[ RadSafe ] RE: BENEFITS OF NUCLEAR POWER vs. [UnplugSalem] F w: Chernobyl 20 year later
frantaj at aecl.ca
Tue Apr 11 13:11:42 CDT 2006
Good overview Stewart -- thanks.
There was an excellent letter yesterday in a local Ontario newspaper by
Patrick Moore, co-founder of Greenpeace....
The real cost of coal-fired plants is $4.4 billion
Kitchener-Waterloo Record, 10 April 2006
In Tom Adams' April 3 Second Opinion article, Ontario's Renewable Energy
Program Needs Competition, he claims he's concerned about the "real costs"
of sustainable nuclear energy, yet his organization continues to advocate
building more greenhouse gas-emitting, pollution-prone coal-fired power
plants, without any regard for the "real costs" of burning coal. Adams is
the executive director of Energy Probe, a Toronto consumer and environmental
research group. [[ read: antinuke group - JF]]
Those "real costs" were outlined explicitly in an independent study
conducted for the Ontario Ministry of Energy. The study found a relationship
between increased air pollution due to coal-fired electricity generation and
up to 668 premature deaths, 928 hospital admissions, 1,100 emergency room
visits and 333,660 minor illnesses such as headaches, coughing and other
respiratory symptoms, per year.
The health, environmental and financial costs of coal-fired plants were
estimated to be $4.4 billion annually -- far in excess of the costs of
And both the International Energy Agency and the Organization for Economic
Co-operation and Development's Nuclear Energy Agency have said that new
nuclear energy technologies make the construction and operating costs of
nuclear energy less expensive than fossil fuel and any other form of
Adams is correct when he points out the excessive costs Ontario is paying
for solar energy. He should now recalculate the "real costs" of coal.
Dr. Patrick Moore
Greenpeace Co-founder, Chairman and Chief Scientist, Greenspirit Strategies
Ontario's renewable energy program needs competition
(Apr 3, 2006)
Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty's program to buy electricity from small
renewable generators, which was announced March 21 in Cambridge, will sock
Ontario consumers with such excessive costs it will make even nuclear power
Consumers will be forced to pay 11 cents per kilowatt hour for renewable
power that's identical to the renewable power bought by the government last
fall for 8.6 cents -- a 28-per-cent premium.
The reason for the price gap is competition, or a lack of it. The
government's previous procurement processes, which produced a lower cost,
reflected competitive bidding. Its new Standard Offer Contract program, on
the other hand, provides for no competition among power generators. Without
the protection of competition, consumers are exposed.
McGuinty is hitting consumers even harder by extending the procurement
contracts for 20 years. A long-term deal might have been justified at a low
price, but a high price and a long term imposes a double jeopardy on
The government's lack of concern for consumers is evident in its decision to
provide windfalls to investors.
Eligibility for the new program's juicy subsidies is retroactive to 2000. So
investors who built generators years ago that now meet the small power
generator definitions in the Standard Offer Contract program get the
windfall. Of course, at the time they built their facilities, they could not
have anticipated the subsidies now being extracted from consumers.
This gouging is partly the result of a conflict of interest. The government
admits its program was developed by the Ontario Sustainable Energy
Association, a lobby group of power developers.
Gouging consumers to pay extra for renewable energy can also be attributed
as the cost of celebrity endorsements and political spin. Science
broadcaster David Suzuki appeared with McGuinty to announce the program and
government news releases cited support from, among others, the Worldwatch
Institute, World Wind Energy Association, and two farm lobbying
Renewable power developers have convinced some environmentalists that the
environmental performance of the province's power system is driven by the
number of wind turbines and similar devices installed. The success of this
simplistic notion can be seen in the praise some environmentalists heaped on
Germany's renewable energy policies.
Too many of them ignore the record of Germany's renewable power industry. In
2004, the wind power fleet there produced electricity at a rate more than a
third less than the minimum productivity normally expected of successful
wind investments. German consumers paid more than 12 cents Cdn per kilowatt
hour for wind power, notwithstanding various government grants and
no-interest loans available to renewable energy generators. Photovoltaic
power served them much worse: German consumers paid $1.15 per kW-h
Wind power expansion in Germany has been directly responsible for a massive
expansion of the high-voltage power transmission grid now happening there.
This cost is often ignored by wind power advocates -- and by too many
McGuinty's program to pay 42 cents per kW-h for photovoltaic solar power is
even worse. The province will need electricity police to catch phony solar
generators using an ordinary extension cord to exploit the difference
between the lower household price and the special high price the government
will pay. Given the prices paid by German consumers, Ontario investors in
photovoltaic panels will need extra revenue to pay for their investments.
Under agreements negotiated last year with the province, electricity from
the refurbished Bruce nuclear reactors will start at 6.4 cents, with
provisions likely to drive the cost up to around 11 cents per kW-h If this
outcome materializes, refurbished nuclear power will be approximately
cost-competitive for consumers relative to the new Standard Offer Contract
All economically minded environmentalists will point out that the real cost
of nuclear power is much higher than it appears to consumers. If costs for
waste disposal, decommissioning, nuclear research, and subsidized borrowing
for the original construction of nuclear projects were recovered in the cost
of nuclear energy, the current price would double or more.
And if the nuclear industry were not relieved of liability in the event of
accidents under the federal Nuclear Liability Act, nuclear power would
probably be unavailable at any price.
Although compelling, these arguments have not historically led many
consumers to adjust their consumption or energy purchases.
McGuinty's new program represents a challenge to the environmental
community. Environmentalists who endorse subsidies to the renewable energy
industry -- subsidies clearly inflicting wanton harm on consumers for no
gain -- may find their credibility will suffer if they try in future to
present economic arguments favouring energy conservation, or arguments
against nuclear power.
By paying too much, the Ontario government is encouraging inefficient power
production in a way that will give renewable energy a black eye with
consumers. Renewable energy can provide attractive solutions for many of
Ontario's power problems, but competition, not the Standard Offer Contract
program, is the way to go.
Tom Adams is the executive director of Energy Probe, a Toronto consumer and
environmental research group. Second opinion articles reflect the views of
Record readers on a variety of subjects.
From: radsafe-bounces at radlab.nl [mailto:radsafe-bounces at radlab.nl]On
Behalf Of Stewart Farber
Sent: April 11, 2006 1:56 PM
To: Norm Cohen; Know_Nukes at yahoogroups.com; radsafe at radlab.nl
Cc: Stewart Farber
Subject: [ RadSafe ] RE: BENEFITS OF NUCLEAR POWER vs. [UnplugSalem] Fw:
Chernobyl 20 year later
As would be expected, the letter posted by Norm Cohen is just so much
anti-nuclear power nonsense and snippets of [mis]information taken out of
context with no sense of proportion or significance.
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