Candu Technology is Sound

As far as the anti-nuclear movement is concerned, the decision by Ontario Hydro to shut down seven of its reactors was like throwing a side of raw beef into the shark pool. Frustrated by years of continuing failure to come up with one credible reason for abandoning nuclear power, they now thrash the waters of the public media in an all-out feeding frenzy.

Never mind that the consultant's report, possibly the harshest self-assessment of a utility ever, states clearly that "all of the plants were being operated in a manner that meets defined regulations and accepted standards related to nuclear safety". Nev er mind that the report's author has taken pains to emphasize the soundness of the technology itself. The fact is that the anti-nuke bandwagon is rolling, and Lord they're dancin' naked.

We see distortions like how this somehow vindicates the protests about nuclear safety. We see grass-roots organizations claiming partial responsibility for Ontario Hydro's decision, a trick that no doubt will find its way into fundraising pamphlets just as soon as they can be printed. We see so-called "environmental" groups embracing natural gas -- a limited resource if ever there was one. The diatribe is padded with calls for renewed research into solar panels and windmills, as if somehow money can ch ange the laws of nature that prohibit the large-scale application of these technologies in Canada. At last, we hear the war whoop cry, the end of the nuclear cult industry is near.

Nuclear power is not a scientific abomination. It is the most efficient form of energy every brought to commercial realization by mankind. It can power a nation's industry and produce no air pollution, while taking up minimal amounts of land. It has it s challenges, in the responsible extraction of its fuel resource, in the responsible management of its operation, and in the responsible disposition of its fuel waste. These are not insurmountable challenges. Those who think they are must surely hold ma nkind in low esteem.

Conservation, planning, and efficient power generation. The future of our planet needs nuclear power.

Jeremy Whitlock.