Thursday, January 18, 2007

Don't let the Conservatives throw sand in your eyes

Natural Resources Minister Gary Lunn, Lunn, who shares responsibility for the climate change file with John Baird, said he favours nuclear energy to extract petroleum from the oilsands in Alberta because "nuclear energy is emission free. There's no greenhouse gases." In an interview with Nancy Wilson of CBC (CBC Jan 17, 2007) he proposed reprocessing nuclear waste to extract all remaining energy (i.e. to use plutonium to power nuclear plants).
"So waste is no longer an issue. ...Nuclear energy is absolutely pollutant free, no greenhouse gases, a very clean form of energy. If you believe in climate change, you have to support it".
Absolutely not!

Either Gary Lunn is lying or he doesn't know what he's talking about.

To begin with, he should know that it is the whole fuel cycle from uranium mining to disposal of radioactive waste that should be considered. Looking at it this way, nuclear energy is absolutely NOT pollutant free, NOT free of greenhouse gases and NOT a very clean form of energy.

Uranium has to be mined. To be extracted from the rock it has to be transported to a factory. The production of fuel rods for reactors takes energy and so does the transport to nuclear plants. To safeguard spent fuel also takes energy. To say that "nuclear energy is absolutely pollutant free with no greenhouse gases being produced and is a very clean form of energy" can only be explained by being ignorant or being a liar.

Furthermore, there is a link to the proliferation of nuclear weapons, which has already increased the number of nuclear weapons powers. In 1974 India exploded its first atomic bomb using plutonium from a research reactor (not a CANDU) received as a gift from Canada. Also, depeleted uranium from Canadian sources will be killing Iraqis for decades to come.