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Why Nuclear Doesn't Make Sense

by Bridget Doherty

Thank you to the organisers of todayís event. Cathy Wills, Susan Delisle, Donna Dillman, Wolfe Erlichman and the many others who helped. Thank you to the panellists who have given their time to attend. This may very well be our only opportunity to have our say when it comes to mining uranium and our governmentís energy plan. I thank you for giving us this opportunity.

My submission to the Citizen's Inquiry into the Impacts of the Uranium Cycle takes the form of a letter that I will be sending to our Premier the Honourable Dalton McGuinty by the end of today.

I am Bridget Doherty former Green Party Candidate for Kingston & the Islands and most importantly I am a mother, a mother of three very young children.

The letter that I will share with you today was written for all children in Ontario.

Dear Mr. McGuinty

As a society we are facing issues that require strong leadership to move us, as well as our children, towards a sustainable future. The many issues at play include Climate Change, Peak Oil, Loss of Manufacturing Jobs, increases in Asthma, Cancer and other illness, all placing a huge burden on our Economy.

Facing this pivotal time in our history Ontarianís need to know WHY our elected government has chosen Nuclear energy as a main supplier of our future energy needs?

Ontarianís deserve to know why because it doesnít make sense.

It doesnít make economic sense, it doesnít make environmental sense, and on a moral ground it makes no sense at all!

Economic Sense?

After researching nuclear power stations, The Economist magazine states ďnot one, anywhere in the world, makes commercial sense.Ē

They are known for cost overruns by billions and billions of dollars. Darlington had an original ticket price of $4 billion only to blow out to $15 billion.

The estimated building cost does not include the cost of environmental destruction created in the uranium mining process nor does it include the cost of storing spent uranium waste.

Ontarianís will have to pay much more than $40 billion to build and restore something most of us donít want and generations of Ontarianís will have to pay for waste that NO ONE wants.

What will happen in difficult times? What will happen if we enter a deep recession?

Will we always have the money to monitor these reactors to ensure their safety? I am sure you are aware of our dismal record even in financially good times!

Will we always have the money to repair these reactors? You know cost of repairs suffer from cost over runs just as much as the original building phase does.

Will we have the money to decommission these reactors properly? Ontario has never decommissioned a plant yet.

How safe will these reactors be if we canít afford to keep them and even less to discard them?

How can you possibly chain future generations to such dangerous responsibilities?

Environmental

Nuclear is no answer to Climate change! All you will be doing Mr McGuinty is replacing one environmental problem with another.

Ontarianís need truly sustainable action on climate change but not by adding other risk factors.

Uranium mining puts at risk our water table.

The world including the United States is screaming out for clean uncontaminated drinking water and you think it is OK to risk this precious resource for our wasteful energy needs.

Why would you do that? It makes no sense.

Uranium mining adds a serious and real risk to the air quality around the mines. The blue ski adds from the Nuclear industry are blatant lies that you support.

Why would you do that?

You asked the NWMO (Nuclear Waste Management Organisation) to study this problem. You asked the people who will benefit from creating the waste in the first place. Would this group ever suggest energy efficiency and renewable energy? The answer is no. The group you asked to study this problem will never say no to spent uranium waste.

The reality is no matter what containers will be used to bury this waste 100years from now someone will have to go in and repair these containers. All materials corrode over time. So why do you think it is ok for future generations to put themselves at risk?

When it comes to storing spent uranium there are more questions than answer. The industry tries to tell you that they have the answers but the scientist donít all agree. They still ask questions like what material is best for containers? What rock type is best to burry the waste in? What should the size of the waste site be? How will they be repaired or even monitored for leaks in the future?

So many questions. The ones who will benefit financially tell you they have the answers..but do we really?

Morally

On a Moral ground Nuclear Energy makes no sense at all.

Uranium mining and Nuclear energy is un-economical, un-sustainable & unsafe.

Do you really want your legacy to be one where corporate greed won over sustainability?

Do you really want to go down in history as the man who ignored those who said ďWe can do this. We can through energy efficiency and low impact renewable sources meet the projected energy needs of Ontario by 2020.Ē

Strong leadership in conservation through energy efficiency and aggressive renewable energy initiatives can create many jobs. Instead of selling CANDU reactors we could be selling windmills. Maybe then we would not have so much pressure to buy into nuclear.

As Gordon Campbell in British Columbia had the courage to go against the grain in Canada when he introduced the first tax shift and carbon tax you could have the courage to say no to Nuclear and Yes to energy efficiency and renewable.

You could.

Regards,

Bridget Doherty
Mother of Three