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LETTER: Survival path with solar energy

Contact The Guardian to submit a letter to the Editor.
Contact The Guardian to submit a letter to the Editor. - SaltWire Network

EDITOR:

In Canada, commercial electrical energy is generated by 18 nuclear reactors in Ontario and one in New Brunswick at Point Lepreau. In 2015, the 19 nuclear reactors had a maximum electrical rating of 13.5 Gigawatts and produced a total of 95.6 Terawatt-hours which accounts for one sixth of Canadian generated electrical energy.

Nuclear fuels and fossil fuels are 'burned' to generate heat and both contribute to global warming. Heat energy is turned into steam which drives a turbine which is coupled to an electrical generator. Unseen in the foregoing is 'waste heat' released into the environment.

Nuclear fuel plants are less efficient than fossil fuel plants of similar size because a heat exchanger is inserted between the reactor and turbine to prevent the turbine from becoming radioactive. Fossil fuel plants dump waste heat into the air while nuclear fuel plants deal with waste heat in one of three ways: (1) cooling towers, (2) reuse the heat - regeneration, or (3) dump waste heat into a body of water as Point Lepreau does. The Bay of Fundy on the CTV evening weather shows a water temperature of 8-degrees Celsius; however, on P.E.I.'s north shore, the Gulf of St. Lawrence has slob on its surface and is getting ready to freeze.

Faced with the present war against nature - wildlife, insects, the ocean, the biosphere - solar energy and energy derived from solar is a survival path for all life, not just power and extinction focused humans.

Tony Lloyd

Mount Stewart

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