Thursday, July 29, 2010

NDP Leader Spouts Idiocy

Well, the Toronto Sun published a guest editorial last night from the Ontario Provincial NDP leader Andrea Horwath. I don't know why they did, unless it was to show how this person thinks. The editorial was about how OPG plans to ship used nuclear parts over the great lakes enroute to Sweden for recycling.

Nuke plan to ship waste on our lakes

The Ontario government has a responsibility to protect our drinking water:


Bruce Power’s plan to transport school-bus sized radioactive steam generators overland from its nuclear plant near Kincardine to Owen Sound, and then by ship through the Great Lakes to Sweden for recycling is a very troubling one.

Forty-million people rely on the Great Lakes for drinking water. But starting this fall, Bruce Power wants to transport 32 of these 100-tonne vessels, each containing 5,000 radioactively-contaminated tubes, through Lake Huron, Lake Erie and Lake Ontario.

The plan to ship radioactive steam generators through our waterways comes as a big, nasty surprise. After all, Bruce Power promised in its 2005 Environmental Impact Statement they would not even transport the steam generators on public roads — which they will have to do to get them to Owen Sound.

Recycling the metal from the steam generators in Sweden will also lead to radioactive materials finding their way into scrap metal for unrestricted commercial use — something that is not allowed in North America.

Bruce Power says the risks of a shipping accident are minimal — but it doesn’t mention two similar-sized turbines were accidentally dropped into Saint John, N.B.’s harbour in 2008 (luckily, they were not radioactive).

They also don’t mention two vessels have gone aground so far this summer — one in the St. Lawrence Seaway and another in the Thousand Islands area — along the route to be taken by the ships carrying the generators.[snip]

This is just the first part of the whole editorial. I won't subject you folks to the rest of it. It brings up a whole lot more boogey men in relation to the nuclear industry. Most of them false.

She talks about the safety of shipping on the great lakes and brings up two freighters running aground in two areas. One thing she talks about is the safety of our drinking water. Somehow I don't think that radioactive steam generators would do much to contaminate the great lakes. Considering in order for them to do any contamination they would have to have their shipping containment vessels breeched and be completely immersed in water. When was the last time a lake freighter actually sank?

Here's the website about safety of the St. Lawrence Seaway/Great Lakes system. Now everyone knows about the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald in Lake Superior. It was made popular in the song sung by Gordon Lightfoot. I have searched online looking for information about more modern freighter vessels sinking in the great lakes and at this time I haven't come up with anything. Therefore this worry is overhyped. It can still happen, but I don't really see it being one of those everyday occurences like car accidents on the highway.

One other thing that Horwath brings up is an accidental exposure to alpha radiation by group of workers. Nuclear plant workers on site actually. Yes it can cause problems, but here her ignorance shows once again. There's three types of radioactive emission from least injurous to most. Alpha particles, Beta particles, and Gamma rays. Alpha particles are so low energy they can be stopped by of all things, a sheet of paper. Gamma rays are typically the most deadly. Decontamination would have been done and the workers monitored. Yes the person responsible for monitoring the situation was probably disciplined.

I am sure that OPG is doing everything they can to reduce any issues with transportaion of the old steam generators. They have to go somewhere, you can't just have them pile up on site.

You have to realize that Nuclear energy has been the whipping horse for most of these left leaning politicians ever since the 60's. Nuclear weapons are bad so therefore nuclear energy is bad as well. I could go into further details on the topic of nuclear energy, but this isn't about that.

Ms. Horwath is just trying to whip up her followers into a raving froth along the usual tangents. It would be nice if I actually saw a NDP leader, or Liberal for that matter, show that they have done some actual research before they start screaming, ranting, and raving about anything. Especially when it comes to environmental causes.

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