Non-Nuclear Future for Ontario: A Sourcebook.

Publisher:  Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility & Community Energy Info Ctr, Canada
Year Published:  1977  
Pages:  52pp  
Resource Type:  Book
Cx Number:  CX475

The sourcebook points out that in the near future, Ontario will have to choose between high growth energy policies and policies of conservation and maintenance of a reasonable energy level.

Abstract:  The sourcebook points out that in the near future, Ontario will have to choose between high growth energy policies and policies of conservation and maintenance of a reasonable energy level. High energy use dos not necessarily mean increased economic well-being. Among the benefits of conservation of energy is a saving in money. High energy intensive systems such as the proposed nuclear programme will put the province in debt for years. Contrary to the technology of conservation, the unprecedented capital requirements of the nuclear industry means money invested which does not lead to more employment. However, the opportunity offered by energy conservation is unique in its potential to foster employment. As energy is saved, employment is increased through the proliferation of moderate energy producing industries in the field of renewable energy resources. In addition, thousands of jobs may be created by a massive retro-fitting programme.

"All together, the renewable sources can supply, in fifty years, far more than all the energy Ontario needs." It is better to develop transitional technologies to bridge the time needed to develop these resources economically than to be committed to a high-cost nuclear programme which is estimated to cost at least forty billion dollars by 1986 if the present plans of Ontario Hydro are realized. The need for such a programme is questionable when there is an abundant supply of hydro-electric power to serve Ontario's electricity needs even for the next fifty years, if a rational use of energy can be achieved.

Nuclear technology has many problems which have not been solved. The most serious of these concerns the storage of high-level radio-active wastes as well as their reprocessing. While the latter is open to abuse and theft by terrorists, the former has a great potential for radioactive pollution. Several bodies including the Rand Corporation have demanded a slow-down and extreme caution with regard to the advance of nuclear energy because of those factors. Politically, it should be recognized that nuclear technology effectively concentrates the control of power in the hands of a few. The choice of nuclear energy will serve to reinforce the trend towards urbanization as well as centralization. The sourcebook concludes with a demand for a moratorium in nuclear energy development.