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Gordon Edwards discusses a Canadian documentary on the ”Nuclear Revival” and small nuclear reactors.

Gordon Edwards, 1 December 21, On November 24, 2021, APTN broadcast a half-hour TV documentary about High Level Nuclear Waste in Canada, with some extra attention paid to the new, unorthodox irradiated fuels that would result from the proposed new reactors called SMRs. Here is a link to the program, entitled Nuclear Revival: 

A couple of observations that crossed my mind while watching the report by Journalist Christopher Read –
(1) The fuel bundles should be thought of as CONTAINERS of the actual radioactive wastes, which are locked up inside those solid bundles.  There are many different radioactive elements (all of them human-made, most of them not found in unspoiled nature) that can escape from the fuel bundles as gases, liquids or solids. They all have different chemical and biological properties but they are all cancer-causing elements and can damage genetic materials like DNA molecules.

Even though the fuel bundles may not move an inch from where they have been emplaced, these other materials can leak out or leach out and find their way to the environment of living things. Time is on their side!! Damaged fuel bundles are analogous to a broken bottle – the container is still there, but the contents (some at least) have escaped.

(2) Concerning SMRs, even if these new nuclear reactors all worked very well, which is doubtful, they will be terribly expensive and very slow to reach a level of commercial deployment (and profitability) – at least 10 to 20 years – so they are too costly and too slow to respond to the climate crisis TODAY.

Solar and wind are much cheaper than nuclear, they are proven and can be quickly deployed, while energy efficiency measures are even cheaper and even faster to implement. We do not yet know how much progress can be made using these alternatives but clearly they should have the first priority – with nuclear as a wait-and-see backup possibility which very likely will not be needed at all (as in the case of Germany, which has phased out nuclear – nearly finished – and now is focussed on phasing out coal, using renewables and efficiency.)

December 2, 2021 - Posted by | Canada, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors, spinbuster


  1. […] Gordon Edwards busts the pro-nuclear spin of a Canadian documentary on the ”Nuclear Revival” and… […]

    Pingback by Gordon Edwards busts the pro-nuclear spin of a Canadian documentary on the ”Nuclear Revival” and small nuclear reactors. – SHOPPEX NIGERIA | December 2, 2021 | Reply

  2. I don’t think that Christopher Read’s TV documentary has a pro-nuclear spin. It’s true that he does an extraordinarily good job of presenting the Industry’s arguments, but that’s what good journalists do. He balances the industry’s viewpoint with some telling criticisms based on failures of the DGR concept in Germany (Asse II and Morsleben),and even in Carlsbad New Mexico (the WIPP project), and makes it clear that the industry’s claims are based on premises and promises that are beyond their power to validate. These repositories will leak. The only question is, how badly will they leak. Worst of all is the prospect (or may I say inevitability) of human intrusion. Plutonium has an incomparable value for both war-makers and misguided peace-makers. And plutonium will be around, in the repository, like Long John Silver’s buried treasure, for 100,000 years and more.

    Comment by Gordon Edwards | December 5, 2021 | Reply

    • Thank you for this timely correcion. I have to confess that I did not watch the video. When I do so, (Later) – perhaps I should change that headline. You do great work, Gordon Edwards. Much azppreciated.

      Comment by Christina Macpherson | December 5, 2021 | Reply

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