Monday, November 17, 2008

Pen Meets Paper, Nov 17, '08

Pen Meets Paper
Opinion by Helge Nome
The question of nuclear power in Alberta is not going away. In fact, it has come home to roost on my own doorstep, literally: The location of the proposed nuclear power station has just been changed from the shores of Lac Cardinal (near Grimshaw in the Peace River Country) to a place north of the Town of Peace River, a couple of kilometers to the west of the river. It just happens to be about one kilometer from the doorstep of family owned property there. I am on the public record for criticizing the previous location on Lac Cardinal as being totally illogical as is was in the middle of a duck breeding habitat, close to Provincial Park, on the shores of a shallow and sensitive lake, on top of a sensitive aquifer (The Grimshaw Gravels), and some 20 odd kilometers from the only practical water supply which is the Peace River with its massive upstream dam.
I guess that's what you get for being a smart apple. I will let the proponent of the 4000+ Megawatt operation introduce itself: “

Bruce Power Alberta is an all-Canadian partnership among TransCanada Corporation of Calgary, Cameco Corporation of Saskatoon and BPC Generation Infrastructure Trust, a trust established by the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System and based in Toronto.”
If generated, a good deal of all that power will likely be used to extract oil from the tar sands in the Peace area and beyond. The process of public consultation which is included in the application process for the plant will likely take about three years according to company estimates.
What remains to be decided, however, is whether Albertans want nuclear power established in the province. One power station would open the doors for more. How safe is nuclear power? What are the risks? The answers are radically different, depending upon who you listen to and the debate has been raging in the Peace Country for well over a year already. The Alberta Government is comfortably sitting on its hands at this time, waiting to see where the political wind is blowing. Another question is: Will the Americans want to buy “dirty' oil from Alberta? The answer is: They already do and would likely want more of the same if the Middle East blows up in their face.
So, like it or not, the nuclear question has not gone away, and has to be faced collectively by Albertans. And this writer in particular.

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