Harding on Dief Lake Nuke

Jim Harding has written a response to the leaked report which suggests Lake Diefenbaker as a preferred site for a nuclear reactor in Saskatchewan. The full report is here. A choice excerpt:

The Saskatchewan public would be outraged if it knew the extent of secretive planning and behind-the-scene “public acceptance” promotions being undertaken by the nuclear industry.1 It would be doubly outraged if it realized that this industry, which can’t survive without massive subsidies, was propagandizing us with our own money.

If this particular report hadn’t been leaked the Saskatchewan public and media would have remained unaware that the previous Calvert NDP government was quite far along in considering nuclear power by researching preferred siting. The irony is that it will be the new, Wall-led Sask Party that will be the public advocate for the nuclear industry in the province, and the NDP could even get re-elected in part by publicly opposing this. This is similar to what happened when the Romanow NDP defeated the Devine Conservative government in 1991.

Even with this report available, how unaware do we remain about other secretive nuclear expansion planning? Until I did the research for my book on the uranium-nuclear controversy I was mostly unaware of the history of past Saskatchewan government’s attempts to develop the nuclear industry in our province. Had they gotten their way we would be more like Ontario, with its huge dependency on risky, costly and debt-ridden nuclear-generated electricity, with accumulating spent fuel that no one really knows what to do with. And our economy would be even more dependent on non-renewable resources, with all the greed-based resistance this creates to a sustainable society.


Ardent Activist Passes On

It is with deep sadness that Politics’n’Poetry reports on the passing of Maisie Shiell, one of Saskatchewan’s longest-serving no-nukes activists. Though I never had the pleasure of meeting Maisie, I have read a lot of her work, some of it posted at ICUCEC. A family member announced her passing to our local no-nukes listserv. It read, in part:

Maisie has fought her last fight and left us to carry on the Message. She wrote a press release to The Citizens of Saskatchewan. She walked to her bed at 9 p.m. May 20th and drew her last breath at 2 a.m. May 21st.

She has challenged me and changed me. Constantly seeking the “Truth.” She never gave in to others expectations.

How the government has handled the mining of the high grade uranium in our province upset her to the end of her life.

And, today, this tribute from Dr. Gordon Edwards:

Maisie was so fierce, so determined, so forceful,
so totally engaged, so rooted in honesty and integrity
that she made industry apologists go white in the
face and reel from the onslaught of her irrefutable facts
and her unwavering focus on what is right and what is wrong.

Maisie was so sweet, so kind, so smart, so enthusiastic,
so admirable, so unshakably ethical, that even the target
of her pointed finger couldn’t help but recognize
that here was a superb human being.

Talk about emotional integrity.

Maisie taught us all a lesson in what it
means to be fully committed to a just cause.

She also earned our undying love and respect.

Sleep well, Maisie.

Gordon Edwards

Indeed, sleep well, Maisie.

Iraq war resister faces deportation from Canada

It saddens me how heartless our nation has become under the leadership of the Harper Conservatives. And it’s not that the Liberals were a whole lot better, but dammit, a few of them had hearts. And, I like to think a few still do have hearts and that all Opposition MPs in Ottawa will do their damnedest to ensure that Corey Glass is not deported to the fascist and war-mongering USA.

Thanks to World Report for bringing this to my attention.

Iraq war resister faces deportation from Canada


TORONTO, May 21 /CNW/ – US Iraq war resister Corey Glass was told today
that his application to stay in Canada has been rejected and he now faces

Glass, 25, came to Canada in August 2006 after serving in Iraq as a
Military Intelligence Sergeant.

“What I saw in Iraq convinced me that the war is illegal and immoral. I
could not in good conscience continue to take part in it,” said Glass. “I came
here because Canada did not join the Iraq War.

“Also, I knew Canada had welcomed many Americans during the Vietnam War,”
It is estimated that several hundred Iraq War resisters are currently in
Canada, many of them living underground.

“Corey Glass would be the first Iraq War resister to be deported from
Canada. He would face imprisonment and severe penalties in the US,” said Lee
Zaslofsky, coordinator of the War Resisters Support Campaign and a Vietnam War
resister. “This goes against Canada’s tradition of welcoming Americans who
disagree with policies like slavery and the Vietnam War.”

On December 6, 2007, the Standing Committee on Citizenship and
Immigration called on the Canadian Government to “immediately implement a
program to allow conscientious objectors and their immediate family members to
apply for permanent resident status and remain in Canada; and the government
should immediately cease any removal or deportation actions against such

“The Government should implement that recommendation immediately,” said
author Lawrence Hill. “Corey Glass had the courage to listen to his
conscience. He is working hard to build a new life in this country. He should
be allowed to stay.”

“We must not forget that the invasion of Iraq was a war justified only by
lies, greed and stupidity for which permission was not sought nor granted to
the Bush administration by the United Nations,” said Alexandre Trudeau, son of
Pierre Elliott Trudeau and director of the documentary film Embedded In

“This outlaw war has ravaged the Iraqi landscape, destroyed tens of
thousands of lives and sorely sapped the American treasury all while filling
the coffers of profiteers,” he said.

“Those Americans who served in Iraq, and have come to Canada to avoid
being pressed into further participation in the indignities of the American
occupation there, are brave men and women of principle who should be given a
chance to become landed in Canada. Like many Vietnam draft dodgers before
them, their heightened sense of morality and truth can only be a benefit to
our nation.”

A community forum on the plight of US war resisters in Canada will be
held tonight, May 21, at 7 p.m. at Innis Town Hall, 2 Sussex Avenue (at St.
George) in Toronto.

The event will be moderated by CBC radio host Andy Barrie and will
feature US war resisters Joshua Key, Jeremy Hinzman, Corey Glass and others.

For further information: Lee Zaslofsky, (416) 598-1222; Michelle
Robidoux, (416) 856-5008

US Nuke Regulator Destroying Safety Review Documents

This just in from US activists:

Beyond Nuclear Bulletin
May 21, 2008
Top Stories

Nuclear Regulatory Commission Destroying Safety Review Documents
Background: The Office of the Inspector General for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has discovered that the NRC safety review staff routinely destroys supporting documents after conducting safety reviews as part of the license renewal application process. The report comes after the NRC safety review staff was also caught by OIG last September plagiarizing industry safety reports included in license renewal applications and passing them off as their own so-called independent analysis. In both cases, the OIG concluded it was difficult to verify the accuracy and integrity of the NRC “independent” safety reports.
Our View: These revelations support, if not confirm, our suspicions that the NRC chooses to extend the licenses of aging reactors using nothing more than a large rubber stamp. The NRC destroyed the paper trail that would show how the agency decided that an aging reactor was safe enough to re-license for another 20 years. The public therefore has no way of knowing whether the agency actually conducted an independent safety analysis or whether it simply took the self-interested nuclear industry’s word that the reactors are safe. Finally, this practice of plagiarism and destruction of safety analyses is very likely illegal. There are agency directives that mandate retention of federal records.
What You Can Do: Check the NRC website to see if your local nuclear reactor is currently re-licensed or in the process. You can inform your community and call into question the legitimacy of reactor re-licensing process by writing letters to the editor. Contact your Congressional representatives asking that NRC destruction of federal records relating to public health and safety be made part of upcoming Congressional Hearings before the US House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.

Help Stop the Single Biggest Nuclear Industry Money Grab in U.S. History
Background: Debate on the Senate floor on the Lieberman-Warner climate change bill (S. 2191, the “America’s Climate Security Act of 2007”) should begin June 2nd. The word “nuclear” is nowhere in the bill, but last year’s version of the bill that passed the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee contained over $500 billion in thinly veiled nuclear power subsidies. Amory Lovins of the Rocky Mountain Institute recently estimated the nuclear power industry’s taxpayer subsidies over the past 50 years at more than half a trillion dollars. Therefore, the Lieberman-Warner bill would double the amount of taxpayer subsidies that the nuclear power industry has received in its entire history. Although EPW Chairwoman, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), blocked additional pro-nuclear amendments in Committee last fall, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and pro-nuclear Republican senators, including presidential hopeful John McCain (R-AZ), will likely attempt to insert pro-nuclear amendments into the current bill.
Our View: Handing over hundreds – or even just tens – of billions of dollars of taxpayer subsidies to the already heavily subsidized nuclear power industry would amount to giving it the keys to the U.S. Treasury. Having failed to solve its waste, safety, security and proliferation problems for 50 years, it’s time for nuclear power to exit the stage. It is neither self-sufficient financially, nor useful in addressing climate change since reactors are too expensive and take too long to build. Subsidies are badly needed instead for real climate change solutions including energy efficiency and renewable sources of electricity like wind and solar power.
What You Can Do: Call your two U.S. Senators today via the Capitol Switchboard, (202) 224-3121. Urge them to block any climate change bill or amendments that would provide subsidies to the nuclear power industry. Request meetings with your two Senators (or their staff) while they are back home for the Memorial Day recess next week. And organize media activities. These could include a media event demonstrating community opposition to nuclear power subsidies, and submitting letters to the editor or opinion-editorials to your local newspapers.

Of Note

The French Nuclear Medusa: The Nuclear Regulatory Commission will investigate an apparent violation of its transportation regulations after the French nuclear company, AREVA shipped used equipment to the Watts Bar nuclear plant in Tennessee that measured higher than permissible levels of radioactivity. According to an NRC press release, its inspector determined that AREVA’s procedures for decontaminating and packaging the equipment were not adequate to ensure external radiation would not exceed regulatory requirements. This comes on the heels of a similar shipping violation through Virginia in February when AREVA again transported equipment almost 400 miles that measured beyond regulatory limits for radiation.

(The French Nuclear Medusa, or La Meduse Française Nucléaire, will be an occasional feature of the Beyond Nuclear Bulletin (BNB) revealing the latest tentacled maneuverings by the French nuclear complex to gain a global stranglehold on nuclear energy. “Meduse” is French for jellyfish.)

Beyond Nuclear and the New Nuclear Winter: The Cold War is over but could a nuclear winter still happen? And what if a nuclear war occurred not between the U.S. and Russia but between India and Pakistan? Could a limited exchange cause a nuclear winter? The answer to the first question is still “yes.” And the answer to the last is “not quite.” However, the consequence of an India-Pakistan exchange could still be mass starvation and the collapse of global agriculture, similar to the effects of a nuclear winter. These are the conclusions of new research developed by a team of renowned scientists, some of whom worked with Carl Sagan on the original nuclear winter findings.
What You Can Do: You can bring these scientists to your community. Please contact Beyond Nuclear for details. In an exciting, multi-media presentation, the nuclear winter scientists and Beyond Nuclear first explain the problems that could lead to a near or actual nuclear winter, then offer solutions to avoid this unthinkable tragedy. Contact Beyond Nuclear today to bring the Nuclear Winter Tour to your community. Write:info@beyondnuclear.org or call: 301.270.2209 and ask for development director, Linda Gunter. Let’s work to prevent this tragedy while we can.

Please donate to Beyond Nuclear. Won’t you please consider becoming a monthly recurring donor? You can set up your profile and monthly giving here. All gifts are tax-deductible. Or you can mail a check to: Beyond Nuclear at NPRI, 6930 Carroll Avenue, Suite 400, Takoma Park, MD 20912.


Beyond Nuclear aims to educate and activate the public about the connections between nuclear power and nuclear weapons and the need to abandon both to safeguard our future. Beyond Nuclear advocates for an energy future that is sustainable, benign and democratic. Beyond Nuclear staff can be reached at: 301.270.2209. Or view our Web site at:www.beyondnuclear.org

Beyond Nuclear at NPRI
6930 Carroll Avenue, Suite 400
Takoma Park, MD 20912
Tel: 301.270.2209 Fax: 301.270.4000
Email: info@beyondnuclear.org
Web: http://www.beyondnuclear.org

Hearing on How Mega-Mines Get Approved

From the tyee

Key Hearing on How Mega-Mines Get Approved
Feds broke own rules on public input: Mining Watch.
View full article and comments here http:///News/2008/05/15/MineHearing/
By Christopher Pollon
Published: May 15, 2008

An appeal case being heard today in Vancouver will have a profound effect on how resource-based mega-projects are reviewed by the federal government, and in particular, the ability of the public to provide comment and meaningful input.

Last September, the federal court ruled that the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) and Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) acted illegally in shielding the proposed Red Chris copper and gold mine from a comprehensive environmental assessment (EA), including mandatory public consultation.

Arguments for this original case were made by Ecojustice, on behalf of MiningWatch Canada, who alleged the federal government broke its own laws when it chose to do a limited screening of selected impacts of the Red Chris project.

Justice Luc Martineau agreed with MiningWatch Canada and ordered that the necessary federal permits needed by Red Chris be denied until a more in-depth EA be completed.

With that decision now under appeal, it will probably be months before federal and provincial government agencies, industry and environmentalists know whether the fight has been lost or won.

“If we win, [the federal government] will have to do a comprehensive environmental assessment for any mine over a certain size,” says MiningWatch Canada National Coordinator Joan Kuyek. “If we lose, it will revert to letting the responsible [federal] authorities determine the track of the project review, and to pursue a strategy of rushing it through at all costs.”

Breaking its own laws?

Scrap AECL!

From Gordon Edwards, following all the kerfluffle on the Chalk River scandal and the recent AECL announcement to abandon the MAPLE reactors (see below).

> From: Gordon Edwards
> Date: May 16, 2008 10:37:21 AM GMT-06:00
> To: Gordon Edwards
> Subject: AECL Abandons the MAPLE reactors
> Background
> In July 1996, the isotope marketing company MDS Nordion announced that it would invest $140 million to provide an assured supply of medical isotopes for the next 20 years by building two small reactors, MAPLE-1 and MAPLE-2, each 10 MW in size, dedicated solely to the production of medical isotopes. In the Journal of Nuclear Medicine it was pointed out at the time that this project “addresses an issue of considerable concern to many: the reliance of the nuclear medicine industry, particularly in North America, on a single, aging reactor” referring to the NRU reactor built at Chalk River in 1957.
> The MAPLE reactors were completed 8 years ago, but never produced radio-isotopes because of serious construction problems and design problems. The control rods tended to “stick”, the shutoff rods “jammed”, and to make matters worse the reactors behaved in a particularly dangerous fashion — whenever the power level was increased, the nuclear reaction tended to accelerate out of control. This behaviour was exactly the opposite of what the designers had planned for; in fact, all the safety studies for the MAPLE reactors were based on the assumption that whenever the power level was increased the nuclear reaction would tend to slow down, not speed up.
> Because of the failure of the MAPLE reactors to come on-line, the entire pro-duction of medical isotopes for MDS Nordion was dependent upon the NRU reactor, which had been scheduled to be retired (permanently shut down) by 2003. Meanwhile AECL was working to “fix the problems” with the MAPLE reactors; but years went by and the problems were not fixed.
> The isotope crisis of December 2007 was precipitated by the temporary shut-down of the geriatric NRU reactor (50 years old) because it had failed to meet a safety requirement which was one of its licence renewal conditions laid down by the regulatory body, the CNSC (Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission) about two years earlier. Work that should have been done earlier was not only not carried out, but the necessary equipment and preparations had not even been arranged. When a month-long shortage of medical isotopes was looming, the Government of Canada fired the Head of the CNSC and passed an emergency bill through the Parliament ordering the restart of the NRU reactor.
> Now AECL is abandoning the MAPLE reactors altogether. After more than $600 million and 17 years of effort, the entire enterprise turns out to be a complete waste of time and money….
> Gordon Edwards
> =====================
> AECL to Discontinue Development of the MAPLE Reactors
> Production of Medical Isotopes to be Maintained through NRU Reactor
> Mississauga, 2008 May 16 — Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) is announcing that, after careful review and analysis, it will discontinue development work of the MAPLE reactors located at its Chalk River Laboratories, effective immediately.
> This decision is based on a series of reviews that considered, among other things, the costs of further development, as well as the time frame and risks involved with continuing the project.
> “We are making the right business decision given the circumstances,” stated AECL’s President and Chief Executive Officer Hugh MacDiarmid. “This was a difficult choice given the tremendous efforts expended by our people on development of the MAPLE reactors. Nevertheless, our Board of Directors and senior management have concluded that it is no longer feasible to complete the commissioning and start-up of the reactors.”
> The decision to discontinue development of the MAPLE reactors will not impact the current supply of medical isotopes as commercial agreements between MDS Nordion and AECL provide for isotope production to continue through AECL’s National Research Universal reactor (NRU) and associated facilities in Chalk River. NRU currently has an operating site licence from the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) that is valid until October 31, 2011. AECL will work closely with CNSC and MDS Nordion on the requirements for continued production beyond that date.
> Mr. MacDiarmid added, “We recognize the important role that NRU plays in the supply and delivery of medical isotopes to patients in North America and around the world. AECL is committed to supplying medical isotopes from NRU in a safe and reliable manner.”
> For further information:
> Dale Coffin
> Director, Corporate Communications
> Atomic Energy of Canada Limited
> (905) 403-7457

Saskatoon newspaper pulls in a ringer to smooth it over

Apparently, the Saskatoon Star Phoenix has experienced a bit of grief over their nasty editorial of May 8. They’ve pulled in a ringer, Murray Mandryk, from their sister paper, the Regina Leader-Post, to quell the fires. Here’s his piece, reproduced in its entirety here because it is a voice of reason. That said, his focus is too narrow. We need an open, honest and thorough debate about Saskatchewan’s energy policy, not just about nukes.

Neither party fit to oversee reactor
Murray Mandryk, Saskatchewan News Network; Regina Leader-Post
Published: Friday, May 09, 2008

If ever an issue in Saskatchewan needed open, honest and thorough debate, it’s the building of a nuclear reactor.

That neither side in the legislative assembly has been willing to provide us with the even the most basic information about the reactor — information already compiled at the taxpayers’ expense — is more disconcerting than talk of a reactor, itself.

This issue is all about trust. It’s about answering basic questions such as: Where will it be built? Who will build it? How much will it cost taxpayers? What are the potential environmental impacts? What are the benefits? What are the potential risks, especially to the water supply?

Instead, what we have had is duplicity and deception from the NDP and Saskatchewan Party both.

Let’s review what neither side wanted us to know:

The NDP government received in February 2007 a rudimentary study that determined the preferred location for a nuclear power plant is the east side of Diefenbaker Lake, near Elbow. The negatives are its proximity to populated areas and fact that the lake provides the water used by 40 per cent of Saskatchewan households.

But what’s alarming about this 53-page, $60,000 study is that, until a copy of the report was leaked to the CBC, the former New Democratic government didn’t think we needed to know about it. In fact, it wouldn’t even confirm in its last eight months in office that such a study existed.

According to former premier Lorne Calvert, there was no need to do so because his government was focused on wind power and had no intention of building a reactor. Yet deputy NDP leader and former Crown corporations minister Pat Atkinson, who admitted Wednesday she hadn’t even read the study, said her government actually never had ruled out building a nuclear power plant.

As farfetched as her response seems, it is consistent with the words of former deputy premier Clay Serby, who said in October 2005:

“We should never say never about anything.”

But lest anyone is left with the impression that secrecy and duplicity begin and end with the New Democrats, let’s check the Saskatchewan Party’s equally unimpressive handling of the nuclear file to date.

Despite an initial commitment from Premier Brad Wall that any previous studies on nuclear power generation would be made public, the government no longer sees it as a priority to tell us that the preferred site to build a nuclear plant is one that provides water for 40 per cent of province’s population. Far more important, we’re told, are the confidentiality agreements signed by the NDP government to keep this report secret in the first place.

However, the confidentiality provision didn’t apply to Saskatchewan Party ministers such as Lyle Stewart (Enterprise and Innovation), Nancy Heppner (Environment) and Bill Boyd (Energy), all of whom had access to this document for the past six months.

Unfortunately, like Atkinson, they never read it, either. Heppner even claimed she couldn’t find a copy. Let’s be thankful someone found one for the CBC.

Through the magic of this newfangled Internet, the report now can be shared with Atkinson, Heppner, Boyd and even the rest of us among the uninformed masses.

Of course, his complete lack of basic information about a site for nuclear power generation was not the kind of impediment that would prevent Boyd from meeting in Alberta with officials from Bruce Power to make a case that Saskatchewan is a better home for a 4,000-megawatt nuclear plant than is Alberta’s Peace River region.

Boyd tells us not to be alarmed because these discussions are exceedingly preliminary. But Crowns Minister Ken Cheveldayoff then tells us Thursday there isn’t time to hold a referendum on nuclear power because his government will have to make a decision before the next election, slated for 2011.

Through all of this, we’re still supposed to trust the good judgment of these people — politicians who don’t think voters need to have the most basic information on nuclear power in Saskatchewan or even feel any need to read this information themselves.

Far more frightening than a nuclear power plant in Saskatchewan is the thought of either side of the legislature being in charge of running it.

So much for journalistic integrity…

The editorial board at the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix, a CanWest newspaper, published nothing less than a rant on the issue of nuclear power in Saskatchewan, denouncing nuclear-free activists as an “anti-nuke gang,” a “bunch of radicals” who prevented the “dream of developing greater nuclear capacity in the province” from coming to fruition in the 1980’s.

Well, yes, frankly, it is true that the no-nukers did stop the development of a refinery just south of Saskatoon back then. And thank goodness for that! But they didn’t manage to stop the mining of uranium. And they surely did not stop industry from propagandizing throughout the province. In fact, they’ve done it so well that even the daily newspaper is singing the praises of nuclear power, quoting political deviants and corporate friends. Go ahead and read it for yourself.

Then go here and send your letter to the editor. If you need more information about uranium and the nuclear system, feel free to use the search function in the sidebar of P’n’P. We’ve managed to build up quite a collection of info from independent researchers, organizations and informed opinions over our almost two years of blogging.

Oh, and if you’d like a more balanced, though still not thorough, story about the possible reactor check out the CBC’s coverage. It’s report provides various reactions from people who live and vacation at Lake Diefenbaker, where the SaskPower study suggests the reactor might be placed.

The recommendation alarms people like Scott McKenzie, who has been vacationing in the Lake Diefenbaker area for seven years and plans to make it his home.

“It shocks me a little to begin with,” McKenzie said. “One is always worried about a catastrophe, an accident or something like that.”

However, Russ Boyle, who is building a house near the lake, doesn’t share McKenzie’s concerns. In fact, he wouldn’t mind if a nuclear facility was nearby.

I’d venture a guess that if the truth about nuclear power were placed in the hands of the people, there would be no doubt that the majority would oppose it.

I guess that’s what we’ll have to do.

UPDATED: Nuke reactor @ Diefenbaker Lake?

Good grief! Let’s put the deadliest poison we can find in the ground — uranium — and move it to a lake so we can pollute more people and ecosystems! Oh ya! Fun-fun, eh?

Hello, people! The nuclear system is not one we want to build up in Saskatchewan! We want a moratorium, like B.C. has just declared. Let’s be smart about our environment and about our children’s future!

Here’s the CBC piece (reproduced below) that has me riled. Here’s the SaskPower report, the one the SaskParty couldn’t find.

UPDATE: A confidential source has revealed that a physicist from Chalk River (and we all know about that scandal) says that the new reactors — 4 of them are proposed — are cleaner and greener than any coal plant in operation. What the physicist failed to mention was the environmental devastation wreaked by a nuclear power plant, the fact that there is no disposal for the deadly waste products, and the huge economic costs of building a nuclear plant.

Lake Diefenbaker region preferred site for nuclear plant: SaskPower report
Last Updated: Wednesday, May 7, 2008 | 11:51 AM CT Comments11Recommend11
CBC News

SaskPower’s preferred location for a nuclear power plant is near Lake Diefenbaker in central Saskatchewan, CBC News has learned.

The information is contained in a consultant’s report prepared by Stantec Consulting Ltd. for the Crown utility last year.

CBC News has obtained a copy of the report, which was written in February 2007. The report says a power plant at Elbow, near Lake Diefenbaker, would be preferable to other potential sites.

“Potentially, the Lake Diefenbaker region could be the site of a Candu 6 plant configured with two steam turbine generators instead of the standard 750-megawatt, single-steam turbine unit,” the report said. “Plant output from this option would be split equally between Saskatchewan and Alberta.”

The report cites the area’s large water supply, which is needed for generating nuclear power.

It also mentions that the site would be near populated areas, reducing the need to transmit power over long distances.
More study needed, report says

However, the report also cautions that roughly 40 per cent of Saskatchewan people get their drinking water from the Lake Diefenbaker watershed.

The Lac La Loche area was also considered in the report, because it’s near a potential oilsands development in northwestern Saskatchewan. The proposal was for a cogeneration plant that would produce electricity and steam, with the assumption that the electrical output would be half that of a CANDU 6.

The study looked at environmental and cost factors, cooling-water requirements, exclusion zones, seismology, transmission systems, weather and geotechnical conditions.

Ultimately, the Lac La Loche area was not seen as the best choice.

The report recommends a further, more detailed study on Lake Diefenbaker before any final decision is made on the location of a power plant. It doesn’t make any recommendations about whether or not SaskPower should proceed with a nuclear plant.

The report was commissioned by the previous NDP administration.

Before he was elected premier, Brad Wall promised to make the report public, but the government has not yet done so.

On Wednesday, a government spokesperson confirmed the authenticity of the report. However, the government had decided not to make it public, the spokesperson said.

May Day Rally to Protest Bills 5 & 6

Regina May Day

Courtesy Act Up In Sask, here is an excellent video which captures the intense energy and beautiful spirit of the May Day protest rally on the steps of the SK Legislative Buildings.

Bills 5 and 6, introduced by the SaskParty Government are anti-worker, anti-union, and anti-woman. It is likely they will be struck down in a Charter challenge, should they be made into law.