Thursday, November 13, 2008

Haldimand ``Don`t Fall for Corporate Political Babblespeak``

Here is an excellent editorial by Gregg McLachlan from the Simcoe Reformer. Hopefully our local newspapers here in Haldimand stay close to this issue.

The petition is in it`s final stage and will be ready by November 20th, at least that is my plan. So please stay tuned in! Please send this article to your friends and neighbours!

`Kudo`s to Gregg, I do believe you have hit the nail on the head``

Ontario Liberals in pickle, and Bruce Power knows it
Simcoe Reformer
Monday, November 10, 2008


That's one way to sum up what's unfolding in Nanticoke.Ontario-based Bruce Power, a private company which already operates a nuclear power plant 250 km northwest of Toronto on the shore of Lake Huron, has taken a bold step that could ultimately save Dalton McGuinty and Co.

The company's $30-million environmental assessment at an 800-acre site in the Nanticoke Industrial Park will almost certainly pave the way for it to build a nuclear power plant that starts generating electricity by 2018.

Don't entirely fall for corporate babblespeak that this assessment is purely exploratory.

In today's economic downturn, companies don't spend $30 million willy nilly.

Preliminary work has already set the stage for this study and it will likely produce few surprises: that Nanticoke is a suitable site for a nuclear plant.

Bruce Power CEO Duncan Hawthorne has been publicly touting nuclear power at Nanticoke since March 2007. The only oddity is that the province has never publicly endorsed the concept or, now, the project. At least not yet.

But we can read between the lines. It's no secret that a power window is rapidly closing on Ontario's Liberals. McGuinty has promised that the province's dirty coal-fired power plants will be shut down by 2014. That includes the Nanticoke Generating Station, the largest plant of its kind in North America.

So far, the province has made no announcement on what will replace one of the province's key hydro stations that supplies enough electricity to power millions of homes. However, one thing is certain: the province knows another significant power generator must be located in Nanticoke, purely because of the vast hydro transmission corridor that runs north from the station.

It would cost hundreds of millions of dollars and take years to acquire land and build a new corridor elsewhere (new power plant not included). Such an idea may be next to impossible today anywhere near the development-restricted Greenbelt.

All the province has said publicly so far is that it wants renewable energy sources to play a key role in replacing coal-fired power generation. Bruce Power has strategically positioned itself to meet that Liberal position --which means, eventually, McGuinty & Co., will have little choice but to endorse the Nanticoke plan.

In addition to nuclear, Bruce Power says it will study building what it calls a 'clean energy hub' involving wind, solar and hydrogen power in Haldimand-Norfolk-- which likely means Nanticoke -- through a partnership with the Canadian Hydrogen Association, University of Waterloo and McMaster University. It's that part of Bruce Power's plan that will be enticing to the Liberals who can eventually piggyback on it for a firm public-friendly green energy strategy.

Even if 50 per cent of people dislike nuclear, there's a strong likelihood the other 50 per cent will support a 'clean energy hub.'

From a purely public marketing standpoint, the 'clean energy hub' concept is a brilliant new strategy to add to the mix when considering building a nuclear power plant. So, if we read between the lines, we can surmise that:

A) The Liberals are quietly, but knowingly, letting Bruce Power go it alone and absorb the environmental lobbyists' protests over its site assessment and pursuit of nuclear power in Nanticoke;

B) Only when the timing is right (how about an election campaign?), will the Liberals announce endorsement and/or participation and/or funding in a 'clean energy hub' for Nanticoke that meets their previous pledge to use renewable energies to assist in the replacement of coal-fired generation.

In the case of the Nanticoke Generating Station, a government is simply not going to make a casual, low-key announcement about what's next at the site. For years the plant has been the high profile target of environmentalists fighting dirty emissions.

So a government announcement will be made at a time and place for maximum political and environmental gain. Bruce Power, also eyeing expansion of its nuclear operations into Alberta and Saskatchewan, is simply getting a jump start in Nanticoke on solving an Ontario dilemma well known by the Liberals.

In the meantime, do some math. The Liberals pledge to close the Nanticoke Generating Station in 2014. Bruce Power says a nuclear plant wouldn't be producing power until 2018. That leaves a gap of four years where, as it stands today, millions of homes will be short on electricity. Unless, of course, the Nanticoke coal-fired plant's life is extended yet again, or retrofitted to use another cleaner fuel source.There's plenty more intrigue left to keep you plugged into this tale for years to come.
Gregg McLachlan
Associate Managing Editor


  1. Excellent post Donna. Right on the mark regarding motives of McGuinty and his Liberal Government.

    I support the Nuclear plant with reservation but don't want to see McGuinty elected again.


  2. Yes, Greg has hit-the-nail-on-the-head. He is stating strategy facts.

    Yet opposing issues have never been addressed such as...

    An existing power corridor does invite energy alternative to Nanticoke; no one in authority has even addressed clean-coal-technology and carbon sequestration. There is 400 years of cheap coal vs. 70 years of uranium.

    Clean-coal captures the pollutants and sells them back into industry and agriculture for a profit creating new jobs while keeping the exiting job expertise intact.

    Carbon sequestration will create many new jobs using exiting expertise in the natural gas industry.

    A clean energy hub is attractive, makes sense, and can compliment any source of energy that can support big industry.

    Where Bruce Power looks at Nanticoke as ideal, it is not. There are seismic issues here that have not been addressed by experts outside of Bruce Power's employ.

    Seismic issues also effect Pickering whereas this nuclear plant was built to specs 3% of gravity has felt the effect of seismic events to the tune of many millions in retrofit. American nuclear power plants on the Southside of Lake Erie are built to specs of 18% or more of gravity. Very expensive!

    Nuclear waste and documented nuclear cost over-runs have never been addressed to the public. As if to say nuclear waste, tritium, security, cost over-runs to the taxpayer and customer are non-issues.

    There has been no official exploration of negative social or environmental impact to communities or biota. Why?

    The official position of all those in power has been a 100% lop-sided exersise, which paints the picture it is a done deal. Also, quite a clever strategy!

    Yes Greg is spot on, but this news story is as old as February 2007 and opposition to the facts this article contains is a story that has never been told.


  3. letters to the editors of the 8 or papers in H-N have been completely suppressed. Onr other, unrevealed, as yet fact, is that private nuclear co.'s both in the U.S. and Canada are not paying the cost of insuring nuclear "accidents". In the U.S., governments are NOT picking up the bill, but here in Canada, the taxpAYERS ARE BEING FORCED BY THEIR GOVERMNENTS TO PAY THROUGH THEIR TAXES!

  4. What is wrong with our local papers? Nothing in the Chronicle last week, nothing in the Regional News this week?

    Donna it seems you are all but alone on this issue, I think it is time for you to puts this one to bed, you cannot fight the system!

    Except the fact that Nuclear is coming your way!

  5. Those are fightin' words for this gal! Just you watch her!

  6. Thanks for your comments everyone.

    I am glad that the Simcoe Reformer is keeping this in the news. It will help. It was an excellent article.

    As far as our local papers go I think until we announce that the petition is ready and what we are trying to accomplish it will be quiet here in Haldimand.

    Please visit Grand Erie Energy Quest's website. It is under both the interesting links and the Nuclear link to the left. You can sign up to receive their news. This is where I get a heads up on a lot of the articles that I post.

  7. We can fight the system. At least for some of us we would rather try than do nothing.