Encouraging news!

It’s always good to add a little good news to one’s day!

The World Bank and United Nations on Wednesday appealed for billions of dollars to provide electricity for the poorest nations but said there would be no investment in nuclear power.

“We don’t do ,” said World Bank president Jim Yong Kim as he and UN leader Ban Ki-moon outlined efforts to make sure all people have access to electricity by 2030.

 

And, in case I missed this one, I’ll add it now, too!

Nuclear reactors are not a viable source of new power in the West, Morningstar analysts conclude in a report this month to institutional investors.

Nuclear’s “enormous costs, political and popular opposition, and regulatory uncertainty” render new reactors infeasible even in regions where they make economic sense, according to Morningstar’s Utilities Observer report for November.

“Aside from the two new nuclear projects in the U.S., one in France, and a possible one in the U.K., we think new-build nuclear in the West is dead,” Morningstar analysts Mark Barnett and Travis Miller say in the report.

This view puts Morningstar on the same page as former Exelon CEO John Rowe, who said in early 2012 that new nuclear plants “don’t make any sense right now” and won’t become economically viable for the forseeable future.

 

Real reasons to hope for an end to nuclear energy.

The Elm Dance: Healing the World

Regina’s Making Peace Vigil and the Saskatchewan Singers of the Sacred Web invite you to join in the Elm Dance on Thursday, August 4 at noon on Scarth Street at 11th Avenue.

From its Latvian roots this intimate folk song has grown into the Elm Dance and is danced by circles of activists around the world, from Novozybkov, 100 miles downwind from Chernobyl, to the uranium mines of northern Saskatchewan.  

Danced with reverence for human and more than human life, and in solidarity with trees who breathe in what we breathe out, the dance begins always with the dancers saying together this statement of intention: ’We do this dance as a way of strengthening our intention to participate in the healing of this beloved planet,  its humans and all beings.’  

On this anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima we dedicate this dance to all places and beings damaged by uranium mining, nuclear weapons, and nuclear power generation, including most recently Fukushima, Japan. 

join us in the elm dance poster

More Nuke News

Not a lot of people liking President O’s greenwashing of nukes.  This most excellent article in the Guardian dispels the myth that nukes are green.

The argument that nuclear is “carbon-free” conveniently omits the entire process of mining uranium, which produces greenhouse gases, along with other pollutants. In Virginia, where a study has just been commissioned to determine its safety, uranium is mined in open pits. This destroys topsoil and increases runoff, which contaminates drinking water with cancer-causing toxins.

The uranium-enrichment process also emits greenhouse gases and is highly wasteful. Eighty percent of the ore that goes through the enrichment process ends up as waste. And this is to say nothing of the lye, sulfuric acid, and other caustic agents that must be used to turn the uranium into reactor-ready fuel.

While on the surface, the steam billowing from the cooling tower of a nuclear reactor is less harmful than the toxic smoke that spews from a coal plant, nuclear reactors still create byproducts that are dangerous to human health and welfare. There’s also the huge problem of radioactive nuclear waste, which can stay hot for hundreds of thousands of years. Storing the radioactive waste isn’t just a security threat; there’s potential for radioactive chemicals to leak, as they are in Vermont and at other aging reactors around the country.

It’s clear to me that the US Prezzie doesn’t read P’n’P.  Perhaps you could invite him to do so via this handy form?

The folks at nuclear news have that article available, as well as a fantastic sidebar, The Very Secret Costs of Nuclear Power.  From their site:

Well it is impossible for anyone to estimate the real costs of nuclear power, as only a narrow range of costs are discussed, even where the nuclear industry is supposedly privately owned.

1. The nuclear weapons industry is so connected with nuclear power, and the costs on the nuclear weapons industry are huge.

2. Where the nuclear industry is state owned – e.g. in France, Russia, China, South Korea, taxation, and the costs of electricity are manipulated, and figures given out for nuclear costs are not really reliable.

Secrecy about the nuclear industry is essential anyway, for security reasons. But it is also convenient, as no-one really knows how much it costs for state-owned nuclear facilities to manage nuclear waste. Well, there are ‘cheap’ options used, as we learn from time, with nuclear waste dumping occurring secretly, and without regard for the environment or the people, (usually poor communities, indigenous and rural people.) Eventually someone has to pay for the long-term costs.

Back at home, the nukers are bragging about their exploration in Quebec’s Otish Mountains.

Ditem Explorations /quotes/comstock/11v!dit (CA:DIT 0.08, 0.00, 0.00%) is pleased to report that the 2010 exploration program on the Company’s Otish Mountains uranium property in Quebec is underway. A fully operational camp has been established to accommodate geophysical and drilling crews. Drilling on the first hole began yesterday.

They don’t get that they’re involved in ecological racism. And that sux!  The Quebec no-nukers have been working tirelessly to put an end to nuking the environment.  Check it out.  And here’s a thorough piece from the Dominion about the nuke activity in northern Quebec.

One further focus for criticism is the province’s much-hyped development strategy, known as the “Plan Nord,” which involves targeting government money at selected infrastructure projects favouring principally the resource extraction sector in northern Quebec. According to research conducted by The Dominion, last year’s provincial budget earmarked $130 million for extending Highway 167 by 268km into the Otish Mountains, northeast of the James Bay Cree town of Mistissini. It is in an area without residential communities, but where Vancouver-based Strateco Resources has discovered some of Quebec’s most concentrated uranium deposits.

Finally, here’s another story about Canada’s outrageous and extravagant spending on AECL flowing from the Chalk River Fiasco.

As a result, Ottawa allocated $824-million in the current fiscal year to the problem-plagued nuclear flagship as the government prepares to restructure it and sell its commercial division, according to supplemental estimates released late yesterday.

That’s a 50-per-cent increase from federal spending on AECL in the prior fiscal year. In today’s budget, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty will likely provide hundreds of millions more to support AECL’s operating budget and design work on the advanced Candu reactor and refurbish Chalk River laboratories.

Our tax dollars are being sunk into what the PM himself called a “sinkhole” so that the feds can sell it for next to nothing?  WTF?  It seems that PMS definitely needs to hear from you on this ridiculous, costly venture!  Imagine, were that kind of money to be spent on real green technology…

Harding: After a Decade of Shock and Awe

Here’s Dr. Jim Harding’s latest column. Worth a read.

After a Decade of Shock and Awe

by Jim Harding

It’s common to recap events in decades. We often even adopt decade identities – the rebellious sixties, the greedy eighties, etc. Might we call the first decade of the 21st century the “shock and awe” decade?

The decade is mostly defined by the aftermath of the Sept. 11th 2001 bombing of New York’s Twin Towers. The hysteria generated after this was instrumental in starting two destructive “wars on terrorism”, which trudge on. The Security State has grown along with insurgencies and the politics of fear, none of which are good foundations for building sustainable societies. But much more happened! The decade saw a global economic crisis, devastating natural disasters, extreme storms and deepening of the climate crisis controversy, all of which will shape the coming decade.

BUBBLES AND LIVES BURSTING

Many corporate bubbles burst in the last decade. The S & P 500 lost 25% of their stock value; the dot.com bubble burst as markets plummeted after 9/11. The decade ended when the real estate bubble burst and the world entered the greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression. While a few got richer, the majority did not. Many people lost jobs and large amounts of their pensions. The trillion dollar and growing debt from the U.S’s ongoing “wars on terrorism” and economic bailouts will continue to destabilize that country. In the 1990’we were talking of the U.S. being the world’s only superpower. This last decade likely ended that.

Those facing natural and climate disasters had more fundamental challenges than securing their retirement. The tsunami that followed from the earthquake off Sumatra on December 24, 2004 left 230,000 persons dead. The May 12, 2008 earthquake at Sichuan, China killed another 70,000. And the May 2, 2008 cyclone in Burma killed 140,000 more. In the west we likely know far more about the August 29, 2005 Hurricane Katrina which killed about 2,000 persons. As with the Haitian earthquake, which killed 230,000 persons, social position and political marginalization played a major role in shaping vulnerability.

Extreme weather events and the magnitude of storms propelled worldwide support for actions to prevent irreversible climate change. But the politics of fossil fuel dependency and resistance to moving beyond our carbon economy has won out, so far. Greenhouse gases continued to rise during the last decade, and the Canadian government got a deserved international reputation for undermining climate justice. At the same time the shift towards a green economy and support for renewable energy accelerated worldwide, including in Saskatchewan; the climate controversy won’t be on the back-burner for long.

Over the last decade the politics of fear clearly ascended. One-quarter of Americans now believe they are at risk from a terrorist attack, while, realistically, they face greater dangers from their cars. Our moral sense of proportion became even more warped during the past decade. How do we compare the 2,900 innocent civilians who died so tragically in the Twin Towers or those dead or suffering from occupational hazards after intervening in the ordeal, to the many more soldiers and insurgents who have died at war? Or to the hundreds of thousands of civilians who have died from these terrifying wars? Or to the many more who will now live traumatized lives? Or to those forced to eke out an existence on war-poisoned land? The end-justifies-the means mentality of the last decade is simply not sustainable.

MORE OF SAME?

We humans have huge capacity for denial and dissociation. I, too, look forward to World Cup soccer or Canada-U.S. hockey games, and hope that international sports is making us more accepting of human diversity. But I know that sports and entertainment celebrity culture can also blind us from human suffering and glaring inequalities. How quickly beer-drinking Olympic-mania replaced coverage of the millions still grieving and struggling in Haiti! It’s hard not to conclude that achieving sustainability will require a massive resurgence of human spirituality. Perhaps this has been going on underneath all the shock and awe we have collectively experienced and this will continue to blossom in coming years. Perhaps!

For many the election of President Obama was a sign of moderation and hope, but it was premature to present him with a Peace Prize without any track record. Moving towards more peace and security is a challenge to us all. It is heartening that the U.S. and Russia are talking of nuclear weapons reductions, but nuclear proliferation remains a global threat, with the help of the spreading of nuclear technology. It hasn’t helped the cause that, as the British Inquiry on the War on Iraq is now confirming, the US and UK manipulated fears about Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) to justify their planned invasion of Iraq. All of us can contribute to peace and security by resisting such disinformation campaigns, and demanding more participation and transparency within our democracies. Do we ever need this in Canada now!

The huge changes occurring in the last decade clearly set us up for either more of the same or embracing the needed shift towards sustainability. There will be no tech-fixes in this evolutionary endeavour, but the growth of the internet and other mass communications likely sets the stage for the coming decade. Will the globalizing of communications help us to get a more accurate and compassionate view of the challenges facing humanity? Will this create even more narcissism and attention deficit among those bonding to the new technology market? The last decade vividly shows the challenges to not living in bubbles and to continually enhancing connaection. Perhaps down deep, after all the shock and awe, many will be whispering “enough is enough.” And, like spring winds, whispers can grow.

Next time I’ll explore how population growth affects sustainability.

Originally published in RTown News, February 26, 2010

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.”

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.

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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Opponents of Quebec’s nuclear plans get fired up

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You gotta love it when community comes together like this!  And you gotta love Quebeckers, especially, for showing us how to do it!
Opponents of Quebec’s nuclear plans get fired up

Gentilly 2 reactor to be refurbished. Scientists, artists and activists
say province made decisions without any public hearings

Dozens of prominent Quebec artists, scientists and media personalities
joined about 60 environmental and social groups yesterday to launch a
vast campaign to pressure Quebec’s Liberal government to cancel plans
to refurbish the province’s only nuclear reactor.

In August, Hydro-Québec and the minister responsible for the Mauricie
region, Julie Boulet, announced the Gentilly 2 nuclear plant in
Bécancour would be refurbished at an estimated cost of $1.9 billion.
That plant produces about three per cent of Quebec’s electricity.

At a news conference yesterday, scientists and nuclear experts,
including Université de Montréal professor Eric Notebaert, scientist
and broadcaster David Suzuki, radiation specialist Ian Fairlie, and
Université Laval professor of nuclear physics Michel Duguay, outlined
their concerns about the environmental, health, social and economic
risks of rebuilding the Gentilly 2 plant.

“(Premier) Jean Charest should be ashamed that this project is going
ahead without public debate,” said Gordon Edwards, a nuclear energy
expert and president of the Regroupement pour la surveillance du
nucléaire.

Duguay said Quebec does not need nuclear power to stabilize its
network, a point made clear by the fact that the grid has functioned
just fine whenever Gentilly 2 has been down for maintenance, “which is
at least 20 per cent of the time,” he said.

Others said Quebec should learn from Ontario’s mistakes, since nuclear
energy in that province has lead to massive cost overruns and frequent
breakdowns.

“In Canada, nuclear energy has proven itself to be expensive and
unreliable,” David Suzuki said in a statement read by his Quebec
director, Karel Maynard. “It makes no sense to pour more money into a
non-renewable and troublesome form of energy.”

The groups noted that the refurbishing was announced without any
public hearings on the environmental or health impacts it might have.

Notebaert and Fairlie explained that nuclear fission releases
radioactive isotopes, which if inhaled or consumed in food and water
can cause cell and DNA damage. While exposure to very high doses
causes death, lower repeated doses can cause cancer and birth defects.
Gentilly 2 also releases a radioactive hydrogen isotope called
tritium. Canada and Quebec tolerate relatively high levels of this
substance in air and water: 467 times higher than California’s
standards, for example.

Laure Waridel of Nature Québec explained why the campaign solicited
the help of 24 prominent local musicians and artists, including Michel
Rivard, Jacques Languirand, Diane Dufresne and Richard Séguin.

“No one can bring people together more effectively than musicians and
artists, and we need a massive social movement to oppose this
project,” she said.


For more information on the campaign or to sign an online petition, go

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
ccnr@web.ca

Indeed, sleep well, Maisie.