Vancouver residents watch with horror the nuclear disaster unfolding in Japan. Radioactivity in water, milk, vegetables and more. The west coast now has more radiation detectors, after the reactors in Japan seemed to be burning out of control, because the jet stream could carry this radioactivity right onto Vancouver streets, farmland and watersheds.
The nuclear industry, like the coal and oil industry have been fierce opponents of alternative energy. These entrenched industries have received billions of dollars each year from taxpayers and like rabid dogs, snarl and growl to protect their almost complete monopoly on Canada’s energy industry.
Will alternative energy companies in Vancouver have a better chance to compete, now that nuclear fallout has joined global warming, acid rain and mercury in the food system as motives to switch to green energy systems?
Ontario is still considering more nuclear power, despite the fact they still owe more than $38 billion for the reactors still operating, even though many of these reactors were built decades ago. The nuclear industry has been plagued with cost overruns and delays. The average reactor built in Canada has cost 4 times the estimated cost and taken twice as long to build as planned. The Darlington reactors took 10 years to complete and cost 6 times the estimated price.
The reactor complex undergoing a meltdown in Japan is the worlds largest, the second largest is in Canada and both are a similar age.
Just 70 kilometres from Toronto, Darlington’s old, wildly over budget reactors are again in need of a refit. But instead of opting for alternative energy, despite the success of the current FIT program the Ontario government has allocated $33 billion to refurbish these ageing reactors.
These reactors generate 3,500MW of power, meaning even if the refurbishment is a success and for the first time in Canada, on budget, the power still will cost $10 per watt or 5 times what current wind power costs!
Critics of alternative energy say that it can not succeed without taxpayer subsidies, but what is paying more than 5 times the cost of something, if not a subsidy?
Did the McGuinty Government take a payoff from the nuclear industry? If not, why are they continuing to support this ridiculously over priced and potentially dangerous nuclear power policy when alternative energy solutions have proven to be cheaper, safer, better for job creation and the environment?