Prince Albert wants "feedback from the community" on Bruce Power building nuclear plants "within a 50 km radius" of the city. PA's city Manager issued a release Feb. 10th saying "news of Bruce Power considering the PA region as a site has been circulating in the community for some time. The time is right to now go to the public and ask if they support the City investigating the potential opportunities associated with attracting Bruce Power to develop in the region."
Bruce Power is the private Ontario corporation promoting nuclear plants along the North Saskatchewan River. Its ownership is highly integrated with uranium mining and electrical transmission, and its business plan is to convince the Sask Party government to approve it generating electricity for profit on the public grid. Yet the term "nuclear" never once appears in the PA press release "City to Conduct Telephone Poll on Green Power Energy and Bruce Power Development." Is "Green Power Energy" the new code word to make nuclear power more palatable? Is PA's poll trying to animate the appearance of support for Bruce Power without discussing nuclear risks or the cheaper alternatives?
It's not right for PA officials to hide behind false claims that nuclear is "green". This is a play on words. While a nuclear plant doesn't directly spew greenhouse gases, uranium mining, enrichment and the gargantuan amount of cement and steel in plant construction use masses of fossil fuel. (A Stanford study found nuclear creates 25 times the carbon as does wind power). And a technology that regularly releases cancer-causing radioactivity can hardly be "green". Several European studies show a direct link between proximity to nuclear facilities and childhood leukemia. Will the PA poll be asking for feedback on this?
A lot goes on in back rooms to devise "public acceptance" campaigns promoting nuclear power. Sometimes the public gets a peek at this. Last May a secret report "Sask Power: Preliminary Citing of a Nuclear Power Plant" was leaked. On page 8 it says, "Population density near a power plant is important, particularly in the event of a severe accident. The general principle is to site the facility in a sparsely populated area that is far from large population centres". Will the PA poll be asking for feedback about this?
In 2005 electricity from renewable sources globally surpassed that from the highly subsidized nuclear industry and is expanding quickly. Wind, solar and other renewables are providing reliable base-load power without ecologically destructive mining for toxic fuels, contaminating waterways for cooling thermal plants, or leaving an endlessly toxic waste burden to future generations. And they provide many more permanent jobs. Will the PA poll be asking for feedback on this?
If PA or other cities along the North Saskatchewan want honest feedback, they mustn't hide behind erroneous corporate clichés. It must be informed feedback. The already tenuous public trust between citizens, politicians and public servants is at stake here.
People may wish to call the PA City about this matter at 306-953-4395.