Friday, January 19, 2007

Missing the Point Again!

Tories to spend $230M on clean energy technology
Federal minister says he is 'keen on' use of nuclear energy in Alberta's oil patch

IS it time we can finally admit that there is no such thing as "clean energy"! THere is only the choice of what form of pollution we prefer.

The biggest lie is that nuclear energy is going to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions -- not. By the time the ore is mined, processed, and shipped the saving at the power plant has been lost, and you still have the slight problem of waste that will be radioactive for THOUSANDS of years.

The only real long-term policy that will make real change in emission levels is to use less energy. YEs that might hurt business as power rates (or green taxes) go up and energy is less available. But in the end it has to happen. Using the aount we are currently using won't be sustainable. HArd truths but they are on the mark.


  1. With all due respect, your conclusions about nuclear energy and total life cycle emissions is incorrect. According to a study done by the International Energy Agency, total lifecycle emissions for nuclear energy are roughly comparable to those of hydropwer.

  2. My what a surprise, the Nuclear Energy industry publishes a study saying nuclear energy is clean.

    I note that it doesn't raise the issue of the waste problem. ANd really the whole issue is that we need to use less power!

  3. Gord -- that wasn't a study published by NEI, it was a study published by the International Energy Agency. If any of your readers would like to visit the page I previously referenced, you'll find references to a number of studies that came to much the same conclusion.

    As for the waste question, I think it's important to point out that nuclear power plants are the only electricity producers that have to fully account for every element in its waste stream. This is in stark contrast to coal plants which simply inject their pollutants directly into the atmosphere.

    I see that you live in Ontario, an area that's an object lesson in how the expanded use of nuclear energy can help cut greenhouse gas emissions. As Steven Aplin wrote a few days ago:

    [E]missions from Ontario electricity generation were 12 million tonnes less in 2006 than in 2000, chiefly because 4 nuclear reactors have come back into service since 2003.

    Your province deserves a pat on the back for coming to grips with this issue far ahead of anyone else in the world -- including California.

    I'm not saying that nuclear energy is a silver bullet. What I am saying is that when you look at the facts objectively, nuclear energy needs to play a role going forward.

    Thanks for listening.