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Nuclear Energy

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Anti-nuclear activists should stop scare tactics and focus on delivering renewable energy

January 27, 2006, Toronto – An advertising campaign against nuclear energy demonstrates activists are not interested in finding sustainable solutions, said Dr. Patrick Moore, Chairman and Chief Scientist of Greenspirit Strategies Ltd.

“The anti-nuclear activists are pouring substantial sums of money into a misinformation campaign designed to instill fear and doubt in Canadians,” said Dr. Moore.

“It is ridiculous for a group called the “Clean Air Alliance” to be campaigning against one of the cleanest sources of electricity known. Nuclear plants release virtually zero emissions into the air and they can play a major role in replacing coal-fired plants that emit both air pollution and greenhouse gases,” Moore said.

“Instead of spending huge sums of money on advertising to scare Canadians, why don’t the Ontario Clean Air Alliance and the David Suzuki Foundation invest that money in promoting alternative energy solutions?” asked Moore.

“There has never been a serious accident in the history of the Canadian nuclear energy industry and long-term plans for the storage of used nuclear fuel are well underway,” continued Moore. “Nuclear energy, along with hydroelectric energy, is the only base load electrical source that can replace fossil fuels (coal and natural gas) with non-greenhouse gas emitting energy. Wind and solar have a role to play but they are both intermittent and simply can’t supply a reliable base load of power,” said Moore.

Currently Ontario produces 50% of its electricity with nuclear energy. The Ontario Power Authority has recommended that this ratio be maintained into the future. This will require the construction of new nuclear plants to replace older ones as well as new plants to satisfy 50% of the growth in energy demand in the coming years. In addition, the Ontario government has pledged to phase out all coal-fired plants which presently supply 16,000 megawatts, 17% of Ontario’s electricity.  Fifty per cent of this will also need to be replaced by nuclear energy under the OPA’s plan.

“We know how to build nuclear plants so there is no technical obstacle to continuing to supply 50% of Ontario’s power with nuclear energy. But nuclear plants take about ten years from a project proposal until they are up and running. Opposition and obstruction by activists will have the effect of making it more difficult to phase out the coal-fired plants and drains energy from the challenge of developing renewable energy technologies to provide the other 50% of energy supply,” said Moore.

“Ontario’s energy demands can’t be satisfied with windmills and solar panels alone. It will be a real challenge to increase renewables to the extent recommended by the OTA. Activists should drop their scare tactics and put their energy, and perhaps some of their budgets, into proposing solutions instead,” concluded Moore.

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