Letter of the day.
To The Editor:
I read with interest the Jan. 29 article in the Times & Transcript with the caption "Will second reactor benefit NBers?"
The answer is a big, emphatic NO.
The notion is that there will be no public money provided to build a second reactor, that we'll just buy power if the price is right. If you believe that, I have some very nice magic beans to sell!
Of course we will be helping pay to build it -- it will be hidden or perhaps one of those "Oops moments" when we have to pay or the project will fail.
Every nuclear power plant built in Canada so far has had huge cost overruns, has been behind schedule, has failed to deliver the amount of electricity promised and needs retrofits sooner than projected. And let's not forget the two Maple Reactors that the Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. couldn't get started.
AECL is managing Point Lepreau's retrofit, now tagged at $1.4 billion, and is also ready to build the second reactor. Would you buy a car from someone who couldn't get it to run?
The second reactor is only part of the problem. The "private" group looking to build in New Brunswick intend to sell most of the power to the New England States -- it's not for our use.
Here's the question we all need to ask ourselves and our elected officials: if nuclear power is such a great idea, why wouldn't these states build a reactor themselves?
The answer is that they don't want the radioactive waste from the reactor because nuclear waste is a major threat to human health and the environment.
Point Lepreau has been storing radioactive nuclear waste on site for over 30 years, inside in cooling ponds, and outside in dry storage tanks. This waste has nowhere to go. In 2005, Canada's Nuclear Waste Management Organization recommended leaving nuclear waste in storage at nuclear plants, then moving it to centralized facilities, and finally placing it in specially built underground caverns.
The thing is, there are no centralized facilities and no underground caverns in Canada, or the U.S. for that matter.
Given that nuclear waste remains highly radioactive for at least 250,000 years and the storage tanks are good for 50 to 70 years, I think we have a problem on our hands already without adding to the mess.
It gets worse -- because New Brunswick produces nuclear power, we are on the list as a possible site for a centralized storage site. Would you like to have the site in your area? I think not.
And what about a centralized storage in another province? Would you be comfortable with the highly radioactive nuclear waste going by your community on the train or being trucked on our highways?
That's what is facing us already. An old cowboy proverb states: "when you find yourself in a hole, the first thing you do is stop digging!"
We need to stop digging New Brunswick deeper into a nuclear waste hole. We don't need the power and we certainly don't need more radioactive nuclear waste.