Albertans promised public discussion

Y’ know, I can’t help but wonder if this whole Alberta going nuke thing isn’t just an opportunity for the new Premier, Ed Stelmach, to get some desperately needed attention.

In a CBC interview he says,

 “We’ll involve all Albertans in public discussion to see if that’s a direction they want to go,” Stelmach said Tuesday, sidestepping questions about his view of nuclear power.

And that is pretty much what Saskatchewan’s Premier, Lorne Calvert said before his government said,

 “Saskatchewan uranium significantly reduces the world’s greenhouse gas emissions by supporting nuclear power generation that displaces coal, oil and natural gas fired generation.”

And we still haven’t had a real public discussion…

Oh, and did you know they’re building a highway from Fort McLeod AB to the Saskatchewan border and from La Loche SK to the Alberta border.  Any bets on what that road is for!?!

How goddamned stupid do they think we are?

Dispelling the myths

International “Nuclear Power Fact File” Poster Campaign

Check out the posters.  (You can click on the arrows to move through the series.)

Print, post, and otherwise share them around. Dispel the myths lies that global capital likes to promote about nuclear power. 

Oh, and here’s one I adapted a while back.

Nuclear Power is a Dead End
Uranium will only last a few decades – what then?

Nuclear power – like the wasteful consumption of finite reserves of fossil fuels – is at a dead end. This is because the uranium, which is needed to operate nuclear power stations, is a scarce resource. “Fast breeder” reactors, with which it was hoped to stretch out the reserves for some time, have proven to be a failure on technical and commercial grounds. In just a few decades the nuclear power industry’s fuel reserves will run out.  Since oil and natural gas reserves will be used up in the foreseeable future, as well as uranium reserves, the human race can only meet its long-term energy needs by using forms of renewable energy and increasing energy efficiency.

Nuclear Power is a Con Trick
Nuclear energy is dispensable for power supply

In order to claim more importance for nuclear power, the nuclear industry repeatedly overstates nuclear energy’s share of electricity generation. If one examines closely what contribution nuclear energy makes to total worldwide energy consumption, it becomes evident that nuclear power is of practically no significance for mankind’s energy needs. In 2001, nuclear electricity supplied only 2.3 percent of worldwide energy needs. Renewable energy’s contribution to world energy supply is already significantly greater. The human race can easily do without nuclear power’s marginal contribution. The risks of nuclear accidents, production of highly radioactive waste and the costs necessary for its disposal, bear no rational relationship to the slight short-term gain in energy that nuclear power provides. Nuclear power is both hazardous and superfluous.

Nuclear Power Gambles with our Lives
Risk of Worst-Case Scenario Nuclear Incident in Europe: 16 Percent

An accident could happen in any power station as a result of technical defect or human error, releasing large quantities of radioactivity into the environment. According to the official “German Nuclear Power Station Risk Study – Phase B”, a German nuclear power station in operation over some 40 years has a 0.1 percent probability of a worst-case scenario nuclear incident. In the European Union there are more than 150 operational nuclear power stations. The probability of a worst-case scenario nuclear incident is around 16% in Europe. That equates to the chances of throwing a 6 with the first cast of the dice. Worldwide there are some 440 operational nuclear power stations. The probability of a major worst-case scenario incident within the next 40 years is in the region of 40 percent. As the nuclear disaster in Chernobyl shows, a major worst-case scenario nuclear incident can be expected to cause several thousand fatalities.

Nuclear Power is a Waste
No one wants such a legacy

Every nuclear power station converts uranium fuel rods through nuclear fission into highly radioactive nuclear waste. Nuclear waste constitutes a life-threatening hazard because of its radioactive emissions. People, animals and plants need to therefore be shielded from it for several hundreds of thousands of years. Nuclear power stations have been in operation for some 50 years but to date no one knows how nuclear waste can ultimately be stored. Worldwide there is not one safe and secure disposal option for the highly radioactive waste produced by nuclear power stations In the short period of time that nuclear power has been used, it is leaving behind – in the shape of the resultant nuclear waste – a dead hand of historical dimensions for the Earth. If prehistoric man had already had nuclear power stations we would even today still be having to maintain a watch over his waste.

Nuclear Power is a Bomb Factory
Nuclear power promotes proliferation of nuclear weapons

Those countries which have developed and built nuclear bombs in recent decades began with a civil nuclear program. However, these civil programs were often only a cover for their military interests and provided them with access to the technologies and know-how for the design of nuclear bombs. This fact shows that the export and further proliferation of nuclear technology significantly increases the risk of nuclear weapons proliferation.

Nuclear Power Cannot Save the Climate
Climate change can only be prevented by using renewables

The nuclear industry concedes that coal, oil and gas cannot be replaced by nuclear power. In order to replace a mere 10 percent of fossil energy in the year 2050 by means of nuclear power, up to 1000 new nuclear power stations would have to be built (at the moment there are about 440 nuclear power stations worldwide). Construction of these plants would – if ever realised – take several decades. Existing uranium reserves would then be rapidly exhausted. Even the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) admits that nuclear energy could not be expanded swiftly enough to stop climate change. The solution is quite different: various world energy scenarios show that the climate problem can only be solved by the use of renewable forms of energy in conjunction with efficient and economical energy technologies.

Nuclear Power Makes Less Jobs
Jobs? Wind power beats nuclear!

Nuclear power is capital intensive while renewable forms of energy are labour (job) intensive. For example, in Germany in 2002 some 30,000 people were employed in the nuclear industry. On the other hand, more than 53,000 people are presently employed in the German wind power industry alone. Overall, the renewable energies industry in Germany has already secured 120,000 jobs despite its as yet only small share of power generation. Further expansion of renewable energies is adding new jobs on a daily basis. Millions of new jobs could be created worldwide within the space of a few years by expanding the use of renewable forms of energy.

Alternatives to Nuclear Energy
100% of energy from sun, wind, water and biomass

In 2002, the German parliament presented an energy scenario according to which the entire German energy supply requirement could be achieved through the use of renewable forms of energy. If that is possible in Germany – a country with a small geographical area, high population and energy density and a high standard of living – it is possible anywhere. Meanwhile even the energy industry concedes that, by the year 2050, more energy could be provided from renewable sources worldwide than mankind is using today. The energy needs of this earth can be met through a mix of solar thermal power plants and solar electricity stations, wind farms, hydroelectric power stations and the various uses of biomass. In order to restrict growth of the energy requirement, economical energy technologies must come into play. Added to this, the rapid expansion of a world solar energy industry is an important step towards preventing wars over scarce resources such as oil, gas and uranium.

Shut down nuclear power plants.

Harper nuking Canada

Begin forwarded message:


Subject: [Rad-waste] Unresolved questions remain about environmental implications and costs. (nuke waste)

 

Nuclear energy endorsement may be linked to tar sands and climate change pressure

Unresolved questions remain about environmental implications and costs.

Ottawa, June 18, 2007 ­ Why is the minority Conservative government proceeding on nuclear energy at a time when it is fighting to regain public support after a difficult spring?

Canada’s Natural Resources Minister Gary Lunn announced Friday the Harper government’s endorsement of nuclear power and its approval of going ahead with storing high-level radioactive waste underground.

“Really, what this will allow is a permanent storage and a deep geological depository,” Lunn said. “This is an important decision for the government of Canada. As you know, the nuclear industry is very, very important.”

For years, the lack of long-term disposal plans has hobbled the nuclear industry, which has lobbied heavily for burying waste deep. Canadians, however, have always said no when asked to have nuclear waste disposal sites in their communities. At the news conference, Lunn dismissed concerns raised by environmentalists about the risks of nuclear energy as well as economic concerns about safe storage plans.

“This is just the beginning of a long process but they (the industry) will be able to begin that process today. It will allow the fuel to be retrieved as technology moves forward and, more importantly, allow it to be monitored continuously as it’s going through the storage process.”

The announcement makes sense for three key corporate sectors: tar sands, nuclear and construction/development. With the government under pressure to do something about greenhouse gas emissions related to the growth of oil extraction in the Alberta tar sands, nuclear seems an ideal option.

In the June 8, 2007 issue of Executive Intelligence Review, Rob Ainsworth, of the arch-right-wing Canadian LaRouche Youth Movement reports, as have others, of “a project in the Alberta tar sands to construct two 1,100-megawatt reactors, providing power to the area, as well as heat and steam for industrial purposes.” It takes an enormous amount of energy to extract oil from tar sands, and nuclear is been touted as a way to greatly reduce the amount of oil burned to support the process.

Every aspect of nuclear power development is both enormously expensive for governments and profitable for the corporations involved. “Most of the top engineering and heavy construction firms serve the energy sector in one form or another,” writes Vance Cariaga in Investor’s Business Daily. “Some go straight to the wellhead by offering design and management services for oil and gas production. Others build hydrocarbon processing plants, liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals and nuclear power facilities.”

The licensing of more reactors would also be a great boon, at potentially greater public expense, to Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd, which has received subsidies of $17.5 billion over 50 years, according to the Campaign for Nuclear Phaseout.

The Conservatives’ announcement allows existing reactor sites to continue accumulating waste indefinitely, and it initiates a search for an “informed community” willing to host a “deep repository” for burial of wastes. It will also explore moving wastes to a central location for temporary, shallow underground storage and recycling of nuclear fuel.

As Susan Riley writes in today’s Ottawa Citizen, “Apart from the experimental nature of the proposed solution, many hurdles remain ­ notably, finding a community desperate enough to become a nuclear dumping ground. It has been long supposed that some remote northern town would be the lucky winner, given the technological preference for disposing of the waste deep in the Canadian shield. But recent research suggests the sedimentary rock underlying much of southern Ontario would also be suitable. That said, the prospect of a bidding war between Oakville and Rosedale appears unlikely.”

With these plans, the Harper government has made an unequivocal commitment to nuclear power and ignores difficult issues of radioactive wastes that have never been resolved by scientists or the Canadian public. Nuclear power remains vulnerable to human carelessness, as well as deliberate acts of terrorism or other sabotage. Even the best-designed radioactive waste repository will leak and expose future generations to radiation. The federal environmental assessment panel concluded in 1998 that from a social perspective, the safety of deep geological disposal has not been adequately demonstrated, has never been officially contradicted or disproved.

“From a technical perspective, safety of the AECL concept has been on balance adequately demonstrated for a conceptual stage of development, but from a social perspective, it has not,” the report stated. “As it stands, the AECL concept for deep geological disposal has not been demonstrated to have broad public support.”

Nuclear power has left unresolved environmental problems in Canada. Uranium mining has killed Saskatchewan lakes. Processing uranium has created a permanent toxic legacy in the town of Port Hope, Ontario. CANDU reactors routinely release radioactive carbon dioxide and radioactive water contaminated with tritium during their operations, polluting air and water and jeopardizing human health, as confirmed last week in a report commissioned by Greenpeace Canada.

The government announcement reflects recommendations in a report by the government-appointed Nuclear Waste Management Association, which is largely made up of nuclear industry or ex-industry personnel. The Sierra Club of Canada’s Emilie Moorhouse said, “Its interests are not public health. Its interests are the promotion of this industry.”

Related individuals, organizations and significant events
Intensity-based targets promote oil industry frame

Harper Conservative vs. Public Values Frame
Long process / Unstoppable expansion
Green / Unresolved public safety questions
Economical / Massive subsidies

Links and sources
Feds back underground disposal of nuclear waste , Canadian Press, June 15, 2007
Susan Riley, Going nuclear by stealth , The Ottawa Citizen, June 18, 2007
The Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility
Canadian LaRouche Youth Movement.
Rob Ainsworth, Will Canada Join the Rail and Nuclear Renaissance? , Executive Intelligence Review, June 8, 2007
Vance Cariaga, Heavy Construction Firms Busy Helping Thriving Energy Sector , Investor’s Business Daily, May 22, 2007
Tyler Hamilton, Hot granite and steam could clean up oil sands, Toronto Star, May 30, 2007
Environmental Assessment Report on High Level Waste Disposal Concept, 1998
Chinta Puxley, Radioactive tritium in Great Lakes puts kids at risk: study , London Free Press, June 13, 2007
Canadian Nuclear Subsidies: Fifty Years of Futile Funding, Campaign for Nuclear Phaseout

Posted: June 18, 2007 at http://www.harperindex.ca/ViewArticle.cfm?Ref=0057

_______________________________________________

Rad-waste mailing list

Rad-waste@list.web.net

http://list.web.net/lists/listinfo/rad-waste

Climate Change & the G8

From Avaaz.org,

Dear friends,

Last week, Avaaz campaigners hand-delivered our 100,000-signature climate change petition to the environment ministers of the world’s most polluting countries. It worked. The chair of the meeting waved the petition in the air, calling on his fellow ministers to act–and they agreed that climate change would be the #1 issue at the G8 summit in June.

The momentum is on our side. Let’s build on it. Next Tuesday, another high-level group will meet to move forward with G8 planning — and we can keep the focus on the climate issue by showing that the call for action is growing. Can you help us reach our ambitious goal of 150,000 signatures by Tuesday by forwarding this to ten friends? Your friends can sign the petition here:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/climate_action_g8

Here’s how our campaigner Iain Keith, who presented the petition, describes his experience:

When my turn came to speak to the Environment ministers, I was so nervous that I thought my voice would quiver. But I wasn’t just speaking for myself–I was there on behalf of 100,000 Avaaz members, and I couldn’t let them down. I walked to the microphone, took a deep breath, and said, “Dear Ministers, ladies and gentlemen, m y name is Iain Keith and I’m here on behalf of the 1 Million members of Avaaz. Avaaz is a new online community where global citizens can go to take action on the biggest issues facing our world. I have here, in my hands, a petition from our members who would like to tell you that they are scared of climate change, and the lack of action being taken. The countries represented in this room are responsible for the majority of global greenhouse gas emissions. As ministers of the environment you are in an excellent position to persuade your leaders to make tackling climate change the number one priority for the next G8 summit. Our members humbly request that you acce

I handed the petition to the German environment minister, Sigmar Gabriel. The meeting continued, with speeches on other issues from other organizations. I wondered if all of the work had been worth it.

And then came Minister Gabriel’s closing speech.

I could hardly believe it: he was saying that climate change must be the number one priority at the G8 summit. And he was holding our petition.

“Thanks to increased pressure from people around the world,” he said, “the tide is turning. When an international NGO can gather this many signatures” (here he holds up the petition), “we cannot ignore this problem anymore… As Environmental ministers, we have a responsibility both to the environment and our voters to make sure our heads of state act!”

And a few days later, German Chancellor and G8 President Angela Merkel vowed to put climate change at the top of the agenda for the G8 Leaders Summit.

We did it!!

Iain’s right. And we can do even more. Can you forward this to ten friends, and help us reach our goal of 150,000 signatures by Tuesday?

http://www.avaaz.org/en/climate_action_g8

It’s amazing what can happen when we work together. Thanks for all that you do.

With hope,

Ben, Iain, Ricken, Lee-Sean, Galit, Graziela, and the rest of the Avaaz team

P.S. For a more detailed report of the meeting, including photos, visit the Avaaz blog

Big Oil and Big (G)A(s)s Offer Cash for Cred

skdadl’s hammer hit the head of the nail at Peace, Order & Good Government, Eh?

Updated 9:15PM CST to add this which contains a reference to the famed right-wing think tank that recently heaped praise on the Government of Saskatchewan for its “historic transformation of economic policy” and captured front page headlines in the Regina Leader Post as a result.

How interesting that they will now follow-up Tommy Douglas’ rolling over in his grave with an independent report a pack of lies about Climate Change, funded by Exxon-Mobil.

Oh, this is worth a look, too.

Unethical investment

From the inbox, something we’ve known for a long time:  nuclear power is too risky to be an ethical investment, according to The Ethical Funds Company.

The Ethical Funds Company says nuclear power is too risky

 

Vancouver, BC – January 19, 2007 – Nuclear power carries too many risks to qualify as a sustainable investment, according to a new report published by The Ethical Funds Company, Canada’s leading manager of socially responsible mutual funds.

 

The Ethical Funds Company has published its review of major nuclear risks in One is Too Many: Considering Nuclear in a Time of Climate Change.

 

“We were motivated to conduct this review by recent claims that nuclear power can serve as a primary strategy for fighting climate change,” said Bob Walker, Vice President, Sustainability, at The Ethical Funds Company. “In our view, these claims do not take into account the significant environmental, social and political challenges and risks associated with nuclear power.”

 

The Ethical Funds Company’s case for excluding nuclear power from its investment portfolios is based upon five issues: 

 

1. Financial sustainability. The electricity industry is currently moving towards privatization of power generation. In order to attract investment on the open market, nuclear power plants will need to compete with other kinds of electricity generation. Cost analysis indicates that despite decades of government support – and in the absence of future subsidies – nuclear power cannot compete with coal, natural gas or some renewable sources of electricity. 

 

2. Nuclear power safety. Analysis indicates that with an expanded industry we can expect as many as four nuclear “core” damage incidents by mid-century. Examples of this type of incident include Three Mile Island in 1979 and Chernobyl in 1986. One accident, in our view, would be unacceptable.

 

3. Waste disposal. After 20 years of study, the nuclear power industry has not yet resolved the issue of nuclear waste disposal. One of the world’s most advanced sites, Yucca Mountain in Nevada, has been delayed on technical grounds and because of local opposition. 

  

4. Nuclear weapons proliferation. Nuclear weapons capability is connected to nuclear power capability. Governments and nuclear strategists acknowledge that an expanded nuclear industry increases the risk of nuclear weapons proliferation. This is a risk, society and future generations should not be asked to bear.

 

5. There are better options. A multi-strategy approach to climate change is now gaining traction among academics, business leaders and policy-makers. This strategy involves using a combination of conservation initiatives, existing renewable energy technologies and carbon capture and storage. Nuclear power need not be part of our future energy mix.

 

“There are technically achievable, more sustainable and less risky options for fighting climate change,” said Walker. “Massive investment in nuclear power could divert resources from these options and leave us with environmental and social challenges for our children and grandchildren to clean up. All these factors continue to make nuclear power as unacceptable to us now, as it was 20 years ago.”

 

 

About The Ethical Funds Company

Launched in 1992, The Ethical Funds Company is Canada’s leading manager of socially responsible mutual funds. In addition to evaluating all investments according to their financial, social and environmental performance and outlook, The Ethical Funds Company promotes corporate accountability – making good companies better – and gives investors a voice in encouraging sustainable business practices.

 

 

For more information, please contact:

 

Bob Walker

Vice President, Sustainability 

The Ethical Funds Company

Tel: 604.714.3833

http://www.ethicalfunds.com/

 

Jane Mitchell 

Public Relations 

The Ethical Funds Company

Tel: 604.714.3843

http://www.ethicalfunds.com

 

®Ethical, and The Ethical Funds Company are registered marks owned by Ethical Funds Inc.

ACTION: Baird in Regina

The inbox is the source of all activity these days.  Check this out and then the following:

psst…pass it on…

Greet Federal Environment Minister John Baird

5:00 p.m. Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Canadian Italian Club
2148 Connaught Street, Regina

Bring banners, placards and noise-makers to make noise in support of a green Canada which meets its commitments to the Kyoto Protocol.

“Green is the colour,
The climate is the game
We’re all together
and reducing is our aim
So let’s all work to stop climate change
Saskatchewan Green Greeters is our name”

(adapted w/o permission)

Info gathered from here

Dr. Helen Caldicott in Saskatchewan

The push for nukes is huge right now.  There seems to be no regard, though, for the effects of Depleted Uranium.  It is good that Caldicott will be in Saskatchewan this spring.

 

Reason and Nuclear Power – Dr. Helen Caldicott

 

Saskatchewan is home to one of the largest deposits of uranium ore in the world.  Despite industry and government claims, nuclear power is not “clean and green.”   As Dr. Helen Caldicott shows in her new book, Nuclear Power is not the Answer, large amounts of fossil fuels are required to mine and refine the uranium needed, to construct the concrete reactor buildings and transport and store the highly toxic waste.   The mill tailings that remain from the extraction of uranium emit radioactive elements to the air and water.  Adequate remediation (safe treatment of the tailings), if carried out by governments and the industry, would make the energy price of nuclear electricity unreasonable. (Dr. Helen Caldicott).

 

Widely regarded as one of the great public speakers of the era, Dr. Helen Caldicott (paediatrician) has demonstrated a consistent ability to galvanize people from all walks of life to believe in their own capacity to bring about positive change.   She is the single most articulate and passionate advocate of citizen action to remedy the nuclear and environmental crises.

  • Co-founded Physicians for Social Responsibility (organization awarded Nobel Peace Prize in 1985)
  • Founded Women’s Action for Nuclear Disarmament
  • Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize by Linus Pauling, a Nobel Laureate
  • The Smithsonian Institute has named Dr. Caldicott as one of the most influential women of the 20 th Century.

========================
Helen Caldicott in Saskatchewan
========================

Tuesday, March 6, 2007
7 pm
Education Auditorium
University of Regina
Book signing to follow
Event and parking are free
For more information:
http://scratchpost.cc.uregina.ca/spr/Caldicott.html
Phone: (306) 585-4117
Email: hcvisit@gmail.com

—————————————————

Helen Caldicott in Saskatoon:
7:30 pm Wednesday, March 7, 2007
Third Avenue United Church
304 3rd Avenue North
(3rd Ave & 24th Street)
Saskatoon
Event is free; donations accepted
For more information contact cleangreensask@yahoo.ca

Thursday, March 8, 2007Dr. Caldicott will participate in grand rounds at the University of Saskatchewan

The proceedings will be broadcast to several teaching hospitals throughout the province.

Harper’s Admission of Failure?

It seems our dear PMS is having a little trouble with the environmental portfolio. Perhaps it’s because he chose the daughter of a big oil and big ass gas fellow to lead on it and Ambrose has certainly been doing what it takes to make nothing happen. The outrage from Canadians and the international community has been harsh.

Now, it seems, PMS is ready to hear from Canadians on the matter. Perhaps PMS finally sees that the environment is important. More likely, he sees that it is necessary to appear to see it as important in order to win the next election.  From The Globe & Mail:

The move by the Conservatives occurs as the PMO is leading efforts to rebrand the party’s environmental credentials, leaving Ms. Ambrose in limbo over her political future.

It also comes on the heels of comments from former prime minister Brian Mulroney that environmental issues might be a key to capturing the next federal election.

He said if the Stephen Harper government doesn’t move faster, other parties are waiting to claim the environment as their issue. Mr. Dion, the new leader of the Liberal Party, has vowed to make the environment his central campaign issue in the next election.

In year-end interviews, the Prime Minister said he agreed with Mr. Mulroney’s comments.

Oh, where is that vomit smiley when I need it?!?

Thanks to The Jurist for the lead.

Climate Change, Government of Canada

11 months in office and there’s been no action from Ambrose and the Harperites on the issue of Climate Change.

no-climate-change-website.png

The Clean Air Act was a waste of our tax money, unless the parties in Opposition can do something with it. Ambrose must be listening closely to what her family’s big oil and big ass big gas friends said as she formulated the death of our children’s future.

Thanks to where’d that bug go? for the lead.