Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Nukes and Nukesability

I read this morning in the Globe and Mail that Ontario is planning to build a couple of new reactors, and refurb upwards of a half a dozen we already have. Personally, I welcome this news, though I wonder if it means we can expect Condoleezza Rice to threaten to nuke us. I suppose being an active part of the Manhattan Project (as both Canada and the UK were) affords one certain philosphical immunities...

Joking aside, I think it's a good idea. Ontario's already having electricity problems. We're forecast to be 10,000 megawatts short by 2025 if we don't do something. It takes about a decade to build a reactor, and onto that you have to lard the provincial and federal environmental impact studies, and the obstruction from environmental groups. My feelings about Greenpeace et al. are like my feelings about unions. I'm generally a proponent and supporter, but I think there are times they go too far. This is one of them. We're trying to close coal-powered plants (we're down to four), and while urging conservation and wind power are worthy goals, they won't meet the challenge of an industrial province that needs power 24/7 regardless of whether the sun is shining or the wind is blowing. Most of our major hydroelectric opportunities are already being exploited. We need new reactors. Greenpeace should be fighting to see to it they're as safe as possible, with as small an environmental footprint as possible, rather than trying to prevent their construction altogether. The Globe quotes a Shawn-Patrick Stensil of Greenpeace Canada as vowing to be "in the ministry's face" for the next 10 years. I think it behooves Mr. Stensil to do his bit and swear off electricity while he's "in the face" of the province during this time, don't you? It's the least he can do to be part of the solution and not the problem, since I don't see him doing much else to ameliorate it.

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