Vidéo « Les réacteurs nucléaires modulaires »

Saviez-vous que le gouvernement du Nouveau-Brunswick finance deux entreprises privées pour construire des réacteurs nucléaires au bord de la baie de Fundy ? Susan O’Donnell du projet RAVEN de l’Université du Nouveau-Brunswick a fait une présentation à ce sujet en mars, à l’Ecofestival de la péninsule acadienne. Vous pouvez regarder la vidéo ici, y compris la discussion qui a suivi avec les participants.

Pour une copie des diapositives, cliquez ici.

Nuclear Reaction April 2021

Today CRED-NB published its first edition of Nuclear Reaction (April 2021)! We are excited to announce that the digital edition is available for download from our Nuclear Reaction page, here. You are welcome to print and distribute this edition. We are publishing and distributing 2,400 hard copies across New Brunswick. If you would like to distribute copies in your community, contact us: info@crednb.ca

Fact sheet: New Brunswick does not love nuclear!

  1. The nuclear industry has conveniently taken the “N” for “nuclear” out of SMR. 

It refers to them as SMRs: small modular reactors. Ask yourself, why don’t they want you to know these reactors are nuclear? By the way, they’re not so small either.

  1. It’s a bargain! 

The industry is suggesting that this is the time to get in on the ground floor, claiming SMRs are going to take off and make everyone rich. The reality is these SMRs will be oodles more expensive than any of the other energy options on the table. In order to be cost effective, a company would need to sell thousands of their particular model (there are over a 100 SMR designs currently in competition). The only SMR actually built so far is on a barge off the shores of Russia and very little is known about it. The most advanced SMR in the West is the NuScale project. Nearly $1 billion and 15 years later, it’s still not built! Nuclear energy is in decline globally, and has been for some time. The SMRs are a desperate attempt to sell a technology that will soon be obsolete. 

  1. So what if it’s a bad investment for nuclear companies, it’s their problem not ours, right? 

Nope. These companies can’t get Wall Street or Bay St. to ante up, so governments are the ones investing millions of dollars on designs for SMR prototypes and providing billions in loan guarantees. You know where that money comes from? You, the taxpayer. In 2018, the New Brunswick government spent $10 million on two SMR designs (ARC and Moltex), and in February 2021, it promised $20 million to further develop the ARC design. The federal government just announced it will invest $50 million in SMR development (Moltex) for New Brunswick. Wouldn’t you rather your tax dollars go to health care, supporting local businesses, reducing class sizes in schools, or even renewable energy?

  1. OK, but we need to ramp up nuclear energy because of climate change. Afterall, nuclear energy doesn’t produce CO2 emissions. 

Hah, that’s a funny one! It presumes a fairy godmother waved her magic wand and produced an SMR out of thin air. These things take years and years to build, and the carbon involved in constructing them is huge—not to mention the mining of materials such as uranium, which destroys forests and ecosystems, poison water, and more. Also, we need climate action NOW. Assuming commercial SMRs even work (the technology is still unproven), the best case scenario is there might be one SMR up and running in New Brunswick in the early 2030s. If that’s NB’s road to GHG reductions, it’ll already be too late.

  1. But we need electricity! Wind and solar are intermittent sources of energy. What if the wind doesn’t blow or the sun doesn’t shine!? 

Hmm, like that’s going to happen in Atlantic Canada. Normally, there’s more wind in the colder months and more sun in the hotter months, so they tend to balance themselves out. Nevertheless, for additional and more reliable energy, we need only look next door to Quebec for hydro power. Plus, battery storage is getting better and cheaper all the time. Right now in California, Tesla and PG&E are building the largest battery storage facility ever constructed. It will be able to dispatch 730 MW of energy to the electrical grid—that’s more than Point Lepreau in New Brunswick currently does (660MW). The project was announced last summer (2020) and it’s almost completed. Imagine, an energy project that’s on time and on budget. It could be a first for New Brunswick (and Atlantic Canada)! Nova Scotia Power is also testing small Tesla batteries in homes to store energy generated from solar panels.

  1. There haven’t been any Chernobyl or Fukushima-like nuclear energy disasters in recent years, so the technology must be safer now, right? 

Wrong again. The two companies hoping to develop SMRs for New Brunswick are start-ups—they’ve never built a nuclear reactor! Their experimental SMR designs involve creating even more concentrated forms of deadly liquid nuclear waste. Did you know that nuclear waste remains toxic for thousands of years? Who wants that in their backyard? Furthermore, the SMRs structures themselves, like the Point Lepreau reactor, remain radioactive when their lifespans are over. Who is going to be responsible for cleaning up that mess? New Brunswick taxpayers! 

  1. Yes, but the government will make sure these SMRs are safe. 

No, I’m afraid not. In fact, the federal government has exempted all SMRs built on existing reactor sites from undergoing environmental assessments. Guess where the SMR(s) will be built in New Brunswick? At Point Lepreau! Therefore, SMRs built in NB won’t undergo any environment assessments by the federal government. New Brunswickers will be guinea pigs, at the mercy of the nuclear power industry that’s desperate to make a sale. 

  1. Hmm, yes, but NB really needs jobs and these SMRs will provide new and hopefully good paying jobs. 

Sure, New Brunswickers need good jobs, but why should they be given this kind of ultimatum? Ask yourself, who is telling you that nuclear energy will create lots of jobs, and that they’re the only new jobs available—and why? Is it the nuclear industry, along the federal and provincial governments, which are trying to dig themselves out of previous bad investments in nuclear technology? Let’s look at the facts, not the BS: solar energy creates 4–5 times as many jobs as nuclear energy. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts that “America’s two fastest-growing jobs through 2026 will be solar installer (105% growth) and wind technician (96% growth)” (Forbes, 2019). In case you’re wondering, nuclear jobs didn’t even register high enough to make the charts.

  1. Point Lepreau is already a highly secure facility but SMRs would require even more armed security. 

That’s because they involve extracting plutonium from Point Lepreau’s existing reactor to make new fuel for the SMRs. Plutonium is the primary nuclear explosive material in the world’s arsenals of nuclear weapons. A derivative of uranium that does not exist in nature, plutonium is created inside every nuclear reactor fuelled with uranium. Up until now, Canada has never extracted plutonium in a commercial nuclear reactor. Why not? Two reasons: 1) it is highly dangerous and polluting to “open up” the used nuclear fuel in order to extract the desired plutonium; and 2) extracting plutonium creates an opportunity for civilian trafficking in highly dangerous materials that can be used by enemy governments, criminals, or terrorists to make powerful nuclear weapons without the need for terribly sophisticated or readily detectable infrastructure. So, more risk, more danger, more security, more cost.

  1. New Brunswick is F@#ked!

Yup, unless people speak up loud and clear and tell the nuclear industry, the NB government, and Federal government that nukes are not welcome here.

Download our factsheet here.

Who’s minding the nuclear file? Oversight needed

Who’s minding the nuclear file? Oversight needed for New Brunswick’s risky plutonium plan

On March 18, the federal government announced $50.5 million in federal taxpayer dollars for controversial technology to “recycle” used nuclear fuel

Susan O’Donnell from the RAVEN project and CRED-NB and Gordon Edwards from the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility published an article in the Hill Times and the NB Media Co-op describing why Parliamentary oversight is needed for this risky new project. Read the article here.

Extracting plutonium from used nuclear fuel? We need to know the risks

Radioactive waste must be kept isolated from all living things.

March 18, 2021

Extracting plutonium from used nuclear fuel? We need to know the risks

ROTHESAY, NB – The Coalition for Responsible Energy Development in New Brunswick (CRED-NB) urges the governments of Canada and New Brunswick to tell New Brunswickers and all Canadians about the risks of the Moltex experiment announced today.

The announcement this morning in Saint John by federal Minister Dominic LeBlanc and New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs was missing key information. Extracting plutonium from nuclear waste was banned in Canada by former Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau. Today the ban has been lifted, marking a significant departure in Canadian policy.

We wonder: why did Prime Minister Justin Trudeau lift the ban that Trudeau senior imposed? Where is the peer review of this proposed research that addresses the significant weapons proliferation concerns as well as environmental risks? Was ANY peer review conducted of the research proposed for New Brunswick before granting $50.5 million today to Moltex Energy to develop their technology?

Our research has found that it is highly dangerous and polluting to “open up” the used nuclear fuel in order to extract the desired plutonium. Extracting plutonium creates a civilian traffic in highly dangerous materials that can be used by governments or criminals or terrorists to make powerful nuclear weapons without the need for terribly sophisticated or readily detectable infrastructure.

Why was our province selected for this dangerous and controversial process? What are the implications for New Brunswickers and our natural environment?

In 2019, after intensive lobbying by the nuclear industry, the new federal Impact Assessment Act project list excluded new nuclear projects at Point Lepreau. These new nuclear projects are exempt from a federal impact assessment. Who will answer our questions?

“Because these projects planned for the Bay of Fundy are exempt from a federal Impact Assessment, there are no opportunities for the public to learn and have their say about this risky, expensive and speculative process. Pyroprocessing has never been done anywhere before. Why was New Brunswick chosen for this dangerous experiment?” said Ann McAllister, member of CRED-NB.

“It’s shameful and irresponsible that both the Canadian and New Brunswick governments are supporting the extraction of plutonium from CANDU used fuel without reviewing the environmental and weapons proliferation challenges,” continued McAllister. “We have grave concerns about the risks being introduced to our Bay of Fundy and surrounding communities with no public discussion or debate in the Parliament of Canada or the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick,” she added.

The federal government has not yet developed a comprehensive policy and strategy for the oversight and management of our existing legacy of toxic radioactive waste, let alone the new types of deadly radioactive waste that would be generated by this new project.

“Some of the most contaminated sites on Earth – Hanford in the US, Sellafield in the UK, Mayak in Russia – are the result of large-scale reprocessing of used nuclear fuel that released dangerous long-lived radioactive material into the environment,” said Dr. Gordon Edwards, a nuclear expert who provides technical advice to CRED-NB. 

The Coalition for Responsible Energy Development in New Brunswick (CRED-NB) advocates for our province to be a leader in Canada in the development of innovation in renewable energy and nuclear decommissioning technologies.

CRED-NB supports the Wolastoq Grand Council Resolution opposing nuclear energy and nuclear waste on traditional Wolastoq territory, here.

CRED-NB has endorsed the public statement signed by more than 100 public interest, Indigenous and civil society groups across Canada calling for an end to federal funding for new nuclear reactor development, here.


For more information:

David Thompson

Spokesperson, CRED-NB

H: 506-635-1297

Technical expert: Dr. Gordon Edwards

President, Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility


cell: 514-839-7214

CCNR office: 514-489-5118

Coalition for Responsible Energy Development in New Brunswick (CRED-NB)

PO Box 4561 • Rothesay • New Brunswick • Canada • E2E 5X3



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

We are in a climate emergency.

Le français suit…

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”


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



Une pétition pour nous assurer que les mesures climatiques du Canada correspondent aux objectifs mondiaux urgents

 Notre objectif: 
  • Augmentation de 1,5 *C de la température moyenne mondiale au-dessus du niveau préindustriel, aussi loin que possible en dessous de 2 degrés (objectif de l’Accord de Paris) (1)
  • Un rapport scientifique du GIEC met en garde contre les conditions météorologiques extrêmes et les conditions de vie désastreuses si elles sont dépassées. (2)
Atteindre l’objectif : réduction des gaz à effet de serre inférieurs à 2005
Pourquoi la différence?
  • L’objectif du gouvernement Harper – 30 % de moins qu’en 2005 d’ici 2030 – n’était pas fondé sur la science du GIEC pour 1,5*C.
  • Si tous les pays avaient la même cible que le Canada, la température moyenne mondiale passerait à 5 degrés C au-dessus des niveaux préindustriels.
  • Le gouvernement Trudeau a adopté le même objectif au lieu de l’améliorer.
  • Les réductions du Canada dans d’autres secteurs ont été absorbées par les hausses du secteur pétrolier et gazier.
  • Les émissions du Canada ont augmenté de 20,9 % par rapport aux niveaux de 1990, tandis qu’aux États-Unis, elles ont augmenté de 3,7 %, en Allemagne et en Grande-Bretagne de 40 %, dans l’UE de 24 %. (Ces taux sont mesurés par rapport à 1990).
  • Les émissions cumulatives de ces années nécessitent maintenant des objectifs compensatoires.
Les rapports sur la responsabilisation des émissions ne sont pas à l’état d’urgence :
  • La première « année charnière » n’est pas avant 2030
  • La première période de reddition de comptes de cinq ans est de 2030-2035
  • Le premier « rapport d’étape » est en 2028 – trop tard pour corriger le déficit.

Veuillez svp signer cette « Pétition pour s’assurer que les mesures climatiques du Canada correspondent aux objectifs mondiaux urgents »


La pétition demande au gouvernement fédéral de :

  • Augmenter considérablement les objectifs de réduction des émissions pour atteindre les objectifs de l’Accord de Paris
  • Remplacer le « groupe consultatif » en vertu de la loi C-12 (3) – multipartite selon les apparences, par un groupe de scientifiques experts.

Remarque : L’un des « plans d’action » sectoriels du gouvernement, qui reflète clairement ce même manque d’ambition et d’urgence climatiques, est le financement fédéral pour le développement de « petits réacteurs nucléaires modulaires » qui prendra environ dix ans et ajoutera aux déchets radioactifs toxiques. Plus de 100 organisations ont signé la Déclaration sur le site Web de l’Association canadienne du droit de l’environnement, appelant ces nouveaux réacteurs nucléaires « … une distraction sale et dangereuse de la lutte contre le changement climatique ».

(1) Pour se tenir à 1,5 degré, le GIEC indique (rapport spécial d’octobre 2018) : « Dans les voies modèles sans dépassement ou avec dépassement limité de 1,5 °C, les émissions nettes mondiales de CO2 anthropiques diminuent d’environ 45 % par rapport aux niveaux de 2010 d’ici 2030 … pour atteindre zéro net vers 2050 … » (emphase ajouté).

(2) la principale conclusion provient du chapitre 3 du même rapport :
Le taux de changement pour plusieurs types de risques peut également être pertinent, avec des risques potentiellement importants en cas d’augmentation rapide des températures de dépassement, même si une baisse à 1,5 °C peut être atteinte à la fin du XXIe siècle ou plus tard (confiance moyenne). Si l’on veut minimiser les dépassements, le budget équivalent de CO2 restant disponible pour les émissions est très faible, ce qui implique que des efforts mondiaux importants, immédiats et sans précédent pour atténuer les gaz à effet de serre sont nécessaires (confiance élevée). {3.2, 3.6.2, Boîte 8 dans ce chapitre} https://www.ipcc.ch/sr15/chapter/chapter-3/

(3) Le projet de loi C-12 de la 43e législature de la Chambre des communes est « une loi qui respecte la transparence et la reddition de comptes dans les efforts déployés par le Canada pour atteindre des émissions nettes de gaz à effet de serre nulles d’ici 2050.

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.