Letter of the Day
Editor: Current weather conditions have emphatically shown the need for reliable and abundant electricity supply for this region, and indeed the whole country. Options for governments appear difficult. Whatever method of generating more power will encounter vociferous objection from various groups, some of it justified, and much that does not stand up to critical analysis.
A consensus among climate scientists indicates the need to quickly reduce burning of fossil fuels, particularly the dirtiest, coal. Many other forms of energy generation have their problems. The one green system that is a known technology with a very high safety record is nuclear power. It is high time for governments to bite the bullet and put in place an ambitious program of nuclear power construction across the country.
This technology has been around for a long time, we know how to do it. We have the added advantage of making all these stations thorium powered, with vastly reduced radiation hazards and waste disposal problems. Thorium is abundant in Canada and we have the excellent CANDU reactor. All we need is political will and a rising level of community understanding of the whole picture, including the risks involved.
This leads me to my one point of unease. Any system of power generation needs disciplined government oversight of safety standards. Having seen what slack safety standards can do in the Lac Megantic rail disaster leads me to think that nuclear power needs to wait until we get rid of the Harper government. This is a government which has shown a reluctance to apply strict oversight of the activities of corporations in the energy sector, and which has consistently attacked science and community access to its findings.
This is serious.