Briefing paper: The proposed nuclear reactors (SMRs) for New Brunswick

The paper presents considerations for the two proposed nuclear reactors (SMRs) for New Brunswick.

The briefing paper authors are RAVEN primary investigator Dr. Susan O’Donnell at the University of New Brunswick, Dr. Louise Comeau from the Conservation Council of New Brunswick, Dr. Janice Harvey of St. Thomas University and co-investigator of the RAVEN project, Dr. Gordon Edwards of the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility in Montreal and Dr. M.V. Ramana at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.

The briefing paper is available on the RAVEN website: here.

Meeting with Minister O’Regan

On February 25, Susan O’Donnell represented CRED-NB at a meeting with federal Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan and national civil society representatives. The focus of discussion was the federal review of the radioactive waste policy. Susan highlighted the letters, each signed by more than 100 civil society groups across Canada, outlining concerns and expectations related to the policy review. She also brought up the concern we have with the proposed high-level waste “recycling” at Point Lepreau.

Video: Transitioning to a Low-Carbon Economy in NB

Chris Rouse: Transitioning to a Low-Carbon Economy in New Brunswick: Why public investments are better than incentives.

Chris Rouse, the founder of New Clear Free Solutions, developed an Integrated Resource Plan for New Brunswick that achieves a 95% Renewable energy solution through public investments. In this video presentation, Chris discusses his IRP that offers the least cost sustainable solution to our environmental problems that benefits all New Brunswicker both now and in the future. The event was organized by the Coalition for Responsible Energy Development in New Brunswick (CRED-NB), Extinction Rebellion New Brunswick, and the RAVEN project (Rural Action and Voices for the Environment) at the University of New Brunswick.

Click on the video below to watch Chris’ presentation and the Q&A session that followed.

Why “Getting to Paris” with Trudeau doesn’t cut it!

We are in a climate emergency.

A Petition to Ensure Canada’s Climate Actions Match Urgent World Goals

Our Goal:
  • 1.5°C increase in global average temperature above pre-industrial level, as far below 2 degrees as possible (Paris target) (1)
  • IPCC science report warns of extreme weather and dire living
    conditions if exceeded.(2)
Reaching the Goal: Greenhouse Gas Reductions Targets below 2005 Levels:

Why the difference?
  • The Harper government target–30% below 2005 by 2030–was not based on IPCC Science for 1.5°C.
  • If all countries had the same target as Canada, global average temperature would increase to 5°C above pre-industrial levels.
  • The Trudeau government has adopted the same goal instead of improving on it.
  • Canada’s reductions in other sectors were absorbed in oil/gas sector increases
  • Canada’s emissions were up 20.9% over 1990 levels while in the USA, they were up 3.7, in Germany and Britain they were down by 40%, and in the EU they were down by 24%. (all measured as against 1990)
  • Cumulative emissions of those years require compensating targets now.
Emissions Accountability Reporting misses the urgency:
  • First ‘milestone year’ is not till 2030
  • First five-year accountability period is 2030-2035
  • First ‘progress report’ is 2028 – too late to correct shortfall.

Please sign this House of Commons “Petition to Ensure Canada’s Climate Actions Match Urgent World Goals”

(**URL here**)

The petition calls on the federal government to :

  • Increase the targets for reducing emissions to actually meet the Paris Agreement targets
  • Replace the “advisory group” per Bill C-12 (3) – apparently multi-stakeholder, with an expert scientific group

Note:  One of the Government’s sectoral ‘Action Plans’ that clearly reflects this same lack of climate ambition and urgency, is federal funding for the development of “Small Modular Nuclear Reactors” which will take an estimated 10 years and add to the toxic radioactive waste.  More than 100 organizations have signed on to the Statement on the Canadian Environmental Law Association website calling these new nuclear reactors “…a dirty, dangerous distraction from tackling climate change.” https://cela.ca/casework-climate-action-nuclear-energy-case-against-smrs/

(1)To hold to 1.5°C, the IPCC says (October 2018 special report) : “In model pathways with no or limited overshoot of 1.5°C, global net anthropogenic CO2 emissions decline by about 45% from 2010 levels by 2030… reaching net zero around 2050 …” (emphasis added)

(2)his key finding is from Chapter 3 of the same report:
The rate of change for several types of risks may also have relevance, with potentially large risks in the case of a rapid rise to overshooting temperatures, even if a decrease to 1.5°C can be achieved at the end of the 21st century or later (medium confidence). If overshoot is to be minimized, the remaining equivalent CO2 budget available for emissions is very small, which implies that large, immediate and unprecedented global efforts to mitigate greenhouse gases are required (high confidence). {3.2, 3.6.2, Cross-Chapter Box 8 in this chapter} https://www.ipcc.ch/sr15/chapter/chapter-3/

(3) House of Commons Bill C-12 of the 43rd Parliament is “ An Act respecting transparency and accountability in Canada’s efforts to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2050

100 groups ask: What will we do with our nuclear waste?

 

What will we do with our nuclear waste?

 

Ottawa – Over 100 public interest and community groups signed on to a joint letter setting out their expectations for a review of Canada’s Radioactive Waste Policy launched by Natural Resources Canada last November. Top on their list: the review must be transparent, and independent of the nuclear industry.

In previous communications, the groups have strenuously objected to the decision by Natural Resources Canada to delegate the development of strategies for the management of radioactive waste to an industry organization, the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO). The NWMO was formed by the power companies who own nuclear reactors in 2002 to develop a plan to manage high level nuclear fuel waste.

The letter states:

As public interest groups, many with considerable expertise in nuclear waste management, we consider this Review to be of utmost national importance. The outcomes of the Review process will impact not only the current generation of Canadians but also generations to come. As we have communicated with NRCan staff and in earlier letters to you as Prime Minister of Canada and as Minister of Natural Resources, we have serious concerns about the shape of the review as announced to date.

In particular, a timeline with March 31, 2021 for the end of public engagement is unreasonable and unacceptable. Most Canadians have not yet even been made aware of this review and its far-ranging implications. At the very least, Canadians must be given notice of the Review process and opportunities to participate.

To date, NRCan has populated a web site, posted four discussion papers and comment forums, and held one by-invitation “information session” and a number of bilateral conversations with civil society organizations and others in December 2020. The format and frequency of the Departments interaction with the nuclear industry and nuclear supply companies is unknown.

The letter with the 100+ endorsing groups can be viewed at www.nuclearwastewatch.ca.

CRED-NB pre-budget submission to the New Brunswick government

Today we sent to the New Brunswick government and the opposition parties our submission to the pre-budget consultations. In the throne speech last year, the government missed the opportunity to announce a bold plan for renewable energy and energy-saving retrofits. Instead, the speech mentioned the new nuclear reactors proposed for the province.

Our submission analyses what we should see in the budget for responsible energy development in New Brunswick. Read it here.