Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Tales from the Twilight Zone - Standards

First, I got a note to join opposition to a certain new nuclear site on Lake Erie. I am in favour of rational nuclear plants. I am against blind nimby-ism, so I would never join a nimby effort to oppose Nanticoke. That said, I am making an effort to see that standards will be applied to this whole federal assessment process, and I believe this will solve our mutual little problem.

That said, back to my live blogging, slightly stale. Start with dinner:

I walk in. I've been out of this for a long time. Can I get back in without an anxiety attack? I talk to all the people. I tell them that I retired and had to heal for a year by blogging everything in my soul, but now I'm totally drained. That goes down well.

Magnificent food, absolutely terrible wine. Wish I could have brought in my own. I'm having a grand old time, joking and insulting all my old buddies! Found out I missed a whole maternity leave with one of the ladies.

Took photos of the awards. Got one myself. Nice desert and coffee.

Next morning, had to pay for my dinner by attending the meeting. Nobody on the outside can appreciate how surreal these standards meetings are. Time stands still. The methods they use for communication are stone age, but they all think they're too modern for them.

Can I sit through this? Will I activate my ulcer with all the bad memories of the old company? Surprisingly, I am handling it well. I have healed! I enjoy chewing on every word, as though I am watching Nature. I let the hostilities and serious insults flow over me like a warm sea breeze.

Now I am in a quandry. Should I be consumed to the inside for a tiny bit of money (essentially, no big money available)? Would I give up on the blog, because nobody has heard of such a thing? These are things I ponder while I'm in my blog sleep.

ps. I have gone through the fire! I will give up going into the real world, because nobody wants to pay me, and I will diminish, as a good elf. I will go into computer programming, and blogging.


Simonnae said...
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Anonymous said...

I am in favour of rational nuclear plants. I am against blind nimby-ism...

Can you identify any rational nuclear plants? Are there any projects that have been built on schedule? On budget? Without billions of taxpayer subsidies?

Has the industry developed a comprehensive plan to deal with nuclear waste? A plan for hundreds of years of armed paramilitary security? A plan to protect 100% protect future generations from leaks? A plan that can be demonstrated effective for even 100 years?

Can the industry show that it does not contaminate lakes and land in the mining operations? Can the industry prove that the nuclear fuel cycle has a smaller carbon footprint than the alternatives?

Can the industry obtain permits and licenses without expensive lobbying of government and political leaders at all levels? Can the industry get approval without lowballing its bids? Without lowballing risks?

Is Nanticoke a "remote" location? Bruce Power's spokesman said the remoteness of Nanticoke was a positive point in its favour. Nanticoke is 100 km west (upwind) of the Golden Horseshoe, Canada's most densely populated area.

I was the one who invited you. If you'd looked at our website, you'd have found that we are not a NIMBY group. We are not only against the most expensive and riskiest option for Nanticoke. we are against nuclear power. Not in my backyard. Not in your backyard. Not in anyone's backyard.

Your label of "blind nimbyism" is both uninformed and insulting.

The process Bruce Power has used to get our local councils to support this absurd proposal has relied on wining and dining local politicians and opinion makers. It has relied on a great deal of money being spent on spin and public relations. They've got their EA and they're moving full speed ahead. They're satisfied that they've found a "willing host community" even though no attempt was ever made to determine public opinion.

What you take for nimbyism is actually one battle on the front line of a much larger struggle. In every war, battles are fought in backyards.

I welcome any efforts you can make regarding standards and the EA. Congrats on your award.

Jim Elve

Harold Asmis said...

I never mean to insult, but I always do. So you're not against Nanticoke per say, but all nuclear development. Like I said, I'm pro-nuclear, so we should agree to disagree, and leave out the stomach acid.

Just because I haven't seen any current rational nuclear plans, doesn't mean they can't exist! Right now, you and I are on the same side! However, I am detecting a slight change in the breeze. Rationality goes in big cycles. The last irrational cycle gave us Bush, Harper, Iraq and Florida. Now, there is a change in the air, and even Harper may be relaxing his grip.

Anonymous said...

Okay, Harold. Let's agree to disagree. Please keep me informed when there is a rational nuclear build. When we, as taxpayers, earmark $26 billion for irrational builds, we starve funding for viable alternatives. Then, the nuclear proponents point at the cash-starved alternatives and claim those methods are inadequate. Adequate funding could mean adequate alternatives. Adequate funding is not available, though, since the vast majority of our eggs are in the nuclear future basket.

BTW, I was very interested in your seismic report and illustrations on the Golden Horseshoe and GTA. Take a look at the seismic data and especially the map that Bruce is using for its Nanticoke application. Fact sheet 4 in this group:

All seismic activity stops at the US border, apparently.


Harold Asmis said...

That's fine! There are no rational plans right now. But we must remember that Darlington did work, even though the cost went through the roof, and it allowed much less coal to be burnt. So, whether it was actually worth it depends on your cost of 'no electricity', or opportunity lost. I think that's a very high level, since we are in the world's worst place for solar and wind, and coal kills a lot of people.

As for your opposition to Nanticoke, I would just chill out for a while. They have to spend millions for coffee and tea, and will give money to intervenors. This is a good party!

I am assured that these sites must go through hard standards for construction licence, and Nanticoke will not get through that. (neither will the Bruce thingies, as well).

Anonymous said...

I wish I shared your confidence, Harold. so far, Bruce has been 100% successful in getting everything it wants. I have little reason to think that will not continue to be the case.

Earlier this week, Bruce's boys made official deputations to our local councils. Doug Boreham told Haldimand Council that 200 years from now, a person in teh presence of a spent nuclear fuel rod would suffer no problem radiation. What they failed to mention is that the chances of being close to one single rod are slim to none. Spent fuel is kept with other spent fuel. The welded bundles of 30-odd rods are welded to wirhstand a nuclear reaction. How could someone ever be in the presence of just a single fuel rod? Disingenuous? You bet.

Duncan Moffett told Norfolk Council that one-third of EA's end up rejecting the proposal. Reassuring but untrue. The actual fraction is closer to one-thirtieth. Boreham told Norfolk's mayor that nuclear reactors are never shut down due to summer heat waves and a lack of cool water. Reassuring but untrue, as I'm sure you know.

The industry is lying and lobbying and currying favour by donating thousands to local organizations and institutions. I really don't think I can chill and enjoy the free lunch.

BTW, just because we haven't seen any current rational plans for intergalactic time travel, doesn't mean they can't exist. I'd just prefer that my government doesn't invest $26 billion of the public purse into unrealistic plans at the expense of realistic, doable alternatives.


Harold Asmis said...

Ha ha! You can read my articles on their antics. I just don't call it 'lying', since that is too much acid!

Relax, my big fear was that these dog&pony hearings would go right to construction license. I have found that this is not legally possible. I am no longer upset, I am mellow. But I'm still recovering from my acid bath yesterday with hard-core nukes, and it will take a week to recover.

Anonymous said...

Good one, Harold. Down here, I think we rubes just getting our feet wet in the acid bath with hard-core nukes.