeting on nuclear power will be held in Lloydminster March 19 at the Wayside Inn.