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The Canadian Nuclear FAQ  

by Dr. Jeremy Whitlock


To The North Renfrew Times regarding a response letter to the editor published the previous week (appended below) regarding the author's opinion piece appearing on November 17, 2021 in The North Renfrew Times

(published in the 2021 December 1st edition)


Top Concern

To the Editor,

Re: “Cherry picking” (letter to the Editor, November 24).

The “cherry” I picked for my article (“The good news about nuclear waste,” NRT November 17) was picked for me, by millions of scared people who deserve to know the facts.

Of course nuclear power generates other forms of waste – it involves concrete structures, industrial processes, staff that drive cars to work, and yes, resource extraction at the front end (albeit orders of magnitude less than for fossil fuels).

My article, however, addressed spent nuclear fuel – one of the top three (if not THE top) concerns that folks have with nuclear power, and the subject of a $26 billion longterm management project that many concerned Canadians will soon be making big decisions about.

It is a fact, and not “misleading,” that a CANDU bundle provides a century’s worth of electricity for an average home, and that the actual mass of high-level waste per bundle is about 160 g.

Most Canadians would probably tell you it’s surely many tonnes of green toxic filth for which we have no plan – and this is the point

Jeremy Whitlock
Vienna, Austria

Original letter to North Renfrew Times (2021 November 24) from G. Csullog :

Cherry picking

Re: “The Good News About Nuclear Waste” NRT November 17.

Pro-nuclear folks continue to write misleading information.

Regarding “the actual amount of this high-level radioactive waste in each fuel bundle is only about 160 grams by the way, or in terms of volume, about the size of a 9V battery” - that is unbelievably misleading.

To get the 160g of long-lived radionuclides out of fuel bundles requires reprocessing - one does not magically pluck this out of a bundle like a battery would be plucked from a device.

Jeremy Whitlock also fails to mention the millions of cubic meters of mining and milling waste from fuel fabrication - somewhat bigger than a 9v battery.

I am not anti-nuclear - I am pro-facts. Tell the whole story - don’t cherry pick feel good “facts.”

Greg Csullog

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