Community Coalition Against Mining Uranium (CCAMU)
Inquiry on the Impacts of the Uranium Cycle
Safe, Clean, Economical Alternatives to Radioactivity Derived Electricity
I am concerned that the anti-mining aspect of these protests and hearings
may be serving the interests of the Canadian Nuclear Industry.|
We are being directed to focus our attention and concern on divers
potential sites where exploration is planned and mining might eventually
Stop the Sharbot Lake area prospecting and exploration.
Stop the Calumet Island prospecting and exploration.
Stop the Wakefield prospecting and exploration.
Stop the Labrador prospecting and exploration.
Uranium mining should be stopped and I commend the folks who have devoted
energy, time and resources to confronting the uranium mining industry.
However, while our attention is being directed to the urgent need to stop
prospecting and exploration work on these many sites, the Nuclear Industry
is already proceeding toward building the most expensive expansion of
radioactivity based electrical production this country has ever seen.
The $40 Billion currently being talked about for new nuclear reactors will
most likely cost Ontarians hundreds of billions of dollars, and increase
Ontario's ongoing radioactive pollution and the dangers from accidents or
terrorism. New reactors are being proposed for Pickering, for Bruce and
for Chalk River . and there is virtually no mention of this dire fact in
any of the information being presented to the public .
Premier Dalton McGuinty simply announced that Ontario will build new
nuclear reactors, fait accompli; the corporate press dutifully reports
this fact and then declines further discussion. There is no public
consultation, and no real reason why these dangerous devices need to be
Nuclear reactors are simply extremely large, extremely complex and
extremely dangerous devices with which to boil water. Boiling water by
'burning' rocks may seem like 'wow' technology to some sci-fi tech geeks,
but boiling water by 'burning' horribly toxic rocks is just stupid.
The Canadian Nuclear Industry has been a part of my life. I k(NO)w Uranium.
When I was a child my family went camping for a month every summer, often
at the Inverhuron Provincial Campground, on Lake Huron, where we enjoyed
some of the best swimming and fishing in Ontario. The bass fishing off
Douglas Point was fabulous.
Then, one year, we were informed by park staff that access to Douglas
Point was no longer permitted: Ontario Hydro was building the Douglas
Point Nuclear Reactor .
the site is now known as Bruce Nuclear. If there are any bass or other
decent fish anywhere near Douglas Point, those fish have been unfit to eat
since the reactors were built.
Later we lived in Northern Ontario, and had friends living and working in
Elliott Lake, through whom we were provided a tour of the Uranium mining
and milling fueling the Elliott Lake 'boom' . we were shown 45 gallon
drums full of Yellowcake; I was eleven or twelve years old when I was
encouraged to hold a handful of radioactive yellowcake in my hand . from
time to time I still get an occasional persistent itch in the palm of that
In the mid 1970's Ontario Hydro had plans to build a network of nuclear
power stations all along the North Channel of Lake Huron. I personally
intervened to prevent the Dean Lake reactor site from being developed.
I was among many to try to stop the Blind River Refinery, taking film and
information to North Shore communities.
I travelled down from Sault Ste. Marie to attend the Darlington protest
and solar alternatives expo. We failed to stop the massive waste of time
and money known as the Darlington Nuclear Generating Station, but our
opposition (and the massive cost over runs for construction) ensured that
Darlington was the last new nuclear reactor built in Canada. Darlington
eventually cost either 3X as much as the first 'official' estimates, or it
cost 5X those initial 'official' estimates . depends on who you choose to
Both the 3X and 5X cost over run figures are based on the final cost being
compared to the 'first' official cost estimate.
My recollection of the Darlington fiasco is that long before that 'first'
official estimate, there were a series of escalating 'estimates' from the
politicians, beginning with an almost 'reasonable' first estimate
announced when the notion of building a new nuclear power station at
Darlington was first broached . in successive months that first political
'estimate' increased time after time after time, quickly making such
political pronouncements entirely laughable.
Facing widespread criticism for planning to build a new nuclear power
station that many Ontarians did not want and for obviously not having any
real notion of what that new nuclear power station would likely cost, the
politicians of the day were eventually forced to produce what has come to
be known as the 'first official estimate' several years later those
political 'estimates' were replaced by what has come to be referred to as
the 'first' official estimate at 'first' official estimate. year after
year after year as the actual cost of the Darlington Scam 'simply' grew
and grew and grew . Ontarians continue to pay a surcharge on each and
every electrical bill to pay for the excessively corrupt 'cost' of
In the early 1990's I was a Party at the Ontario Hydro Demand/Supply Plan
. eventually the mounting evidence against nuclear and for the
alternative technologies forced Bob Rae and his NDP to delay plans to
build new nuclear reactors in Ontario.
Much of the 1992 forecast 'Demand' has been supplied by Independent Power
Producers: small hydro, private wind power 'farms', and co-generation.
Some of the forecast 'Demand' continues to be 'supplied' by conservation:
compact fluorescent bulbs, higher efficiency appliances, switching to gas
water heaters and switching from electric space heating to more efficient
I spent the late seventies developing solar devices: active solar heating
panels, moveable insulation for passive solar applications, solar food
dehydrator, and a solar water distillation unit. I've lived a solar
powered lifestyle for most of the past thirty years . I highly recommend
it to everyone.
. the amount of money wasted on rewiring Darlington over and over and over
and over (see footnote #6) could have been employed to retrofit the
housing stock of that time to avoid the amount of energy consumption
required by poor construction and improper solar orientation . electricity
is being wantonly wasted; greenhouses gases are being unnecessarily
produced and now we are being told that the only way to deal with the
situation is to invest massively in more radioactive technology.
If the experience of Darlington has taught us anything, we should have
learned that political/corporate initial cost estimates for new nuclear
reactors are grossly below the actual final corporate cost payouts . if we
include government subsidies the amount of overpayment becomes simply
Already we have seen Premier McGuinty's 'political' cost estimates balloon
from an initial notion of a few billion dollars to the current estimate of
$40 billion (for new nuclear reactors which have never been approved by
the Ontario electorate, nor by any 'official' Citizens Inquiry or Hearing,
such as the early 1990's Demand/Supply Plan Hearings).
Based on the Darlington experience we can reliably expect the actual
'final' cost of the McGuinty Nuclear Power option to exceed $120 Billion,
perhaps $200 Billion . the cost overuns of Darlington are still costing
Ontario Hydro users on each and every electric bill; the inevitable cost
overruns of the current Nuclear proposal will make us all slaves to
international bankers for many many generations yet to come . totally
There are better ways to spend those energy dollars . better for the
environment, better for society and better for democracy.
The tens and hundreds of billions of dollars soon to be wasted on new
nuclear reactors could be more equitably spent, and achieve more lasting
effect if those billions were directed to establishing a renewable energy
future . a non-radioactive future .
- retrofit existing housing stock to maximize solar space heating/cooling,
solar hot water heating, solar photovoltaic electric production from all
available south facing surfaces, small scale wind generation and energy
- retrofit existing commercial buildings to maximize solar space
heating/cooling, solar hot water, solar photovoltaic electric production
from roof tops and south facing wall surfaces, small scale wind generation
and energy conservation
- amend the Building Code of Ontario to require that all new buildings be
site oriented to maximize the collection and usage of solar energy
- move to localize solar and wind power production to reduce the usage of
high power transmission lines. Decentralize electrical production;
enable neighbourhood electrical production by locally owned and operated
- Outlaw wasteful technologies (such as incandescent light bulbs)
- Provide funding for the mass deployment of extreme energy conservation
technologies (such as LED lights)
- Initiate electricity pricing whereby citizens and businesses pay higher
rates per KwH as their electrical consumption increases
- More jobs will be produced for more people by retrofits and renovation
than can possibly be created by building massive new nuclear power plants
which are completely unnecessary . The jobs produced by retrofits,
renovations and conservation will be the kinds of jobs that can be done by
the very same people who have been laid off from manufacturing closures in
Ontario; putting Ontario back to work.
- In-flow hydro power should be employed widely. In-flow hydro produces
electricity from water flow. The generator turbines are located on the
bottom of the river which permits electricity to be generated without
damning the rivers, and without environmental interference in the natural
flow of the rivers. Many local rivers are suitable for in-flow hydro: the
Ottawa River, the Rideau River, the Madawaska, the Bonnechere and the
Mississippi . just to name a few. Communities, cities and town should be
subsidized to install in-flow hydro generation to provide locally
generated electricity that will be stable, safe . and substantially more
resilient from the sort of terrorist threats any nuclear facility must
- Nuclear proponents explain the exorbitant cost over-runs at Darlington as
resulting from delays to construction (forcing additional financing costs)
which they attribute to reduced demand forecasts during the mid-1980's .
- Ontarians had embraced the notion of a Conserver Society, and governments
responded to citizens' concerns with programmes subsidizing personal
- Specifically, individuals switched from electricity to natural gas for
space heating and hot water; and governments financed an ambitious home
- Late in the 1980's those 'reduced demand forecasts' were revised, taking
into account rising electrical demand largely due to two factors:
- the government home insulation subsidy programme had been scrapped, and
the Mulroney Conservatives changed Canada's immigration policy beginning a
massive increase in the number of immigrants entering Canada, which
continues. Immigrants who arrive here hungry for the 'conveniences' of
'modern' electrical devices; they want to live the life they have seen on
the TV shows exported worldwide for decades; they are not coming here to
ride bicycles and live simply.
- Increasing subsidy programmes such as the home insulation programme can
only be partially successful at reducing electrical demand as long as we
continue to allow large scale immigration of peoples who are not committed
to energy conservation. It is imperative that rates of immigration be
reduced until energy consumption in Ontario and Canada can be satisfied by
electrical production from safe, renewable energy sources; and it is
essential that new immigrants be counselled about the need for
conservation, including reducing family size
- Building a fully renewable energy society in Ontario will create hundreds
of thousands of good quality jobs for Ontarians laid off by the decline of
old style consumerism based manufacturing in Ontario.
- A minimal energy consumption infrastructure coupled with low impact
diversified renewable energy production will favourably position Ontario
to compete internationally in the coming era of energy and resource
depletion . without endangering the health and welfare of Ontario citizens
(or anyone else on the planet for that matter).
Let's make it happen.
Peace and Love
Owned and operated by the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan. Teachers
themselves have somehow managed to avoid considering any personal or
professional issues regarding how making money from destroying the planet
could in any sane way be justified alongside the political correctness
social activism routinedly propounded by the Teachers Unions.
Douglas Point//Bruce Nuclear has the usual Nuclear Industry record of
leaks and 'accidents' contaminating the surrounding land, water and air.
Fish in the Serpent River can be classified as radioactive 'waste'. The
Serpent River suffers from run-off from the tailings of the Elliott Lake
"Totally safe . no way it can hurt anyone ."
It was my first experience with the intensity of commitment to Nuclear
Power by the ostensibly pro-environment NDP. (most recently we have seen
Jack Layton lead his NDP to near instantaneous Parliamentary intervention
to prevent a safety shutdown of nuclear operations at Chalk River . for
absolutely no real reason whatsoever, other than pleasing the nuclear
In the 1990's I worked with an electrician who quit the Darlington
jobsite because he just couldn't continue to redo the same job over and
over again, no matter how much money the corrupt corporations were
prepared to continue to pay him for his share of the scam. He told us
that he and his fellow electricians would be given wiring plans which
they would proceed to install. When they had finished all the wiring,
the 'white hats' would instruct the electricians to remove all the
wiring they had just finished installing, then give them a new set of
wiring plans, which the electricians would then proceed to install.
Again and again, the 'white hats' would allow them to complete the
wiring, then instruct the electricians to remove the wiring, give them a
new wiring plan and the cycle would begin again . and again . and again
Bob Rae's NDP was strongly pro-nuclear; they imported one of far too many
silver spoon 'socialists' to head up the NDP Ontario Hydro plan to commit
Ontario to fully Nuclear Power radioactivity based electrical production
(we were told that actual Hydro electrical production had reached a
'ceiling' beyond which no further additional electrical power could be
provided from hydro sources in Ontario . total BS)
. but, at least the Bob Rae NDP set up the public access Demand/Supply
Hearings, where the public were able to make the case for small hydro, for
Independent Power Producers, for solar, for wind, for conservation . the
Hearings were publicly funded and extensive . oh yeah, the Hearings were
only held in Toronto, so if you couldn't afford to travel to Toronto, you
Government funded shared cost programmes to improve insulation in
existing housing stock were very effective during the 1980's. Hundreds
of thousands of homes and businesses reduced energy consumption
significantly. (Consumer conservation and reduced energy consumption was
one of the factors causing the 1980's 'reduction in demand forecasts'
blamed by the nuclear industry for the Darlington cost over-runs.) Many
thousands of jobs were created paying decent wages.
Solar energy has been used for Air Conditioning (solar cooling) for many
Mandate that the 'long' axis of any building be oriented along East/West;
mandate that the slope of roofs optimize solar gain; mandate that roofs
be constructed to provide substantial southern solar exposure.
High power transmission lines waste incredible amounts of electricity
which simply 'disappears' as Line Loss. Electricity that could otherwise
be usefully employed simply 'leaks' out around these high tension power
lines . to give yourself a real sense of what this means, I suggest each
of you take a walk under some more or less convenient high tension line;
hold a 48" 'standard' fluorescent tube in one hand . as you walk into the
waste electricity flow around the base of the high tension wires, the
fluorescent tube will flicker into light, right in your hand. If you
feel a bit playful, try moving your hand 'up' the tube . start by holding
the end of the tube, the whole tube will light up in your hand . move
your hand 'up' the tube and the portion of the tube below your hand will
darken; only the portion of the tube above your hand hold will light up .
you are the connection between the high tension waste electricity and
grounding through the fluorescent tube to the earth . the electricity
lighting that fluorescent tube in your hand is only a miniscule fraction
of the amount of electricity being wasted 'into the air' by high tension
transmission lines all over Ontario . these lines 'waste' enough
electricity to power hundreds of thousands of homes . and those homes
don't need high power electricity; solar photovoltaic and wind power
provide more than adequate voltage/amperage for the needs of any decent
Regardless of the inevitable whining from the corporate/business
community, this will encourage smart thinking, conservation and
innovation . it will be 'good for business'.
The new nuclear power electrical production will largely be for export to
the UsofA (who simply want us to assume all the risks of nuclear
accident, terrorist attack, nuclear material transport and waste disposal
. while they get to enjoy 'risk free' nuclear electricity while Canadians
absorb all the costs: construction, environmental damage, radioactive
leakages, radioactive waste containment and 'disposal', inevitable
terrorist targeting, civilian population endangerment . and the insurance
costs and security costs . if the Amerikkkans want nuclear electricity
let 'em endanger their own population and pocketbooks; we have plenty
enough electricity here for Canadian needs and we should be investing in
energy sources that provide safe clean energy .
CBC Radio 'As It Happens' April 24, featured an interview with a Port
Hope resident who recounted how his community stopped Ontario Power
Generation (OPG) from establishing an anti terrorist training facility in
Port Hope. OPG had argued that they needed a site near the nuclear
reactor sites of Pickering and Darlington where they could train a
Response Force specifically to deal with an inevitable terrorist attack
on one of those nuclear sites.
"The single largest cost increase occurred in 1983, when Units 3 and 4
were deferred for two years due to low-growth in the electricity
500,000 new immigrants arrived in Canada in 2007, prior to the Mulroney
changes, the number of new immigrants into Canada was considerably less
than 100,000 immigrants per year
Part of the reduction in electrical demand in the 1980's was due to
smaller family sizes, with Canadian families reducing the number of
children from 4-10 children per family to 1-3 children per family (with
government counselling and support). Currently, new immigrant families
often have 4-5 children and they continue to have children .. raising the
Demand for electricity.