Anyone who is worried about small nuclear reactors being promoted by four Canadian provinces should check out the nuclear ships using nuclear reactors. The world has had nuclear ships now for over 65 years. The four countries who use nuclear powered ships tell us that they have about 160 ships currently using this form of power. Nuclear is mainly used in submarines because it allows the submersible to stay under longer and move much faster than previously. The importance is that nuclear in ships has proved to be safe, clean and efficient.
And it is the efficiency of small reactors that is a strong argument for this type of power generation. The small reactors are safer, give a better power output ratio than previous nuclear systems, producing less nuclear waste per megawatt, eliminate greenhouse gases and can be modular to fit a variety of needs in remote parts of the country as well as industrial areas.
I mention this as because I have done studies on Canadian attitudes towards nuclear power for electricity and the answers are always negative. In one study I asked what would be the reaction to having nuclear power generation in the high arctic. Even the Toronto respondents turned thumbs down.
But folks, if the sun don’t shine, the wind don’t blow and the cricks dry up, we are still going to have to have clean electricity.
What worries me the most about the current proposal for small nuclear generators is being sure that there is adequate and plentiful deep storage for the nuclear waste.
And I try not to be turned off by the four conservative premiers promoting this form of electricity generation. The fact that the Alberta premier has joined with his buddies in Saskatchewan, Ontario and New Brunswick has not turned me off the reasonableness of their proposal.
We all have to realize that we have to have cleaner fuels to generate electricity than coal or natural gas.
Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry
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