Part 2 of Dr. Harding’s Long-view of the Nuclear Industry in Saskatchewan.

CCF, Liberal, NDP, Conservative and Sask Party governments all played a role in the nuclear industry getting a foothold in this province. Whether more left or right, all parties held to a post-war development view which could be called “pre-environmental technocracy”. All equated “nuclear” with industrial progress.

One of the first things done by the CCF’s Adult Education division in 1944 was to issue a pro-“atomic  power” study guide. Nuclear power was going to be “too cheap to meter”, and, in those early years, there was complete amnesia about nuclear wastes. No wonder it’s been so hard to wean ourselves from the fantasy that nuclear energy is a vehicle of progress for working people. No wonder it’s been so hard for the non-nuclear view to get traction here.

Nevertheless, there’s been a steady evolution of solid opposition to the spread of the nuclear industry. In the late 1950s there was…

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Jim Harding, telling it like it is.

Earlier this summer, I was asked to speak on the nuclear industry at the National Farmer Union’s (NFU) Saskatchewan annual meeting. I have spoken on the pitfalls of nuclear energy so often that I worried I might be redundant. But what you say in a talk or article depends mostly on the questions you ask; this sets the direction of your research and analysis. So this was an opportunity for me to consider questions that I previously might have downplayed.

Sometimes we don’t want to ask new questions about old topics for fear of what we might find. This is true at a personal as well as at a political level. This year we enthusiastically ask questions about Medicare as part of celebrating its 50th anniversary. But we still don’t ask the hard questions about Saskatchewan’s longer nuclear heritage; this might be too revealing and impossible to celebrate.

I decided…

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