Oil Sands Truth: Shut Down the Tar Sands

Nuclear Power for Alberta being labelled "Inevitable"

The language of "inevitability" is the only thing that is truly inevitable. A rule of thumb for something that your instincts tell you may not be a good idea and perhaps might see opposition is that the moment it is treated as "inevitable" means that those who plan such things truly fear it is actually not at all inevitable.

The plans for nuclear power to be used to extract mock oil from tar sands is about as inevitable as our willingness to allow it. If nuclear power is being touted as the clean energy source, then there is something absolutely insane about the other sources for one, and it might be time to think about not expending that energy for another.

Just to power the needed energy to get the tar sands production level up to 3 million barrels of oil a day would require (in lieu of other sources) 20 Candu nuclear reactors-- each of which must be located less than 25 kilometres from the place where mud is separated from tar. Do you like that vision? Let's stop the tar sands.


Nuke power push in high gear
New energy source appears inevitable as government-linked group forges on with study
Wed, May 2, 2007

Depending on whom you ask, the question of Fort McMurray going nuclear is a matter of when, not if.

An arm's-length government agency with strong ties to the energy department is quietly studying the possibility of introducing nuclear power to Alberta's oilpatch.

Calgary-based EnergyInet was founded by several levels of government in conjunction with industry and receives funding from the Alberta Energy Research Initiative.

Alberta Energy has a voting member on its board of directors, which includes other government agencies.

It put out a request for consultancy proposals late last year for a feasibility study into a nuclear oilpatch, with the proposals to be forwarded to board member Dr. Soheil Asgarspour.

At the time, Asgarspour worked directly for the government as Alberta Energy's head of business development in the oilsands, although he has since left the post.

Additionally, the head of the Youth Association of the Progressive Conservative Party, Calgary-based energy consultant David McColl, confirmed he was involved in early discussions into the request for proposals.

McColl, who is leaving his youth association post in May, has been credited with helping initiate the leadership review that ousted former Premier Ralph Klein.

He's also a former consultant with Energy Alberta. That Calgary company has an exclusive agreement with Atomic Energy of Canada to develop Candu reactor-based nuclear power in Alberta.

Energy Alberta's principal is Wayne Henuset, a longtime supporter of the governing Tories.

The whole thing stinks, said Dave Eggen, the environment critic for the New Democratic Party.

"I think this should serve as an eye-opener for all Albertans that the wheels have been turning to use nuclear power for a long time," he said.

"I find it extremely disturbing that they've put all the pieces in place to make a strong move forward towards nuclear power and there has been absolutely no public debate on this issue."

But, McColl said the inevitability of requiring new energy sources to aid oilsands extraction makes such studies worthwhile.

"With nuclear power, the potential for clean energy production is there and I'd have to says it's not a matter of if but a matter of when," said McColl.

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