Recently, here in Canada in my lovely province of beautiful and rugged Ontario, the provincial government decided to cancel the building of two new nuclear plants. Hip, Hip-Hooray!! It's the
first time in a long-time the government's done something good. The two death-gamble/power-plants would've been placed right alongside the north shore of Lake Ontario about 70 km east of Toronto with a metropolitan population of 5 million people (over 6 million if you include what is known as the Greater Toronto Area with all the small towns, suburbs and bedroom-communities). The cancelling of these plants is the best decision that any Ontario government has made in about 50 yrs concerning energy and power. The truth is that Ontario has been absolutely stupidly and shamelessly devoted to Nuclear Power to its own detriment and financial handicap through changes in government that reflect every major political party. All parties, no really, ALL OF THEM have made the same terrible and unbelievably expensive decision to support nuclear power and all of them were wrong and stupid and effectively cost the taxpayer hundreds of billions of dollars in needless and wasted spending.
Living in Ontario for the last five decades, you might think that the Nuclear Industry actually owned the government, because after 50 years of the ugliest, stupidest, and most heinous wastes of money, they somehow managed to snaggle the previous government, under premiere Dalton McGuinty to ensure over $26 billion Cdn in future spending on two NEW reactors at the Darlington site, where there currently sits four reactors already. Those two, were thankfully, the ones cancelled, but the nuclear industry of Ontario has enjoyed 50 years of getting-whatever-it-wants, while the average middle-income taxpayer has footed the bill, and at the same time, taken upon itself all of the risk associated with the most expensive and dangerous fuel that exists in the world.
But, with Hallowe'en just passed, I'd like to play Devil's Advocate (not really) and give you some reasons why you might actually want Nuclear power for your community or region. Along with some songs describing what it's like to live with nuclear power, I have listed below five major and important reasons why you might, god forbid, actually want nuclear power over and above any other type of power.
(The video to the left: Japanese Rocker Kiyoshiro Imawano sings a cover of Eddie Cochran's Summer Time Blues. It's a protest song about proliferation of nuclear power plants in Japan. This song was performed in the late 80's when there only 37 nuclear plants in Japan. At the time of the Fukushima accident there was over fifty.)
3. You want to make it NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE to switch to another source of energy. Don't like to change your mind? Good, because you can't. In other words, you want to handcuff your entire community or region or even the whole nation to that Nuke-power ticking time bomb and throw away the key far enough away that you won't reach it for a very, very long time. You'll need to keep spending all that money and lock in that risk for about 50-70 yrs or more. Because once you go nuclear, you can't just stop and change your mind. You've already spent billions, if you were to cancel halfway through it would be like throwing away the first $10 billion for nothing while you're still waiting on throwing away another $10 billion for more nothing and then you won't be able to throw away $10 billion more on cost overruns while hoping to throw away another $10 billion on whatever stupid reason the nuclear industry comes up with next... . So lock yourself in for a long-term ride, because you bought those nukes, now you have to take care of them possibly for hundreds of years, if you include the waste. Nuclear Industry representatives estimate the lifetime of a single reactor at 45-50 years, but the real life is about 20-25 because that's about when its discovered that the now twenty-year-old (and thus obsolete) safety precautions have to be replaced to contend with a reactor that is now part of the 'legacy engineering' models. This is also about the time that the Nuclear industry starts asking for larger amounts of money to 'refurbish existing reactors' or worse to 'estimate the costs of refurbishing existing reactors' which also cost in the hundreds of millions. Simply put, now you have nuclear, you can't just get rid of it. You need to plan for decades in advance to switch to something else, well beyond the term limits of an elected government, and while you're planning, the nuke industry vampires are busy trying to suck your money away from all the other options, trying every way they can to keep you trained on the nuclear path. They'll try to get 45-50 years out of those reactors, and they'll keep trying as long as you keep paying, but they probably won't get there and eventually those suckers will finally have to be shut down for good, but that won't be for a long, long time.
4. You want BREAKDOWNS, DELAYS AND STOPPAGES OF SERVICE of the most expensive kind and on a routine basis. In return for your unbelievable amounts of money, massive risk and staggering, backbreaking commitment you get... the most unstable and unreliable power system that you could possibly imagine. In Ontario the Bruce Nuclear Plant located on the shores of Lake Huron, boasted proudly in April of 2013 that all eight reactors at the plant were up and running and fully functional for the first time in over twenty years. While the scientists and engineers were busy high-fiving and patting each other on the back, the accountants estimated the cost at $7 Billion. The same article suggest that over $12 billion will be spent refurbishing the reactors starting in 2016. Ironically the same article also suggests that this power is 'low-cost' and 'reliable' (I repeat: $7 Billion spent to get 8 reactors working for the 1st time in 20yrs. $12 Billion more in future repairs.) The truth is that the only reason that the province of Ontario hasn't seen massive rolling blackouts for three decades is because the grid is tied into the same grid as the Americans in New York State, joined up at Niagara Falls, and in times of peak demand or lack of supply, the province has been able to buy power from the U.S. which usually fires up one of it's coal plants or redistributes energy from the Falls themselves and then charges the cost to Ontario providers (more $ cost to consumers, again!). Despite these glaring weaknesses in the Ontario system, Nuke Industry sales reps will insist they're doing a good job. They'll say things like: "Oh if only all those reactors were all functioning all at once, then you could shut down the coal plant in that other town or lower the costs of power to the manufacturing sector, perhaps even get new interest from foreign investment with all the abundance of cheap power that you'll have." But you'll never have that abundance of power. And even if you do, the achievement will be brief, so you can't lower prices. It's like running in a dream. You'll never get where to you're going because It's just an illusion! It's just a matter of time before they run into more problems, and Nuclear problems are always super-expensive, and it only gets more expensive and more dangerous by having more reactors or even new reactors. What's worse is that the environmental costs and waste costs have still not been fully determined. And down-time at a Nuclear power plant is not like downtime at a Hydro-generator or a wind-turbine or even a coal plant. Having to shut down a nuke reactor for repair is very, very, very expensive, and it happens much more often than anyone in the industry would like to admit.
Off the bottom, I'd like to end this blog by stating that I've dug in my heels recently to defend the honour of one Canadian of Japanese heritage named Dr. David Suzuki, who has come under attack by morons & conservative pundits who've decided that they don't like people with integrity and character and feel they have to cut him down. Dr. Suzuki doesn't need me to defend him, but i'm going to my put two-cents in anyway. It seems that Nuclear Power isn't going to go away quietly in Ontario. They've lost those two new plants that I mentioned at the beginning, but they're angry and greedy and they've had it far too good for far too long and they resent the fact that they are now seeing the exit door (although still 20+yrs away. see #3 above). As a result, the thieving and evil Nuclear industry has enlisted the help of douchebag c*nt-servative pundits like Ezra 'the idiot' Levant (twitter tag is @ezralevant feel free to tweet him and tell him what a douche he is.) and other morons (all from Sun Media and conservative psuedo-news) and these conservative douchebags decided to blame Dr. Suzuki for their horrible nuclear industry problems, even though he's done nothing but tell the truth. To insult Dr. Suzuki, they've outright lied about the man, his foundation (a non-profit registered charity) and his career. Some of these morons have even taken to calling him 'Saint' Suzuki, as if to insult him. Well, the man David Suzuki and his family spent a good chunk of his childhood in British Columbia, Canada in one those Japanese internment camps that you may have heard about during WWII. Once released from being a prisoner for no reason, he grew up to become one of the world's leading geneticists. After studying and being a professor for years, he changed direction and has spent most of his adult life educating people on the dangers of destroying the environment and has been an activist and campaigner for the environment for decades with many environmental successes to claim. He is unofficially one of the true elder-statesman of this nation, both wise and good-hearted, and If this country of Canada were to propose a candidate for actual Sainthood, it would not be easy finding a better one than David Suzuki. But try telling that to Ezra 'the idiot' Levant and his stupid writer-friend Jon 'dipshit' Kay @ the National Post. I guess the conservative idea of a 'Saint' is probably some greedy douche like Rupert Murdoch or the Koch brothers or some other self-serving rich piece of crap. (By the way: 'Koch' is pronounced: "Asshole") In ending this blog, I would add that even the most staunch conservatives (idiots) usually seem able understand that the environment must be protected and acknowledge that Dr. Suzuki has opposed Nuclear power for the last 30+ years no matter what political party may have been in power. And if, after reading to this point, you still, really trully have a problem with David Suzuki it's probably because you're a stupid tv-pundit, or a jerk from the nuclear-industry. If I'm wrong and you're just a guy or girl whose found yourself unwittingly on the wrong side, then get on the good side! I stand with Suzuki and against Nukes!
And just to end off this heavily Japanese-influence blog on a pleasant note, I'd like to thank another blogger for his article which helped to make this one possible: makebelievemelodies.com
Want to punish an evil Nuke-industry jerk or kick a douche tv-pundit in the crotch? All you have to do is donate to The Suzuki Foundation and help the good guys win! Ezra 'the idiot' Levant is almost guaranteed to shed a tear with each dollar donated. (Donate $20 and Ezra goes crying to his mommy 'Satan' Rupert Murdoch)
P.S: A Special Award 'Nuclear Idiots of the Month Radiation Declaration' (NIMRoD) goes to moron-magicians Penn & Teller, who, on their show BullS**t (the name is unintentionally the same as the quality of the show) have denied global warming is real and yet insist that nuclear power is the best way to reduce CO2 emissions. They're wrong on both counts and yet both of these stupid jerks have no problem using their celebrity power to be absolute douchebags, spending an entire show insulting good people who are concerned about nuclear power and undeniably correct in opposing it. If you listen to either of these two, you're listening to a f**king idiot. And yes, I said BOTH of them! Just because you don't say much, doesn't mean there's anything going on upstairs! Judging by his glassy, beady eyes, I can sense the idiot Teller thinking stupid thoughts like 'gases don't actually trap heat in the atmosphere' or 'science isn't really for real' while at the same time wondering why the whole world seems to conspire to prove him wrong. Stick to falsifying bottled water and passing each other playing cards, puddleheads, actual science is clearly beyond both of you!
Next week, we return to full-music-blog-mode (I promise).