By Marvin Baker, a new weekly column in The Kenmare News
Posted 3/17/20 (Tue)
For several weeks we’ve been wrangling with officials in
Back in November 2019, the Saskatchewan Growth Plan was released and part of it describes how the coal-fired power plants and some of the hydro power generating stations are going to be replaced with nuclear reactors with a start date of 2030.
That’s only 10 years from now. In 10 years, a nuclear reactor capable of supplying 350,000 homes will most likely be situated less than 13 miles from the
Estevan is where transmission lines already exist so the infrastructure is already in place.
Provincial officials don’t want to talk to reporters about it. The
What’s even more disturbing is that our officials in the Department of Environmental Quality in
The plan is to implement nuclear power to help fight climate change and bring the province to 50 percent renewable energy by 2050.
For all intents and purposes nuclear power is safe and is more efficient than coal or hydro power.
However, these small, modular nuclear reactors as they are called, were built by humans so the possibility of human error exists.
If you don’t want to believe me, consider all the recalls in the auto industry. Things can go wrong and do.
What if it does? Then what?
When we say the word nuclear, the first thing we think of is
It was also the first time in my life I saw a Russian president (Mikail Gorbachev) pre-empt an American television program to announce what had happened at
The measurement of radiation released has never been placed in the public domain, but it caused all kinds of diseases, including thyroid cancer in children. There were unconfirmed reports that rats grew to be the size of small dogs and pine cones were found the size of basketballs.
If you go back to 1945, you’ll know that
The thing about half life that a lot of people don’t understand is that it will never cease to exist. It will become smaller to a point that it’s irrelevant, but it will never cease.
So is that a possibility in Estevan? Yes, anything is possible and Estevan could glow in the dark, but the consequence would be much less intense because the reactors would be much smaller than
OK, that’s the bad news. And yes, there is some good news about nuclear power.
It’s clean, it’s efficient and it’s cost effective. Maintenance is minimal and in Estevan’s case, there’s plenty of uranium right there in
This new generation of reactor is quite portable as well. You can transport it by rail, ship or truck and can be set up and placed just about anywhere.
These reactors can produce as little as 3 megawatts of power up to 350 megawatts. It’s very futuristic and will most likely become the norm in the next 50 years. And over that time, it is expected the devices will become safer as well.
Here at home, we continue to promote crude oil and coal. Yes, we have it, but it’s something that the renewable world is leaving behind.
Just 13 miles north of the border, it’ll be 50 years into the future.