"Nuclear Power as a Foundation for a Sustainable Energy Future"

We liked this article from Denise Carpenter, the President and CEO, Canadian Nuclear Association, as a guest blogger on the Canadian Energy Association webiste. She makes the case that Canadians want energy security, energy jobs, and affordable safe and reliable energy power, and that nuclear energy needs to be a central part of any national solution.

Here in Canada, we have 17 operational CANDU reactors that supply 15% of all electricity in Canada and over 50% in Ontario. The Ontario Government’s Long-Term Energy Plan sees this role continuing, calling for the addition of two new units and for the mid-life refurbishment of ten existing reactors in the province. Nuclear units are also installed in New Brunswick (where a mid-life refurbishment is nearing completion) and in Quebec (where a refurbishment decision is due in the near future)… Refurbishing these nuclear units is one of the most effective ways to use public dollars to reduce carbon emissions, maintain generating capacity, and create jobs.

She also makes the case (and we strongly agree) that nuclear energy is not competing against renewable energy, but instead, nuclear is complementary as a crucial base load power source:

Along with hydroelectricity, nuclear is Canada’s base load power that makes it possible for us to explore energy alternatives. In the short run, with nuclear, we can give evolving renewables a chance because our base load is affordable. In the long run, we have that affordability plus the low carbon emissions for decades to come, so we can afford to take longer paths to sustainability.

And she closes with the core economic case for nuclear power as a central part of the Canadian energy picture:

Our nuclear industry is made up of over 70,000 Canadians employed directly or indirectly in exploring and mining uranium, generating electricity, advancing nuclear medicine, and promoting Canada’s worldwide leadership in science and technology innovation. Through the efforts of these Canadians, our nuclear industry is a $6.6 billion per year industry, contributing $1.5 billion in tax revenues and $1.2 billion in export revenues.

It’s a good posting — read the entire work here.