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.”


3 thoughts on “Bruce Power feasibility report viewed with skepticism

  1. Thank -you so much for this enlightening letter. I agree completely. Why does everything have to circulate around the almighty dollar? what about our grandchildren and the mess this nuclear energy would leave behind. We all know how government clean up after the past disasters.

  2. It is very obvious to me that this letter was written by someone who has absolutely no idea about economics or the nuclear energy industry and the standards associated with the engineering, construction, operation, maintenance and eventual decommissioning of the proposed nuclear facility (if it ever does get decommissioned). You are part of the old school population of Saskatchewan whose misguided votes have held this province back for way too long!! People who believe in conspiracy theories. Why is it that the people who do not understand anything accurate about nuclear energy have the biggest mouths of opposition and doom & gloom?? Fear of the unknown, I guess. It is also obvious that you are not a mathematician because you totally misinterpret the statistics regarding public support for solar and wind. Sure everyone would like to see more solar panels and wind turbines, but they just don’t give us the “bang for our buck” and don’t kid yourself – those come at a cost to our environment too. You also go on to say – “the majority appears to be 52 percent (in support of nuclear energy). And did those 52 percent indicate they understood anything about nuclear power plants?” – Do you understand anything about nuclear plants? All I have to say to unenlightened people like yourself is to just keep in mind that there are many other highly industrialized and environmentally sensitive countries in this world that are reaping the benefits of nuclear power – WITH CANADIAN TECHNOLOGY!!!

    For your information, Bruce Power would be injecting billions of dollars into the Saskatchewan economy. You describe them as “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.” Do you expect them to build a multi-billion dollar facility and provide a clean and reliable energy source for free?? You’re part of a population that has supported an NDP government for many years who did nothing about the dirty coal plants in southern Saskatchewan.
    “Let people yet unborn decide what to do with a giant pile of concrete and a heap of nuclear waste.” So tell me, what do you think about that fine little mess down by Estevan??? Do you think it’s pretty?? It’s a disgrace to our province and much worse than what little waste is left behind from a nuclear power plant – disposed safely out of sight and out of harms way.

    Another thing, why is the uranium that is mined in Saskatchewan, refined in Ontario?? There is a huge value-added opportunity there. We could mine it, refine it, and use it right here in the province of Saskatchewan. Why not refine it before exporting the raw material and create many high quality jobs for Saskatchewan. And so what if we sell electricity to Fort Mac Murray?? The spin-off of a nuclear power facility in Saskatchewan would be tremendous. It prepares us for our next stage of growth and opportunity, in terms of infrastructure, and if we can make some “clean” money on our way to provincial prosperity, then I’m all for it. I will not stand for abuses of our environment either but I do believe that we can do this responsibly by setting, maintaining, and enforcing high standards with regard to our environmental regulations at all levels of government (and that should also apply to Saskatchewan’s oil industry). I’ve been in the oil business in both Saskatchewan and Alberta and there is no comparison. In many respects both provinces have the same level of environmental standards but in Alberta, these standards are enforced whereas in Saskatchewan they are not – more jobs required there.

    I am part of a large, new, emerging generation of progressive peoples from Saskatchewan who is sick and tired of living in a have not province – especially when we have so much!! The potential is palpable!! I could go on and on. I love Saskatchewan and I support the use of nuclear energy here in this province.

  3. Mr. Exner’s comments do not impress me one bit. Starting a letter off by poisoning the well is a very familiar tactic used by those who do not feel their arguments are sufficient in and of themselves.

    Bang for the buck, he mentions? He talks about bang for the buck and then talks positively about a costly technology that is unsustainable, dangerous and that has unresolved issues of safe storage of byproducts as if it is some sort of bargain for the people of Saskatchewan. I, for one, do not want our province to give our bucks and wait for the bang…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s