Nuclear lobby blasts renewable power

by John Spears, Toronto Star

Replacing proposed new nuclear plants with renewable power could mean overwhelming the landscape with solar panels or wind turbines, a pro-nuclear lobby group has argued.

A forest of wind turbines stretching in a semicircle from Cobourg, Ont., to Mississauga and north almost to Lake Simcoe would be needed to duplicate the output of the two proposed reactors, the Organization of Candu Industries argued.

Alternatively, you’d need to blanket the landscape with solar panels stretching from Pickering to Newcastle.

The OCI made its pitch to a panel studying the environmental impact of new reactors at Darlington. The three weeks of hearings ended Friday.

The organization is made up of engineering, construction and manufacturing firms and others that supply Canada’s nuclear industry.

Environmental groups have used the hearings to paint the nuclear industry as a threat to human health and the environment, one that will leave a legacy of highly toxic waste for centuries to come.

OCI disagreed.

“These plants would act as a catalyst to rejuvenate the nuclear industry and revitalize the Canadian nuclear supply chain, creating thousands of high-paying jobs locally and across Ontario,” OCI’s general manager, David Marinacci, told the panel.

“They would also help to position Canada’s nuclear industry to seize additional domestic and global opportunities.”

Ontario Power Generation, which has applied to build the new reactors, hasn’t yet said what type of reactor it will buy, or who will make it.

Marinacci said the Candu reactor made by Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. would provide the biggest benefit. “Building Candu reactors would result in 24,000 more person years of employment than foreign designs,” he told the panel.

He cited a Conference Board of Canada study that predicted building new reactors in Ontario would kick-start Canada’s nuclear industry. That in turn would provide momentum for exports that would contribute between $34 and $55 billion to the Canadian economy, he said.

Marinacci also argued that the impact of renewables is not entirely benign.

Based on Ontario wind conditions, the OCI contends, it would take 5,300 square kilometres of territory to replace the proposed nuclear plants with wind turbines.

Solar panels would eat up 1,100 square kilometres, the group says.

The presentation drew some skepticism from Jocelyne Beaudet, a member of the panel, who suggested that wind turbines produce more power than the OCI had estimated, and therefore fewer turbines and less space would be required.


15 thoughts on “Nuclear lobby blasts renewable power

  1. Beware. ~40-50% don’t like nuclear and have strong feelings. After spin by Japanese government & TEPCO those feelings are reinforced. Don’t get caught taking sides.

    It’s the same corporate-state agenda behind IWTs and nuclear. Its the same government process. If the decision making process didn’t amount to paid-off experts cherry picking & spinning facts, we could have some confidence in whatever decision gets made. That’s not how the process works.

    The example of wind vs. nuclear is stupid. Wind can’t replace base load 24/7 power generation. That said, there are better options than new build nuclear that need to be explored.

    What MSM won’t tell you about Fukushima & the corporate state-conection.

  2. “The presentation drew some skepticism from Jocelyne Beaudet, a member of the panel, who suggested that wind turbines produce more power than the OCI had estimated, and therefore fewer turbines and less space would be required.”

    Or the opposite. What about when the wind didn’t blow or the sun not shine together?
    Thanks for the graphics. People need to visualize what projected lands will be devoured by Industrial Wind Turbines. How well could a bird avoid such an area?

  3. @Scott: my waffle on nukes is: years back when Ontario did its power planning it ignored the East-West grid as a viable option for getting 1500MW new hydro from Manitoba to Ontario. The same plan did identify a gazillion MWs of excellent wind resource in the far north.

    Harper already gave McGuinty $586 million towards the grid in 2007.

    “This project has potential benefits for both provinces, and that’s why we are moving forward to the next phase,” said Dwight Duncan, Ontario’s Minister of Energy. “Clean energy from Manitoba has the potential to provide Ontarians with 1,500 megawatts of clean, renewable and reliable hydroelectric power, enough to power 1 million homes in Ontario.”

    Today Anti-nuke pro wind/gas lobby (no apologies for collateral damage) is questioning the new nuke build decision per:

    If they are so keen on wind farms, build em in the far north away from people.
    This “area covering” tack by the nuke lobby is BS. BS is BS whether its from the pro wind or pro nuke lobby.

  4. No matter how large an area no industrial wind development or solar development could or will replace one nuclear power plant. It is not possible. The map illustrating the area needed for wind turbines and solar to replace the nuclear plant does not represent reality. As much as the map is trying to compare how much more area would be impacted it provides an illusion that wind or solar could replace nuclear. Even if all that land was covered with transmission lines with industrial wind turbines and solar panels as illustrated most consumers would be without power most of the time if they ever got any at all.

  5. But wait a minute, 550M is good enough for the people in rural Ont, the Government meaning the Liberal Government thinks it is fine for people to be sick in rural Ont, so what is wrong having it that way in Toronto and area.
    Carbon foot prints is a crock, it is a way of getting money from rich countries to poor or better yet it is given to the people that started this crock of $@$### in the first place. We are not in global warming and never have been it was started on a computer and scientists altered the information so a few could make a lot of money on it.

  6. Matt, I won’t disagree here.
    I was at the Wind Concerns Meaford event today and a lady asked one of the speakers what the alternatives to IWT’s were.
    I probably should have spoken up at the time but … the wind doesn’t do anything here.
    It does not meet demand
    It does not reduce the capacity requirements of conventional generation
    It doesn’t reduce emissions
    It sickens people and devalues property.

    The alternative to wind is doing nothing – which achieves as many positives, without the negatives.

    Manitoba, speaking to your point, is interesting – I think Rae bought us out of a contract – I know Eves’ government noted adding capacity that way in a 2003 document (that included phasing out coal by 2015).
    But the specifics against it today are addressed in the same testimony I linked to earlier (pages 29-31).

    We can imagine supply via nation building hydro connections (Labrador and Manitoba), but that could be both the best option technically, and the least realistic politically.

    As for the circles on the map – well, here’s a clip of a guy most of us know giving a speech last year; he sums up the ‘renewables’ starting around 10:45, in terms of “energy farming” –
    The rationale for the diagram shown in the Star is contained in the same testimony link I provided before, later on at pages 158-159

  7. Nuke is a good option, if publically run…for safety sake alone. I have no problem with it.

  8. People are sold on green agenda.
    So how do you get more onside.
    Everyone here is in agreement.
    How do you get a message out to ge more people on have to get a message out and get more and more people.
    Hydro costs must come down, is microfit is a good option , is geothermal a good option. How can you use less when 30% demand is homeowners and 70% is business . We have seen less demand because of the economy.
    WC Meaford is making the same error.
    Why preach to the converted?……you need fresh blood and you need those to bring in more fresh blood.

  9. Maybe the solution is back to coal but in a new high tech burning of coal which sounds like a bad word nowadays but in reality makes more senses now than ever. A range of advanced coal combustion technologies have been developed to improve the efficiency of coal-fired power generation. New, more efficient coal-fired combustion technologies reduce emissions of CO2, as well as pollutants such as NOx, SOx and particulates

  10. To paraphrase Joe Louis, “there’s a lot of things wrong with fossil fuels, but wind ain’t gonna fix them”. I don’t know enough about the other technologies to say which ones are best, but surely it would be cheaper to invest in research and pilot projects than to keep doing something we know won’t work. And does significant environmental damage too.

  11. IWTs do not work for providing power to the grid. Waste of time and effort.

  12. Quote”Concerns over coal’s environmental effects are among the main reasons why the province has announced plans to retire by 2015, over 6 000 MW of coal-fired generation, which is the equivalent of approximately 20 per cent of its current generating capacity. To compensate for the loss of coal-fired power, the province is considering a number of options such as the return to service of a number of nuclear units at the Bruce generating station; the construction of a new natural gas-fired generation plant; an increase in energy from renewable sources; and the introduction of a “Conservation Culture” to mitigate future demand growth. Some coal-fired facilities, especially those fitted with scrubbers, could remain in service past the 2015 timeline as a back-up in case of potential delays in the in service date of the alternative power generation sources.”””National Energy Board

  13. We’ve all heard McGuinty & Co on TV, radio, papers selling his IWTs to the public cuz they reduce reliance on coal and thus save thousands of lives. The public will hear this message many times over up to next election. Why would anyone not want to save lives?

    How to discredit this story by McGuinty?

    -Coal could have been replaced years back by more cost effective options (and still can)
    -the government deliberately didn’t put scrubbbers on some units many years back and hasn’t minded killing people all these years.
    -The scrubbers would have been cheaper than what they’ve spent on wind to replace the coal (yes scrubbers don’t take out C02)
    -Gas turbines backing up IWTs are located in cities that already suffer from high pollution levels
    -The current spokesperson for Pollution Probe regarding coal-fired
    generation in Ontario is Jack Gibbons, a lobbyist on behalf of natural gas distributors and gas- fired generators who benefit financially with the coal closure mandate. [Jack is currently chair of Ontario Clean Air Alliance]


    Butttttttt “IWTs save lives” makes for a more powerful soundbite.

    see discussion on coal emissions per

  14. Not only that the
    Lambton generating station that will be closed or is has scrubbers on one of them after spending millions of dollars on it for cleaner air.But Liberals do allow Clean Harbours(a great name to call this company) which burns and buries tons of highly toxic chemicals all over from Canada and the USA and pumping all this shit in the air with no scrubbers and bury the slurry soup. They claim they burn it at high heat. But is that not what coal burn generating plants do to? This Toxic soup company has lowered property values around this area and a lot of them have moved away but the company reimbursed them and also has given other property owners hush money which some farmers donate it to local hospitals for the high cancer rate in this area. These locals say they will probably need hospitalization for themselves some day soon. Nice to know they will not shut this down cause they make a lot of money and who cares how many locals die here and down wind,.Money keeps it going

Comments are closed.