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.

Nuclear Waste Has No Place to Go

Nuclear Waste Has No Place to Go | CommonDreams.org

Published on Wednesday, March 11, 2009 by the Chicago Tribune
Nuclear Waste Has No Place to Go
Obama budget kills Nevada storage site for used radioactive fuel rods piling up near power plants

by Michael Hawthorne

In a pool of water just a football field away from Lake Michigan, about 1,000 tons of highly radioactive fuel from the scuttled Zion Nuclear Power Station is waiting for someplace else to spend a few thousand years.

[Zion Nuclear Power Station in Illinois has been shuttered for years, but its waste lives on. The lack of a permanent solution for such waste poses a serious challenge to the industry’s plans to build more reactors. (David Trotman-Wilkins / Chicago Tribune)]Zion Nuclear Power Station in Illinois has been shuttered for years, but its waste lives on. The lack of a permanent solution for such waste poses a serious challenge to the industry’s plans to build more reactors. (David Trotman-Wilkins / Chicago Tribune)
The wait just got longer.

President Barack Obama’s proposed budget all but kills the Yucca Mountain project, the controversial site where the U.S. nuclear industry’s spent fuel rods were supposed to end up in permanent storage deep below the Nevada desert. There are no other plans in the works, meaning the waste for now will remain next to Zion and 104 other reactors scattered across the country.

Obama has said too many questions remain about whether storing waste at Yucca Mountain is safe, and his decision fulfills a campaign promise. But it also renews nagging questions about what to do with the radioactive waste steadily accumulating in 35 states.

With seven nuclear plant sites, Illinois relies more heavily on nuclear power and has a larger stockpile of spent fuel than any other state. Besides Zion near Lake Michigan, plants storing waste are sited along the Illinois, Rock and Mississippi Rivers.

Customers of ComEd and other nuclear utilities have shelled out $10 billion to develop the Yucca Mountain site in spare-change-size charges tacked on to electric bills. Most of that money will have been wasted, and experts forecast that billions more will be spent on damage suits from utilities that counted on the federal government to come up with a burial ground.

Reversing course from previous administrations satisfies critics in Nevada, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, but triggers another round of maneuvering and regional bickering in Congress.

“We are drifting toward a permanent policy of keeping extremely toxic waste next to the Great Lakes, and that cannot stand,” said U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.).

More than 57,000 tons of spent fuel rods already are stored next to reactors, just a few yards away from containment buildings where they once generated nuclear-heated steam to drive massive electrical turbines. More than 7,100 tons are stored in Illinois, including at the Zion facility in Chicago’s northern suburbs.

The lack of a permanent solution poses a serious challenge to the industry’s plans to build more than 30 new reactors. Existing nuclear plants already produce 2,000 tons of the long-lived waste each year, most of which is moved into pools of chilled water that allow the spent-but still highly lethal-uranium-235 to slowly and safely decay.

But containment pools never were intended to store all of the spent fuel that a reactor creates. The idea was that the cool water would stabilize the enriched uranium until it could be sent to a reprocessing plant or stored in a centralized location.

Instead it keeps piling up. And though industry officials insist the waste is safely stored in fenced-off buildings lined with concrete and lead, concerns remain that a leak or a terrorist attack could create an environmental catastrophe.

As power companies run out of space in their containment pools, they increasingly are storing the waste above ground in concrete and metal casks; the Zion plant’s spent fuel rods eventually are to be moved into casks a little farther away from Lake Michigan.

“We continue to ask the federal government to provide a clear solution for what the long-term storage of spent fuel will be,” said Marshall Murphy, spokesman for Exelon Nuclear, which owns Illinois’ plants.

Until now, the solution was Yucca Mountain, a dusty mountain of volcanic rock about 100 miles northwest of Las Vegas that Congress chose in the late 1980s as a permanent repository. Federal officials spent the last two decades-and billions of dollars-preparing to bury spent fuel in a series of fortified tunnels drilled into the mountain.

Without further funding the project will wind up as a very expensive hole in the ground.

The repository’s apparent demise is part science and part politics. Recent studies have shown that water flows through the mountain much faster than previously thought, raising concerns that radioactive leaks could contaminate drinking water supplies. More than anything else, though, the project is opposed by two powerful politicians: Reid and Obama, who is calling for more study to find a better solution.

Chicago-based Exelon Corp., the parent company of ComEd and Exelon Nuclear, is seeking to extend the life of its reactors, most of which were built in the 1970s. It also wants to build a new reactor at the Clinton Power Station south of Bloomington. Company officials have said that won’t be possible without an alternative to Yucca.
Copyright © 2009, Chicago Tribune

Anti-nukers organizing!

This just landed in the inbox, from a Saskatchewan organizer:

(1) PARADISE HILL, 400 TO 500 PEOPLE CAME!

Paradise Hill, SK, 2001 population: 486
(Source: Statistics Canada)

Between 400 and 500 people attended the meeting in the Kinsmen Hall. All
the chairs were put out. Still, the back wall
Was lined by people – standing room only.

For me it was quite amazing. People came from miles around, and from
Alberta. Men, women, teen-agers and a few children.

The meeting started at 7:30pm. People remained intently focused on the
presentation and then the questions/answers. You didn’t hear fidgeting,
coughing or chairs scraping the floor. The odd small cry from a baby.
Otherwise it was people absorbing and processing information. For
two-and-a-half hours.

The questions were excellent. A lot of people were very well informed –
they’d done research, probably on the internet – it showed in the questions.

Jim Harding, retired U of Regina professor and author of “Canada’s Deadly
Secret: Saskatchewan Uranium and the Global Nuclear System” gave a
presentation. Between his presentation and his responses to questions from
the audience, some of the topics addressed were:

– the lack of, and need for public participation in the decisions around
nuclear development in the province
– in response to the question, “Why do we need this extra energy?”, Jim
addressed the feasibility study published by Bruce Power last fall. A
legitimate feasibility would have addressed this question. It didn’t
address that or the spectrum of options that are available.
– Saskatchewan is a small power grid. The construction of one large
nuclear reactor does not make sense if you are an engineer at SaskPower who
is designing the best way to supply the population with a reliable energy
source at a reasonable price. Nuclear reactors are notorious for down-time.

– The Nuclear Advisory Committee report is due by the end of March.
Sitting on the Advisory Panel are heads of Bruce Power, Cameco, and Areva.
Patrick Moore who is not from Saskatchewan and who is funded by the American
Nuclear Energy Institute is a member of the panel. (See note on him – –
#5.)
– water-related issues
– health and environmental health issues
– the nuclear chain down to depleted uranium
(Aside: whenever people talk about “depleted” uranium and “spent” fuel
rods, I want to correct the language. The words “depleted” and “spent” make
them sound benign. They are radioactive, anything but depleted or spent.)
– costs to future generations, especially in relation to the radioactive
waste which will have to be managed for thousands of years.
– globally, a downward trend line for the percentage of energy that is
nuclear
– one woman asked about the disposal of radioactive waste: if a nuclear
reactor is built in Saskatchewan, will that not open the door to us becoming
the disposal site for radioactive waste for all of Canada and further?
– the experience of the Americans with Yucca Mountain. They are unable to
find a place to get rid of their radioactive waste.
– tritium in water supplies
– one fellow asked if he was right: it seems to him that the industry
people will make all the money and that we will pay all the costs.
– a woman originally from Germany told of her family’s experience in the
aftermath of the accident, even though they were thousands of miles from
Chernobyl. (Children had to be kept indoors. They couldn’t eat the food
grown outside.)

SOS (Save Our Saskatchewan), the local group that organized the meeting
invited Bruce Power and the MLA to attend the meeting, Jim invited anyone
from the audience that might be from BP or the government to join the
discussion, but no one came forward.

I don’t know how many people signed the petition.

There were very good brochures on various topics related to the
nuclear/uranium question. I saw them in the hands of many of the people in
attendance.

At the end of the meeting, people fell into small groups as they will do in
communities. The determination of the people in the group I joined (people
new to me), was quite fierce. It was reflective of a sentiment expressed
through the questions and heard in snippets of other conversations. These
400 to 500 people are going out into their communities. They will be
spreading the word and putting their muscle into the fight against nuclear
reactors.

The people in Warman SK stopped a uranium processing plant in the 1980’s.
Unfortunately for the people in Ontario it got built there. The people who
came to Paradise Hill are going to stop a nuclear reactor being built there.
But they are also dedicated to helping the other communities along the North
Sask River (the alternate sites) in the same battle.

=====================

(2) PASS THE NUCLEAR REACTOR TO BORDEN, SK

The between-communities passing of information is incredible.

In the polite conversations between the land-owners approached by Bruce
Power, and the BP representative, talk sometimes got around to, “If not
here, where would BP be looking to build a reactor?”.

The answer:
– at Borden (near a bend in the River – good siting because the water flows
faster at the bend)
– or near Saint Louis.

Between last night and today there has already been a flurry of activity at
Borden. Thanks to the people at Paradise Hill!

Do you know anyone from Saint Louis? They should be told that they may be
next on the firing line.

======================

(3) SOS! MEETING IN P.A.-LANDOWNERS APPROACHED, ARE LOOKING FOR A GROUP
LIKE SOS IN PARADISE

Need some help here:
A fellow from Prince Albert contacted the SOS group in Paradise Hill today.
There is no group he knows of in the P.A. area, and land owners have already
been approached by BP.

The only way I can think of to get people in P.A. connected is through Jim
Harding’s presentation:

Thursday, March 12 – 1:00 pm at the SIAST Woodland Campus, Prince Albert

Please spread the word.

Also, Jim will be:
Wednesday, March 11 – 7:30 pm at the Shellbrook Legion Hall
(just off main street by the Post Office)

These are free public meetings (but donations more than welcome!)

Question & Answer and Discussion Period to follow

======================

(4) WATER USE AT NUCLEAR PLANTS, FROM THE UNION OF CONCERNED SCIENTISTS

Many thanks to Kevin. This will be put to good use!

Got Water?

http://www.ucsusa.org/assets/documents/nuclear_power/20071204-ucs-brief-got-
water.pdf

=====================

(5) PATRICK MOORE, ON THE NUCLEAR ADVISORY PANEL

http://www.nuclearspin.org/index.php/Patrick_Moore
” Along with former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator
Christine Todd Whitman, Patrick Moore launched a new nuclear public
relations campaign in the US in May 2006 called the Clean and Safe Energy
Coalition [15]. The Coalition was organised and funded by the Nuclear Energy
Institute, with help from the public relations firm, Hill and Knowlton that
has a $8 million account with the nuclear industry. [16]

According to Environment News Services: “Nuclear power advocates are hoping
that Moore and Whitman can sell the American public on the benefits of
nuclear power and help spark the resurgence of an industry that has not
constructed a new plant in some 30 years”. [17]

An editorial in the Colombia Journalism Review noted the benefit to the
nuclear industry of having Moore and Whitman front their PR exercise, as in
subsequent media articles Moore was often quoted as a “founder of
Greenpeace” or an “environmentalist,” but not as a paid consultant to the
nuclear industry: “Life is complicated. So are front people for industry
causes – or any cause, in a world of increasingly sophisticated p.r. We have
no position on nuclear power. We just find it maddening that Hill & Knowlton
… should have such an easy time working the press”.[18]

In an article together, Moore and Whitman argued the coalition will “help
raise awareness of the benefits of clean and safe nuclear energy and
continue to build support for nuclear energy as a component of a
comprehensive plan to meet America’s future electricity needs”. [19]

The name of the coalition is no co-incidence, nor was the language used in
the article, such as clean, cheap and safe. It reflects a world-wide public
relations push by the nuclear industry to portray itself as “clean” and
“safe”.”

=========================

(6) AECL SEES NUCLEAR POTENTIAL. SASK GOVERNMENT HAS EXPRESSED INTEREST IN
PARTNERSHIP

Many thanks to Willi.

AECL sees nuclear potential; Sask. government has expressed interest in
forming partnership
The StarPhoenix (Saskatoon)
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Page: C7 / FRONT
Section: Business
Byline: Joanne Paulson
Source: The StarPhoenix

Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. (AECL) sees bright possibilities for nuclear
research and development in Saskatchewan, not just the building of a power
plant, says its director of marketing and business development.

Ron Oberth was in Saskatoon Wednesday to meet with business leaders and
university officials to discuss the potential for partnerships with AECL.

“Right now, it’s ‘small p’ partnerships. We haven’t had any formal
discussions with anybody,” Oberth said in an interview.

AECL, a Crown corporation, is one of three nuclear plant manufacturers being
considered by Bruce Power should it decide to build a power plant in
Saskatchewan.

However, there are other possibilities, said Oberth. At present, all of the
nuclear research and development in Canada is done at Chalk River, Ont.

“We’ve also said to Saskatchewan, in addition to a power reactor, there are
many other opportunities that we are looking at — for example isotope
production, or perhaps a research reactor, or the production of hydrogen,”
said Oberth.

Hydrogen is used in tarsands upgrading and has potential in transportation,
said Oberth. When hydrogen is produced with nuclear technology, no
greenhouse gases are created, he added.

Premier Brad Wall likes the concept of smaller reactors, noted Oberth, and
it’s possible to set up a team to investigate the design of such reactors
suitable for hydrogen creation.

These kinds of potential uses are “a nice fit” for Saskatchewan, he said.

“What we would like to do is collaborate with University of Saskatchewan
officials and help set up a nuclear centre of excellence that would
complement and augment some of the work that’s going on at Chalk River,”
said Oberth.

AECL has chosen Saskatchewan as a potential location for such research
because of the interest of the government, the university’s facilities
including the Canadian Light Source synchrotron for nuclear materials
research and the uranium mined in the province’s North.

Much has been said recently about the province of Saskatchewan’s interest in
forming partnerships with AECL. The Saskatchewan Party government has
expressed interest in such partnerships, but has said it will not take a
financial position in AECL.

New research potential is the unique thing AECL could bring to Saskatchewan,
which the other two nuclear power plant developers would not, said Oberth.

“You’d be getting a reactor designed either in Pittsburgh mainly or in
France. All of the engineering would be done off-shore, and you’d have a
power plant,” said Oberth.

Last Friday, AECL submitted a bid for the next two reactors to be built in
Ontario. AECL is up against Westinghouse, an American firm, and Areva, the
French government-owned company. They are the same two companies being
considered, along with AECL, by Bruce Power.

“It was a major day in the company’s history,” said Oberth.

“That’s a must-win for us because that’s our home field. We as a company
must win the order for the next two reactors in Ontario to be able to
succeed internationally and (in) the rest of Canada.”

The agency running the tender process, Infrastructure Ontario, will make a
decision June 20.

The reactor model, an Advanced Candu Reactor 1000, is the same model AECL
would put forward to Bruce Power. It produces 1,085 megawatts of power.

AECL has experienced a few setbacks in recent years. The National Research
Universal (NRU) reactor, which manufactures medical radioisotopes, was shut
down in 2007 for upgrading, after the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission
said the reactor was out of compliance. The shutdown created a temporary
shortage of isotopes.

Last year, AECL also abandoned development of its Maple reactors, which were
intended to replace the NRU reactor. The decision was made based on a series
of reviews after Maple failed several tests.

=========================

(7) NO NEW NUKES IN ONTARIO — A TEACH-IN Mar 13-14 (Film, Battle of
Chernobyl)

Mar 13-14, 2009, at the U of T, Toronto, Ontario

(Many thanks to Robert)

Join us for a teach-in on nuclear energy in Ontario. What
are the concerns surrounding nuclear energy, and what are
the alternatives?

Registration is now live! To register go to
http://nuketeachin.eventbrite.com

On the evening of Friday March 13 at 7:00 p.m. there will a
screening of the film Battle of Chernobyl. Earth Sciences
Auditorium (ES 1050), U of T. For a description of the movie
see http://icarusfilms.com/new2007/batt.html

Workshops will be held all day on Saturday Mar. 14, 10 a.m.
to 4 p.m. in the Kofffler Centre, Room 108, U of T

This conference will provide valuable information on the
cost, the health effects, the ethical considerations, and
the effectiveness of nuclear energy as compared to
alternatives (e.g. renewable energy sources).

For more info: nuketeachin@yahoo.ca

What’s Wrong With Nuclear? – links, organizations, resources
http://www.planetfriendly.net/energy.html#nuclear
http://directory.google.com/Top/Society/Issues/Environment/Nuclear/

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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A kinder, gentler nuker: Lingenfelter

Here it is, the rationalization for uranium mining but hey, Link says there’ll be no nuke reactor until a “blue ribbon panel” approves it!

Blue ribbon panel? WTF is that?

Sometimes, it’s hard to tell the difference between NDP types and SaskParty types.

No nukes in SK! Uranium kills!

A Policy Proposal by Dwain Lingenfelter
March 10th, 2009

Failing the People — The Wall Government and Nuclear Power

For nearly fifty years, the policy of the Saskatchewan Co-operative Commonwealth Federation and the New Democratic Party has been to support the mining of Saskatchewan uranium and the export of that uranium to other jurisdictions around the world to be used for nuclear power generation. I support that policy. A few years ago the Calvert government decided that it would pursue opportunities for value-added refining of uranium within our province, and I support that decision as well.

Today thirty one countries around the world use nuclear energy to generate electricity, many using uranium mined in Saskatchewan. Many highly developed countries such as France (75%), Finland (27%), The United Kingdom (20%), and Japan (27.5%) rely heavily on nuclear energy to generate power.

I make these points to emphasize that neither I nor the New Democratic Party enter the debate about our energy future with a closed mind toward nuclear power or any other potential energy source. It is clear to me that Saskatchewan will need a renewed commitment to energy conservation and a mix of both renewable and conventional energy sources to meet our energy needs in the immediate future. Even the European Union, whose member countries are global leaders in the area of renewable energy, envision producing only 20% of their energy from renewable sources by 2020. Therefore, while renewable energy options such as solar, wind, geo-thermal, and biomass are an important part of Saskatchewan’s future energy plans, some conventional generation of electricity will remain necessary for the foreseeable future.

However, I do not support the construction of a nuclear reactor to generate power within Saskatchewan’s borders unless a public, transparent study has been conducted by a blue ribbon panel of independent experts, showing the people of Saskatchewan that such a project could be sustainable, from both the financial and environmental perspective. This blue ribbon panel would hold public hearings around the province so that every citizen could have their say on the future of electrical generation in Saskatchewan. The panel would explore the costs and benefits of nuclear power compared to both renewable energy options and conventional electrical generation sources such as coal, natural gas and hydro. The energy options we choose for the next twenty years will impact everything from our provincial finances to our economic growth, from our population’s health to our quality of life. These decisions cannot be made without full, public input and understanding.

The Wall government has refused to let the people of Saskatchewan help plan their own energy future. It has stumbled and bumbled into a flawed process that clearly favours a single new energy source, provided by a single, private sector player, while freezing out the people of Saskatchewan.

Much of the Wall government’s information about the nuclear power option has been based on a feasibility study commissioned by the very company that proposes to build the nuclear power plant. This is a little like commissioning General Motors to ask if you really need to buy a new car.

The Wall government’s special committee reviewing the nuclear option, the $3 Million Uranium Development Partnership, has conducted its work behind closed doors, is dominated by nuclear proponents and has a limited mandate by the government’s own admission to “make recommendations on Saskatchewan-based value-added opportunities in the uranium industry”. Where is the comprehensive, even-handed, public review of all the energy options available to the people of Saskatchewan?

Meanwhile, the Wall government is negotiating in private with a single private sector company (Bruce Power) about the potential for a Saskatchewan-based nuclear reactor. How can we trust the Wall government to negotiate such a complex agreement on our behalf, when this same government mishandled the annual purchase of natural gas supplies for SaskEnergy customers this winter, requiring us all to pay $55 Million more than necessary for natural gas?

Even worse, the power company owned by the people of the province, SaskPower, has been reduced to an observer’s role in these closed-door discussions. Meanwhile, Bruce Power has been running extensive advertising in favour of nuclear power throughout Northwestern Saskatchewan, where they say they would like to locate a nuclear power reactor. In the Lloydminster area, local farmers have been visited by Land Agents working on behalf of Bruce Power. These agents are attempting to take out options on land in the area, while trying to swear local landowners to secrecy. Why would this type of activity be underway if the Wall government truly intended to have a public, comprehensive review of all the energy options open to Saskatchewan people?

As the Bishops of the Anglican, Evangelical Lutheran, Roman Catholic and Ukrainian Catholic Churches in Saskatchewan said in a joint statement recently: “It is critical that any recommendations be made only after full and open consultation with the people of this province.”

This is just one more reason why Saskatchewan people want public hearings, full transparency and widespread public involvement, before any deals or Letters of Understanding are signed with any potential supplier of new power generation.

I see much more support across the province for additional conservation measures before any new power generation is decided upon. While we have made strides in this area in recent years, there is much more that can and should be done. I also see growing support for building renewable power generation (wind, solar, geo-thermal and biomass) in Saskatchewan communities, perhaps producing up to 10 megawatts of power each, and selling their excess generation to SaskPower. If the provincial government supported renewable power generation of this size in 30 communities across the province, we would reduce our dependence on fossil fuels for power generation, empower local communities to build a greener future, and still provide SaskPower with the additional generating capacity needed to serve our growing economy over the next few years.

The Wall government is failing the people of Saskatchewan by refusing to have a comprehensive, public review of our future energy needs. Energy decisions are too important for politicians alone. We must find ways to involve all the people of the province in making these decisions.