Thursday, April 24, 2008

Haldimand "Haldimand/Norfolk are We Going Nuclear?"

Recently I had the opportunity to speak in depth with Richard Goodlet from Norfolk County. Richard's concerns are real and we should be demanding answers on the truth of what is really going on regarding "Nuclear" power in Haldimand/Norfolk Counties.

Richard's involvement started back in November of 2007 as you will read in his letter, "Break it to me Gently" that I have posted below.

I mentioned to Richard that Haldimand County Council seems to be still seeking a Nuclear Plant here in Nanticoke and I really don't understand why. Well it seems that just maybe we once again are not being fully informed.

This process seems to be still going ahead, and yet we the "public" have not been informed here in Haldimand County. There has not been one public meeting regarding this issue. Norfolk County has had two I believe, and apparently Haldimand County Council is fully behind this venture.

I mentioned to Richard that we could hold a series of "Public Meetings" ourselves and have some speakers, Richard was in full agreement. At least the "Public" could be informed of what we know or more importantly what we don't know.

Haldimand County Council has already spoken on "OUR" behalf in favour of a Nuclear Plant in Nanticoke.

I would like to have a say, wouldn't You?

The following is information about "Grand Erie Energy Quest", I also put a link in "Interesting Sites" to go there directly. I encourage you to visit this site often, it is full of very valuable information!

Grand Erie Energy Quest

To ensure citizens have a democratic say in our energy future. To raise awareness on energy options for Haldimand/Norfolk/Brant/Hamilton.

Grand Erie Energy Quest was founded because the county council's of Norfolk and Haldimand endorsed an Environmental Assessment on a nuclear reactor at Nanticoke without meaningful public debate on the risks and benefits of a nuclear station at Nanticoke. It will be the residents of Grand Erie that take on the risks of a nuclear station at Nanticoke. Grand Erie Energy Quest does not feel that the safety, financial and environmental risks as well as the long term management of nuclear waste have been debated, clarified and/or agreed to by our communities.

The following is a letter from Richard;

BREAK IT TO ME GENTLY

In February 2007, was when we first heard there was an interest expressed by Bruce Power to build a nuclear reactor here in Nanticoke. Within the mind of this life-long resident there seemed to be an immediate pale of grey that had just descended over my community.

On March 22, 2007 the Simcoe and District Chamber of Commerce sponsored a breakfast at the Greens in Renton with guest CEO of Bruce Power, Duncan Hawthorn who was invited there to promote his industry. Soon after in May, 2007 both Haldimand and Norfolk councils requested that Bruce Power commence a Federal Environmental Assessment at the cost of $20,000,000.00.

Anyone who understands business knows that this type of investment is something no private investor will turn it’s back on and walk away from.

The myriad of complex issues surrounding nuclear power have to be totally understood by the people who live within it’s air-shed. These same residents also must have their say on this quest for energy at Nanticoke.

We know there are clean-air-technologies that are alternatives to nuclear power. We must demand that the very few who sit on both of the councils of Haldimand and Norfolk look at these alternatives thoroughly, listen to their constituents, and create an honest and open forum on this issue.

Richard Goodlet
Port Ryerse


The following is a note from Richard regarding a council meeting that I was unable to attend;

Hi Donna,

I was read some of the Canadian Federation of University Women presentation over the phone and it was what council should hear. However, it was accepted only as information and council advised the CFUW to make a presentation to Haldimand council.

Below is a CD98.9 blog address on the issue...
http://www.cd989.com/modules/news/article.php?storyid=12101

Today, CTV was inquiring whether-or-not there will be a public meeting here regarding the nuclear issue in the future. As yet I have not responded. Have you any further thoughts toward this idea?

Take care,
Richard

FYI:

Subject: News release

April 15, Norfolk county council has agreed to hear from the Canadian Federation of University Women [CFUW] - Norfolk about revisiting the decision they made to encourage the nuclearization of the electrical generating plant at Nanticoke without asking the taxpaying voters of Norfolk whether they wanted to be willing hosts to such a facility. Such issues as the safety of storing the spent nuclear fuel waste, using alternate fuel sources and cost/risk/benefit analysis need to have input from the residents of both Haldimand and Norfolk.Contact:Stephana Johnstonstephanajohnston@hotmail.com

More correspondence from Richard;

Hi Donna,

Below are two articles published about a presentation to Norfolk council made by the Canadian Federation of University Women regarding nuclear power. The CFUW now have their sights on Haldimand council or a public meeting in Haldimand sometime in the near future. I gave them your name (not number), they may be getting in touch.

Richard
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Group opposes County’s decision on nuclear - council defensive

Port Dover Maple Leaf: Lyn Tremblay - April 23, 2008

Representatives of the Nor­folk chapter of the Canadian Federation of University Women attended last week’s Council-in-Committee meeting to protest a nuclear plant at the Nanticoke Generating Station. Specifically, the group is not in favour of a resolution passed by Norfolk County Council last June to support an Environmental Assessment of the proposed Nanticoke Nuclear Power Facility.

In a lengthy presentation, members Anne Faulkner of Delhi and Stephana Johnston outlined a number of facts arguing against nuclear power and the effects they believe it will have on Norfolk County. The decision to put a nuclear plant in Haldimand will affect the sales of our agricultural products, our homes, our new industries, tourism, etc., stated Anne Faulkner.

The group compiled a number of ‘whereas’ statements leading up to a proposed resolution they feel the county should adopt. Among them they asked Norfolk County to research alternatives to nuclear power and accused promises of transparency and openness in municipal government are being ignored in that taxpaying, voters have not been consulted to provide input to the decision process.

Councillors were obviously on the defensive in their responding comments.

Councillor Heidy Van Dyk noted there have been three public meetings (one especially for women) where people had opportunities to raise their concerns and the speakers in attendance had offered to speak to community groups.

Councillor Jim Oliver stated, I do take exception to the fact that you think we are not considering other sources of energy. We have embraced the concept of solar farms and wind farms. I feel Norfolk County is becoming a centre of excellence.

Mayor Dennis Travale explained it would not be logical to try to replace the Nanticoke Generating Station with other forms of power. If we were to replace it with wind turbines we would have to have 2,000 to 3,000 from Elgin to Haldimand and out on the lake. I can’t see a number of solar farms because we are an agricultural community. If someone wanted to bring geo-thermal, well jiminy-crickets, we’d listen. There is nothing wrong with look­ing at it but no one has. Bruce Nuclear came to speak with us. They will be asking Haldimand if they will be a willing host. They will be going through the Federal government’s EA process.

The group requested that council pass the following resolution, that Norfolk Council commission an unbiased survey of Norfolk taxpaying voters to ask whether they would willingly host a nuclear plant after they have been thoroughly educated about the scientific dilemma about transportation of nuclear fuel, the huge pools needed to store the hot radioactive waste, the circulation of cold water in and hot water out to Lake Erie, the effect this will have on the fishery, the risk of accidents, insurance issues, property values, the research showing higher rates of cancer around nuclear facilities and many other impacts.

Councillor John Wells ques­tioned, if we never start a study how are we ever going to find out if people are in favour or not? We need to know the pitfalls and until we do we are only looking at hypothetical situations. He later added, is this a NIMBY (not-in-my-back-yard) syndrome?

Councillor Charlie Luke responded, how are we going to know if the public is thoroughly educated? After we are being asked to have an unbiased survey, you list many negatives. I think it is better to educate by offering pros and cons. We have to present both sides to get an hon­est unbiased opinion.

Mayor Travale bristled, I find the resolution very negative. Nanticoke is closing. Six hundred jobs will be gone. Solar and wind are not going to replace Nanticoke!

Councillor Roger Geysens pointed out, the ultimate decision is with Haldimand County Council. I will say with 99% certainty, there will be a lot of public input.
--------------------------------
Concerned residents want more input on nuclear

PUBLIC ALREADY CONSULTED: COUNCIL

SIMCOE REFORMER: Kate Schwass - April 21, 2008

Norfolk needs to do an unbiased survey of residents to see whether or not people here are in favour of a nuclear plant, concerned residents say.

A survey should be conducted at arms length from Bruce Power, said Stephana Johnston of Port Rowan, a member of the Canadian Federation of University Women Norfolk. She said the survey is necessary to see if residents "are prepared to be willing hosts to a nuclear plant in Nanticoke."
Johnston and fellow CFUW mem­ber Anne Faulkner went before council last Tuesday night to ask for the survey, saying Norfolk has been moving too quickly when it comes to the possibility of a nuclear plant in Nanticoke. They said the county has funded a study about the benefits of a nuclear plant. and has also given approval to start an environmental assessment of the Nanticoke property, to see if it is an ideal location for a nuclear plant.

"The citizens of Norfolk need to collectively provide input so they are part of the solution, not passive recipients of a future flawed nuclear solution," Faulkner said.

Up until this point, the two women said, people have not had a chance to give their input.
Coun. Heidy VanDyk said she was aware of three separate open houses and she personally attended one of them.

"At the public consultation I was at, there were a lot of people there and some of them raised concerns and asked questions," VanDyk said. It concerns me that there are folks who think their voices have not been heard.

Both women asked Norfolk to do a survey that not only asked about nuclear power, but also about other energy sources.

Coun. Jim Oliver said he felt Norfolk was being progressive when it came to other sources of energy.

I think Norfolk County, in its own way, is becoming an energy centre of excellence, Oliver said. I happen to think this council is very much in favour of looking into alternative energy.

Mayor Dennis Travale agreed, pointing out there is Wind and solar energy already being produced in Norfolk.

"We have another possible solar project coming into Norfolk, he said.

The two women said asking for an environmental assessment (EA) for a nuclear plant on the Nanticoke site was the wrong way to go about the process, and instead a study should be done looking at all energy options.

Travale said if another energy producer wanted to consider the property, then he thinks the council would likely give approval to an EA for that alternative energy as well.

Well there you have it! Now what do you think? If we have a public meeting without the endorsement of Haldimand County Council would you attend? I think it is time that the residents of Haldimand and Norfolk 'Unite".

7 comments:

  1. Hi Donna, I live up near the Bruce, and people need to get their facts straight. Most of the information from these people is incorrect. Property values in and around the Bruce are some of the highest in Northern Ontario, You can't buy a cottage in Goderich or Kincardine for under close to 1 million dollars. The average wage at the Bruce is around $90k/yr. I've never heard of the cancer thing and I watch for this. Do you think that no one else around here is watching for these kind of statistics. I'm not pro or con nuclear, but people need to get the correct information.

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  2. Hi Donna; I'm still on the fence regarding the whole nuclear energy proposal but tend to lean on the side of caution. I know that there has never been (to public knowledge) any environmental catastrophe related to Canadian nuclear energy but I also know that vast amounts of money have been spent on these projects and the efficiency results are far from positive. I guess to me the bottom line is this: We have been told that this is a dead issue in Haldimand and if indeed our council and staff are still looking at the possibility of a nuclear energy plant in Nanticoke then they must feel they have something to hide. If there is nothing to worry about then there is nothing to hide right?! That being the case, count me in for opposition.

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  3. There is little doubt that nuclear power can produce more power per reactor than other means of power production.

    The cost to build a nuclear plant, the ongoing cost, the frequency of downtime for maintenance, and the seemingly limited lifespan are cost prohibitive. Companies today don't buy computers based soley on the purchase cost. The lifecycle cost is what needs to be addressed with regard to nuclear versus other methods of power generation before a shovel ever hits the ground.

    What economic advantage will be bestowed upon Haldimand/Norfolk as a result of the building of a Nuclear Plant versus upgrading the current plant?

    I don't believe it is in the best interest of the Province to decommission the current plant with the U.S. expanding coal fired plants. We just need to make it clean.

    Then to build a new Nuclear Plant would add to our hydro output not simply replace one that is taken away with a solution that will cost many times more.

    Nuclear waste is currently being stored onsite at the current nuclear facilities because the industry has found no effective way to dispose of the nuclear waste. Until a method of disposal is found I for one don't want nuclear waste stored in my backyard.

    I don't believe the government has explored the idea of making the coal fired plant currently at Naticoke a clean burning plant using modern scrubber technologies. They have not investigated the opportunity of converting the coal burning plant to a natural gas burning plant to my knowledge.

    The many hydroelectric plants in this Province have been operating with little shutdown and very little ongoing cost to taxpayers for as long as I can remember. What about investigating new methods of generating power naturally? This is far more cost effective.

    I don't believe enough emphasis has been put on wind power and solar power. If the government spent what it spends on one nuclear plant each year to research the improvements to solar technology we might not need nuclear. These two methods along with hydroelectric have no lasting environmental impacts.

    Since commercial windmills generate sufficient power to support about 200 homes why aren't developers required to fund 1 windmill for every 200 homes built to offset the use of power.

    The cost of the hydro solutions always seem to rest on the consumer in this country. Why are industrial users not required to invest in their own hydro solutions. For instance downtown Toronto skyscrapers use far more hydro than single home users yet do they invest anything into the future of hydro in this Province?

    There are many solutions to the problem of hydro needs that may or may not include Nuclear.

    Lisa

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  4. Donna thanks for this interesting post. I can tell you that not many people trust our local politicians. I would say that something doesn't make sense. I would attend a public meeting. Keep up the good work.

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  5. Thanks Donna for posting the nuclear question on your blog site, and linking to www.energyquest4nanticoke.ca

    As I had heard that nuclear power generation was being discussed as a power alternative at Nanticoke back in 2006. My quest for an alternative source to nuclear power generation for Nanticoke began after reading the March 2006 National Geographic on the subject of a coal-gasification project in North Dakota. There they manufacture coal-gas for retail and sequester the carbon via pipeline 200 miles North into an old oil-field in Southern Saskatchewan. The sequestering of that carbon increased production out of that oil-field by 10,000 barrels of oil per day. While I was researching coal-gasification, I picked-up a dialogue with the Department of Energy in Washington DC. There I learned that clean-coal-technologies could be applied at Nanticoke, creating as much employment and power as nuclear and the waste being benign, can be marketed back into agriculture and industry. I find it unusual that the findings and writings of MPP Toby Barrett on the subject of clean-coal-technology as a real alternative to nuclear power generation have been totally ignored. If it is political speak, then our municipal representatives on council are acting in a total irresponsible manner toward their constituents.

    Richard Goodlet
    Port Ryerse

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  6. In response to the folks who are experiencing high wages and real estate values in Bruce Power country. No surprise!! What about the people who have lived there for generations? Are all their wages on par with the average of 90K a year? Their money may come to them when they sell their property to someone who will work in the nuclear community.

    Folks who live and migrate to Haldimand/Norfolk are here now for different reasons. It is these very people who have to have their say if they want their reasons for being here changed by politics, and an energy that provides a very controversial source of power that leaves the planet with immoral waste for the next few hundred generations to deal with.

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  7. Thanks to everyone for your comments. This is certainly an issue that needs to be looked at seriously. Although we have other serious issues here in Haldimand we should pay attention to what is going on in Nanticoke.

    Please make sure that you visit energyquest4nanticoke.ca.

    I will keep you updated as to what is going on with holding some public meetings.

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