Ontario’s Nuclear Plants
Ontario”s nuclear power planets are damaging our environment and economic structure; nuclear power should be shut down and replaced with safer methods of power making. Ontario”s nuclear power is not the safe and clean way to produce power, Ontario”s nuclear plants are becoming outdated, nuclear waste is building up, and contamination is becoming more of a threat. Ontario thought that nuclear was clean, safe, and cheap way to produce power. During the 1950s, Ontario Hydro was looking for new sources of electricity to meet the growing demand.
In 1954, a partnership was formed between Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL), Ontario Hydro and Canadian General Electric to build Canada”s first nuclear power plant called NPD for Nuclear Power Demonstration. In 1962, NPD began supplying the province of Ontario with its first nuclear generated electricity. Ontario had found it”s new source of electricity, and they were not fully aware consequences that would happen after many years of use. Power projects (later AECL CANDU), based in Toronto. Ontario and Montreal, Quebec became responsible for implementing AECL”s nuclear power program and marketing CANDU reactors.
Nuclear power was cheap, if you did not have to worry about the waste. This was the answer to Ontario”s power problems, so they invested in the newest source of power at the time. Most people believed that nuclear power was a good change in Ontario”s power structure, and there would be no real problems in the future. Ontario needed a new source of power in the 1950s; they found it in nuclear power and it solved the problem. In the 1950s the average person did not have a lot of knowledge about nuclear energy, and nuclear studies were being held.
All people really knew was the positive side of things, the government and research body”s made videos that would try to describe nuclear energy to the public. The videos would talk about how great nuclear power and how abundant nuclear energy was. Making it sound like the answer to all our electric needs. The government and research body kind of jumped around the subject of nuclear waste, and the effects it could have on a human or the environment. The real truths about nuclear energy was not as widely known, and the majority of the people thought that nuclear energy was a positive step in the right direction.
Ontario has a huge problem with the build up of nuclear waste, and this waste could have a huge impact on our environment if something were to go wrong. Radioactive mops, rags, clothing, tools, and contaminated equipment such as filters and pressure tubes, are temporality stored in shallow underground containers at the Bruce Nuclear Complex and elsewhere. At Bruce, a radwaste incinerator reduces the volume of combustible radioactive waste materials. In 1975, St. Mary’s School in Port Hope was evacuated because of high radiation levels in the cafeteria.
It was soon learned that large volumes of radioactive wastes from uranium refining operations had been used as construction material in the school and all over town. Hundreds of homes were contaminated. There are 200 million tons of sand-like uranium tailings in Canada, mostly in Ontario and Saskatchewan. These radioactive wastes will remain hazardous for hundreds of thousands of years. They contain some of the most powerful carcinogens known: radium, radon gas, polonium, thorium and others. Radio-active tailings also result from phosphate ores and other ores rich in uranium.
In 1978, an Ontario Royal Commission recommended that a panel of world class ecologists study the long-term problem of radioactive tailings and that the future of nuclear power be assessed in view of their findings. The government has ignored these recommendations. Nuclear waste is biodegradable, but it takes it takes hundreds of thousands of years to do so, which could leave unimaginable results in the future. Lately Ontario”s nuclear power plants have been going threw horrible management, out dated equipment, and nuclear waste build up; resulting in economic breakdown.
Ontario”s nuclear plants have not had their equipment greatly updated, which is a big problem that could be costly to fix. When calculated in real 1998 dollars, total federal subsidies to Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) for the last 46 years amount to $15. 8 billion. It should be noted that $15. 8 billion is a real cash subsidy to AECL, and does not include any opportunity cost? What the subsidies would have been worth if the government had invested in more cost competitive ventures. At a rate of 15%, the opportunity cost of government subsidies to AECL is $202 billion.
There is also federal financial support for other nuclear activities in progress or impending, including: the Whiteshell Laboratories privatization ($23. 1 million); the MAPLE reactors at Chalk River Laboratories ($120 million); the Canadian Neutron Facility ($400 million); radioactive waste management and decommissioning ($665 million); and reactor exports ($2. 5 billion considered). In Ontario the bad management and the old equipment has lead to major change in the way the plats work. Also this will cost billions of dollars to do.
In the long run Ontario”s nuclear do not make the money needed to stay open, with the costs of fixing them and reforming them it would just cost to much, so there is no point in doing so. Ontario has purposed to close down all of there nuclear plants, but they decided that is would be better to keep most of them open. There are much more safer, cleaner, and cheaper ways of producing power. We could invest solar, wind or tide power sources, all of which are safe. Leaving these nuclear plants open is like trying to heal your cut with a knife.
Ontario and its people don”t realize that with the build up of nuclear waste, we could be looking into major crises. Many of Ontario Hydro”s problems are monetary in origin. The corporation has had difficulty maintaining its nuclear facilities in accordance with the Atomic Energy Control Board”s safety requirements. Hydro”s restructuring efforts reflect past negligence in preventive, minor, and responsive maintenance. It is now faced with a situation wherein the demand for energy must be met through the means of an increasingly limited resource . . . money.
In response to this problem, the energy formerly supplied through nuclear power is being replaced primarily with coal-driven electrical generation. Hydro has implemented a short-term, quick fix solution based on the same practices and assumptions, which originally lead to the failure of Ontario”s nuclear energy program. As of now Ontario stands by its nuclear power and they do not have any current plans to shut down or totally reform these plants. Ontario”s nuclear power plants are a Danger to our environment, the economy, and a danger to the people, us; we should shut down all of these plants and replace them with safer methods.