FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Green Candidate Denounces Nuclear Proposal
Haldimand-Norfolk, September 22, 2008 – Haldimand-Norfolk Green Party candidate Stephana Johnston has come out strongly against the idea of a nuclear power plant for Nanticoke. Johnston bases her opposition to the proposal on both economic and environmental concerns. The Green candidate was responding to published reports that an announcement by Bruce Power could be imminent.
“Nuclear energy is not clean, not affordable and not safe,” said Ms. Johnston. “It takes 170 tonnes of uranium to produce one gigawatt of electricity. Mining, refining and transporting that much uranium creates 250,000 tonnes of carbon. One part of the whole process is clean and that’s the only part the pro-nuke people ever want to tell you about.”
“Something else that’s left untold is the insurance liability factor,” Johnston added. “Canada caps liability for nuclear accidents at a ridiculously low $75 million per incident. In the United States, the liability is set at more realistic figure of $13 billion. The hidden cost of nuclear energy is the Canadian taxpayer underwriting liability insurance for nuclear power producers. Without this hidden subsidy, the true cost of nuclear energy would appear far less attractive.”
Additionally, the candidate noted that as the current deposits of high-grade uranium are depleted, even more fossil fuel will be used to extract uranium ore and to refine the lower-grade material. “This depletion of high-grade ore will drive up the price of nuclear power generation,” said Ms. Johnston, “and that’s not the worst part of this whole business.”
Johnston says the worst part is the health danger posed by spent nuclear fuel. Radioactive leaks from spent nuclear fuel have recently been discovered at Ontario’s Chalk River facility as well as at Port Hope’s uranium refining plant. Radioactive contamination has been found in the Ottawa River and in Lake Ontario.
“Spent nuclear fuel contains more than 200 known cancer causing elements,” said the Green candidate. “These carcinogens remain active for thousands of years and threaten the health of our grandchildren’s grandchildren. It is simply irresponsible for us to burden future generations with this risk.”
Ms. Johnston insists that the best way for Canada to meet its energy needs is through conservation and efficiency. Green Party policy documents state that using existing technology, Canada could reduce demand by 50%, thereby eliminating the need for new nuclear development.
Addressing the issue of jobs, Ms. Johnston noted that Germany has abandoned building new nuclear plants and is phasing out existing facilities in favour of a focus on alternative energy. “The German renewable energy sector has created hundreds of thousands of new jobs,” said Ms. Johnston. “Green collar jobs now outnumber auto industry jobs in Germany. Ironically, we’re worried about lost jobs in Canada while we’re buying wind generators and solar panels from Europe.”
For further information, contact:
Haldimand-Norfolk Federal Green Party Association
Friday, September 26, 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE