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RENEWABLES, PLEASE, NOT NUCLEAR POWER

from Gordon Edwards

BACKGROUND: Not only is New Brunswick about to spend an estimated 1.5 billion dollars to refurbish the 400 MW Point Lepreau reactor, but it is flirting with the idea of building a new 1100 MW Advanced CANDU Reactor (ACR-1000) -- not to satisfy domestic NB energy needs, but for the American export market. At the same time, uranium exploration is going on in many parts of the province...

Gordon Edwards

======================

Sustainable Living
by the Sustainable Energy Group
(Carleton Chapter).

(Woodstock New Brunswick)
Friday February 29th, 2008


The government of New Brunswick appears to be committed to nuclear power in order to meet the alleged energy needs in our province, and especially to export energy to American markets. It appears to be unconcerned about the known dangers that nuclear generating systems bring to the people of New Brunswick, and others far beyond, even though it acknowledges these risks.

In view of the exposure to radiation in uranium exploration and mining, plant operations and waste management, no logical argument can be made to prove that nuclear power is safe or desirable. Given the accidents that have taken place around the world it would be folly to accept the risk that one could happen in New Brunswick.

Nuclear advocates, including Patrick Moore, have tried to take advantage of the global warming crisis by making claims that nuclear power is the solution to global warming; they claim that it is "greener" than fossil-fuel powered generating stations. But the input energy is anything but green and produces huge amounts of carbon.

The Sustainable Energy Group (SEG) is opposed to nuclear power for the following reasons:

* It is not sustainable, just as coal, oil and natural gas are not.

* The radiation that it produces is not healthy for workers, or for anyone living near the plant today, and will be a threat to all people and other life forms for thousands of years to come. We question our right to allow this.

* It is extremely dangerous because errors can be made and accidents can occur.

* A nuclear power plant is a logical target for terrorist attacks.

* It is the most expensive form of energy production from construction to decommissioning, and will not help New Brunswick become self-sufficient.

The Graham government is keen to export power from Lepreau to New England, and is expecting this will help New Brunswick become self-sufficient. It is mistaken on a number of counts, but especially because we would again be accepting such risks as cancer for someone else's benefit.

SEG is convinced that the solutions to the problem of solving New Brunswick's energy needs are not complicated, and that the province can become energy self-sufficient within the time frame that the premier has set, while at the same time meeting global greenhouse gas reduction targets.

First, we must focus on the needs of New Brunswick, and not on outside markets, for energy self-sufficiency.

Second, we must work on reducing the demand for electricity through energy conservation in homes and businesses and by reducing wasted energy. Then we will not need nearly as much energy in the first place.

Third, invest in renewable energy. Sustainable energy is renewable energy which is provided free of charge and naturally by the sun, wind, water, geo-thermal and biomass. Tax-payers dollars, scientific research and expertise are much better spent on improving renewable technologies.

We approve of energy fuels that are renewable, clean, affordable and create jobs.

We do not approve of oil, coal or nuclear. All of these power sources need to be eliminated as soon as we can replace them and generate renewable electricity.

Renewable energy will reduce global warming, create jobs and provide for our electricity needs for a long time to come.

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Footnote (Gordon Edwards)

In a Report published in March 2007, by Working Group III of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2007 Nobel Prize Winner) one reads the following:

"Given costs relative to other supply options, nuclear power, which accounted for 16% of the electricity supply in 2005, can have an 18% share of the total electricity supply in 2030 at carbon prices up to 50 US $ per ton of CO2 equivalent, but safety, weapons proliferation and waste remain as constraints"

Obviously, if it takes a quarter of a century for nuclear to boost its share of electrical supply from 16% to 18%, it is NOT going to solve the greenhouse gas problem, or even come close to doing so!

But the same 2007 report goes on to say:

"Given costs relative to other supply options, renewable electricity, which accounted for 18% of electricity supply in 2005, can have an 30-35% share of the total electricity supply in 2030 at carbon prices up to 50 US $ per ton of CO2 equivalent, Renewable energy generally has a positive effect in energy security, employment and air quality."

The renewable technologies mentioned here are all available today at known prices.

Evidently, renewable electricity is ALREADY at a level that nuclear might be at in 25 years, and the potential for renewable electricity is MUCH GREATER -- about double -- the potential of nuclear in the same time period.