No to Gentilly-2!

Tuesday 19 August 2008

The Charest government and Hydro-Québec have decided to refurbish Québec’s only nuclear power plant, Gentillty-2. Here’s the opinion of an expert against this 1.9 billion $ project.

By Gordon Edwards, Ph.D., President,
Canadian Coalition fro Nuclear Responsibility

The sun is a splendid nuclear reactor.
But you wouldn’t want to live there, would you?

Nature has shown that nuclear reactors are acceptably safe if
they are about 93 million miles away. Even then, we must be
careful not to get skin cancer by being too much exposed!

Many people have the impression that nuclear
power can solve the problem of climate change caused by
greenhouse gas emissions. This is untrue.

Nuclear power produced 16 percent of the world’s electricity
in 2005 — but that is only 2.7 percent of total energy. The
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), winners
of the nobel prize, found that by 2030 nuclear could possibly
increase its contribution from 16 percent to 18 percent of the
world’s electricity (that’s 3 percent of all energy used).

So in 25 years — a quarter of a century — nuclear power can
make a marginal difference. But it cannot even come close to
solving the energy problem or the greenhouse gas problem.

The IPCC notes that in 2005, renewable electricity was already
providing 18 percent of the world’s electricity, and by 2030 it
will be producing 30-35 percent. Even in the field of electricity,
renewables are a better bet than nuclear.

Germany is phasing out of nuclear power. They already shut down
2 of its 17 reactors. In just 8 years, Germany has installed 20 000
megawatts of wind power. That is more than the entire Canadian
nuclear industry. In Ontario, all the nuclear reactors and coal-fired
plants together produce only 20 000 megawatts! Moreover, Germany
has approved plans for 24,000 megawatts of ADDITIONAL wind
power - enough to replace all of its nuclear reactors.

People do not realize how much we are being
propagandized by the nuclear industry day after day.

To say that nuclear is clean because it doesn’t produce carbon dioxide
is like saying that coal is clean because it doesn’t produce plutonium.
Both statements are ridiculous. To imply that nuclear can solve the
problem of climate change is profoundly misleading. To say that
Quebec cannot generate sufficient electricity or "stabilize the grid"
without nuclear power is also false.

If the 1.5 billion dollars needed to refurbish the geriatric Gentilly-2
reactor were invested in community-based projects of energy
efficiency throughout Quebec, it would create a LOT more jobs and
would save FAR more energy than that reactor will ever produce.

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