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Small modular nuclear reactors for Canada? – useless, expensive, untested, and a wasteful distraction

NB Media Co-op 22nd Sept 2020,Premier Blaine Higgs has endorsed so-called “small modular nuclear reactors” or SMRs. SMRs represent an untested technology but what we know on the basis of technical characteristics and historical precedent is that they will be expensive and any electricity they generate will not be economical. The nuclear industry is pushing small reactors because large reactors are simply not economical. Constructing nuclear plants is just too expensive—as Ontario’s government found out after its call in 2008 for bids to build two more reactors at the Darlington site.
Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. reportedly bid $26 billion for two 1200-megawatt CANDU reactors and the province abandoned its nuclear plans. Since then, the business case for nuclear power has become much worse as the cost of renewables has fallen dramatically.

Sierra Club Canada (accessed) 23rd Sept 2020, No plan that gets us to net zero in a reasonable time frame includes new  nuclear reactors. Nuclear is far too slow and expensive to deal with the climate emergency. Just like fossil fuel energy, nuclear produces wastes that pose unacceptable health hazards and economic costs.
Radioactive wastes from nuclear power plants have been piling up for over 70 years. Canada still has no long-term strategy to deal with either nuclear or fossil fuel wastes. Building Canada back better means major investments in conservation and renewable energy, providing hundreds of thousands of good green jobs. Global investment in renewable energy and newly-installed renewable capacity has far surpassed nuclear in recent years. Investors are  smart: they put their money where it will yield good returns.

September 24, 2020 - Posted by | business and costs, Canada, climate change, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors, wastes

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