Throne speech signals Canada’s support for new nuclear reactors, opposition builds in New Brunswick

Photo by Joan Green. Climate Action Rally in Fredericton at the office of the premier, Sept. 25, 2020.

Read the NB Media Co-op story here.

For more than a year, renewable energy and anti-nuclear activists in New Brunswick and across the country have watched nuclear industry lobbyists re-position their product as the solution to the climate crisis. Indeed, days before the Throne Speech, federal Natural Resources minister Seamus O’Regan claimed that nuclear power was necessary for Canada to meet its net-zero emissions target.

Given its legacy of toxic radioactive waste, nuclear energy would not be considered “clean technology” by most Canadians. However the nuclear industry has been working hard to scrub its image.

Climate Action rally in Fredericton: Don’t Nuke Our Future!

Photo by Joan Green. Climate Action Rally in Fredericton at the office of the premier, Sept. 25, 2020.

Read the NB Media Co-op story about the rally, here.

New Brunswick residents want climate action and a nuclear-free renewable energy future. CRED-NB member Extinction Rebellion New Brunswick (XR NB) organized a rally Sept. 25, the Global Day of Climate Action, outside the office of the premier of New Brunswick. The message to our political leadership was clear: no new nukes for New Brunswick!

Speakers included David Coon, MLA for Fredericton South and leader of the Green Party of New Brunswick, Doug Swain of XR NB, Jessica Spencer of XR NB, Chris Rouse of New Clear Free Solutions and Ron Tremblay, Chief of the Wolastoq Grand Council.

CRED-NB buttons: More Nuclear? No Thanks! were distributed widely.

Wind And Solar Energy Are The Future, Not Nuclear Power

Amit Virmani, CEO of Naveco Energy in New Brunswick, recently wrote an article in Huddle explaining why wind and solar, not nuclear, are the energy sources we need to be developing now. You can read his story here.

He discusses why wind and solar energy are clean, affordable, efficient, quicker to build, less risky overall, and more rapidly developing than nuclear energy. Wind and solar energy represent the best opportunities we have at present to transition to clean, renewable energy.

No business case for new nuclear reactors in New Brunswick

Nuclear energy is more expensive than renewable energy, writes M. V. Ramana, Simons Chair in Disarmament, Global and Human Security and Director of the Liu Institute for Global Issues at the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs, University of British Columbia.

New Brunswick premier Blaine Higgs has endorsed so-called “small modular nuclear reactors” or SMRs. SMRs represent an untested technology but what we know on the basis of technical characteristics and historical precedent is that they will be expensive and any electricity they generate will not be economical.

Read the full story in the NB Media Co-op here.

Keep science fiction (SMRs) out of the Throne Speech

Science fiction kit for kids

On Wednesday afternoon, the federal minority government will deliver its “throne speech,” outlining its plan of action for the next session of parliament.

The Throne Speech should not be science fiction: Keep Small Modular Nuclear Reactors (SMRs) out!

In his September 19th CBC interview, Minister of Natural Reources Seamus O’Regan broadly hinted that small modular reactors might show up in the Throne Speech on September 23rd. A self-acknowledged fan of science fiction, Minister O’Regan should not be allowed to wield his light sabre powers over the Government of Canada’s COVID-recovery plan by diverting taxpayers dollars into private sector nuclear pipe dreams.

Here are the facts:

  • SMRs will delay climate action – 15 years to build untested technology is too long. Lower-cost, proven renewable energy exists now
  • SMRs have no business case and will require billions in public funds – not an option for our fiscal environment already strained by COVID-19
  • SMRs will create more radioactive wastes, different and in addition to what already exist. and won’t “recycle” or reduce nuclear waste stockpiles
  • an SMR “roadmap” was developed with the nuclear industry in 2018 and consultation with the public, announced for 2020, has not happened

The federal government must – at minimum – consult with Canadians and Indigenous peoples before committing large amounts of taxpayers funds to assist the private sector in developing nuclear technologies which – if ever brought to fruition – would generate radioactive waste, link Canada to a plutonium economy and weapons production, and proliferate nuclear risk to locations and communities across Canada.

Two new nuclear reactors for NB with no adequate policy on radioactive waste in place

PC leader Blaine Higgs says federal funding to build two new nuclear reactors in New Brunswick is confirmed and will be announced after the election. The province and NB Power have already given $10 million to start the development of the nuclear projects. Liberal leader Kevin Vickers is also supporting the plans to build the new reactors. Yet there is no federal plan or strategy in place for dealing with the new kinds of radioactive wastes that will be produced by these new reactors.

Read the article in the NB Media Co-op by Susan O’Donnell of the RAVEN project and Gordon Edwards of the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility.