Transition Brockville archive

Tag : Nuclear power (10)

Replacing Ontario’s nuclear energy?

CAPE Blog / Jack Gibbons / 03 September 2017

“Where would Ontario get its baseload electricity if it shut down its nuclear plants?”

For close to 50 years, Ontario has relied on nuclear power to supply a large share of its electricity. In that half century, the cost of nuclear power has climbed steadily, the risk of nuclear accidents has been made terribly real by events in Chernobyl and Fukushima, and no jurisdiction anywhere – including Ontario – has managed to devise a practical solution for dealing with the tonnes of dangerous radioactive waste sitting outside nuclear reactors, including in the heart of the Greater Toronto Area.

In short, nuclear power has largely been a failure. It has never even come close to meeting the claim that power produced from reactors would be “too cheap to meter” and never resolved the inherent dangers of combining highly complex systems with massive failure risks.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Ontario outlines long-term energy plans

World Nuclear News / 30 October 2017

The government of Ontario has reconfirmed its support for the Canadian province’s nuclear sector in its long-term energy roadmap. The plan focuses on energy affordability, innovation and customer choice in the province, which already generates over 90% of its electricity without producing greenhouse gases.

The 2017 Long-Term Energy Plan (LTEP) – subtitled Delivering fairness and choice – was published on 26 October after a consultation and engagement process involving industry, indigenous communities and organisations, businesses and private citizens. The previous LTEP was published in 2013.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Ontario shouldn’t abandon its shift to renewable energy

Torontoist / Angela Bischoff / 10 February 2017

Our power planners love nuclear energy, and the nuclear industry insists it is a low-cost source of power. Of course, they don’t add that publicly-owned Ontario Power Generation just applied for an 180 per cent increase in the price it is paid for the power generated by its nuclear plants, or that the aging Pickering Nuclear Station on Toronto’s doorstep has the highest operating costs of any nuclear station in North America, requiring a billion dollars annually to subsidize its operating deficit.

No other jurisdiction in the world outside of France relies as heavily on nuclear power as Ontario. It is an astonishing dependence at a time when costs for renewable sources like wind and solar continue to decline dramatically—but not one that Premier Kathleen Wynne’s government seems to be in any hurry to shake.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Nuclear industry in crisis

RenewEconomy / Jim Green / 06 February 2017

Forget the hype about so-called ‘Generation IV’ reactors ‒ the industry is having massive problems with ‘Generation III’ reactors, which are nothing more than modified versions of long-established reactor technology.

Problems with Generation III projects ‒ which largely explain Toshiba’s crisis ‒ are summarised in a recent Bloomberg piece: “Costly delays, growing complexity and new safety requirements in the wake of the triple meltdown at Fukushima are conspiring to thwart a new age of nuclear reactor construction. So-called generation III+ reactors were supposed to have simpler designs and safety features to avoid the kind of disaster seen in Japan almost six years ago.

“With their development, the industry heralded the dawn of a new era of cheaper, easier-to-build atomic plants. Instead, the new reactors are running afoul of tighter regulations and unfamiliar designs, delaying completions and raising questions on whether the breakthroughs are too complex and expensive to be realized without state aid.”

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Former Minister of Energy: close Pickering Nuclear Station

Ontario Clean Air Alliance / 30 June 2016

george_smitherman-webYesterday, George Smitherman, former Deputy Premier and Minister of Energy for Ontario, called for the closure of the Pickering Nuclear Station in a deputation to the City of Toronto’s Executive Committee. (View Mr. Smitherman’s remarks).

Mr. Smitherman suggested that Ontario extend its “cash for clunkers” program to include Pickering and noted that he was informed as Energy Minister as early as 2007 that the plant was nearing the end of its useful life. He also warned that Pickering was an example of badly outdated technology with weak radioactive containment systems.

Mr. Smitherman went on to note that Ontarians are far too passive about the threat posed by an aging nuclear plant on the doorstep of its largest city and suggested that the City of Toronto had every right to express concern, given the likely impacts on residents and first responders of an accident at North America’s 4th oldest nuclear plant. Asked what had motivated him to speak out about Pickering, Mr. Smitherman simply replied “I’m here in my capacity as a father.”

Mr. Smitherman was speaking in favour of Councillors Glenn De Baeremaeker’s and Gord Perks’ motion that the City of Toronto request the Government of Ontario close the Pickering Nuclear Station in 2018 when its licence expires. He was among a number of speakers who addressed the threats posed by Pickering, including routine releases of radioactive tritium and the continued build up of high level radioactive waste.

Unfortunately, the executive committee adopted precisely the passive response that former Minister Smitherman warned about, and voted to defer the motion indefinitely. Deputy Mayor Minnan-Wong’s motion was supported by Mayor Tory and Councillors Crawford, Di Giorgio, Pasternak, Robinson and Thompson. The Deputy Mayor’s motion was opposed by Councillors Ainslie, Holland, McMahon and Shiner.

[ OCAA WEBSITE ]

How to lower your electricity bills and GHG emissions

Ontario Clean Air Alliance / Angela Bischoff / 13 June 2016

pchoiceswebWhen you turn on your computer, lamp or TV do you think about the source of the electricity you are using? Its climate impact? Its cost?

Most of us don’t give a second thought to these concerns when we hit the “on” switch, but there are important decisions pending around all of these issues in Ontario.

Our new report, Power Choices: Designing an electricity system for a rapidly changing world looks at how we could redesign our electricity system to reduce costs, lower its climate impact, and create new jobs and economic opportunities.

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The Transition Framework

Resilience is the ability of a system or community to withstand impacts from outside. An indicator is a good way of measuring that. Conventionally, the principal way of measuring a reducing carbon footprint is CO2 emissions. However, we firmly believe that cutting carbon while failing to build resilience is an insufficient response when you’re trying to address multiple shocks such as peak oil, climate change and the economic crisis together.

— Transition U.S.
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