Canada should reject new nuclear reactors as a climate change solution

Ottawa, November 6, 2018— Citizens groups are marching in downtown Ottawa today and petitioning Canada’s Auditor General, urging the Government of Canada to reject new subsidies for nuclear energy and instead to prioritize funding for renewables, efficiency and conservation in its efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

 

In early October 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) called for rapid, far-reaching, and unprecedented efforts worldwide to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to prevent what scientists now call a near-term risk of dangerous to catastrophic levels of global warming.

 

“Canada must respond rapidly to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s call for action to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions” said Elizabeth May, Green Party of Canada leader.  “Nuclear technology is too slow to develop and investing in nuclear now would take money away from the real solutions that we know can work.”

 

On Wednesday November 7th the federal government will unveil a “roadmap” towards development and deployment of a new fleet of “small modular” nuclear reactors, which it claims will “make the most of our ongoing transition to a low-carbon economy.”  The roadmap will likely target “off-grid” applications of these reactors, such as remote and northern communities.

 

A recent in-depth report by the Deloitte Centre for Energy Solutions highlights rapid changes in the landscape for solar and wind power and concludes that  “Solar and wind power recently crossed a new threshold, moving from mainstream to preferred energy sources across much of the globe.”  The old argument against wind and solar, their intermittency, has become irrelevant owing to advances in storage technology.

 

 “Canada cannot afford to waste time and billions of dollars on new small nuclear reactors. We should look to the City of Seoul whose ten million citizens recently eliminated the need for a large nuclear generating station in 2.5 years with renewables, efficiency and conservation” said Lynn Jones a spokesperson for Concerned Citizens of Renfrew County and Area.

 

In a petition sent yesterday to the Auditor General, the citizens’ group argues that investments in new nuclear technology at this time would reduce Canada’s ability to respond to the IPCC call for rapid, far-reaching, and unprecedented changes by tying up funds that could otherwise quickly and effectively reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

 

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Important Background resources:
 
Petition to the Auditor General on investment in new nuclear

 

One Less Nuclear Power Plant program in Seoul, Republic of Korea
NB. ~ in phase 1 of this project, the citizens of Seoul, population 10 million, eliminated the need for a large nuclear generating station, equivalent in size to the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station with six reactors operating, in two and a half years, with a combination of efficiency, conservation and renewables.
Report from the City of Seoul
Video on the One Less Nuclear Power Plant project https://vimeo.com/248840136

 

Headline Politics: Elizabeth May Speaks Out Against New Nuclear Technology Investment | CPAC ~ full video of press conference
Photograph and Posters:  Bob Del Tredici

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