CANADA: 'Hydro Power is breaking our hearts'

Ian St. John istjohn at
Fri Jul 23 13:46:08 EST 2004

Karl Johanson wrote:
> "Ian St. John" <istjohn at> wrote in message
>>> I'm not familiar with the Canadian economics.
>> I imagine so. The best green energy in Canada is wind power
>> (competitive in many locations ) and geothermal using heat pumps to
>> extract heat from old mines.
>> However, our primary
>> green energy is nuclear with natural uranium ( not enriched ). The
>> advantages are
> Other advantages of the Candu include:
> From
> "D.1     Why is the CANDU design one of the safest in the world?
> This significant amount of inherent, or "passive", safety in the CANDU
> system, in conjunction with fast-acting, robustly engineered safety
> systems and backup safety systems, is the reason why a complex
> technology like nuclear power can be one of the safest and most
> reliable energy options available."

Yes. And one of the reasons that the CANDU is sold to the developing world
which cannot always supply the necessary high tech engineering to maintain
the highly critical light water reactor systems which are usual in developed
countries where passive safety designs have been 'on paper' for too many

There is a new design, by the way, of CANDU, called the ACR that has not yet
been built and which should extend the lifetimes of reactors by solving the
problems that came to light in the first generation as well as pushing the
performance a little higher.

This design would be perfect for Russia, which already uses a sligtly
enriched fuel for designs like Chernobyls RBMK, and which has a surplus of
plutonium suitable for use in MOX fuel bundles. Their technological programs
are good enough to make a reasonably safe design like the ACR work with no
risk of a Chernobyl style failure in the future. Having such replacements
would help them to shutdown the existing reactors with known problems.

 Nuclear power has advantages in a cold climate with poor transportation (
i.e. for coal ) infrastructure, and many semi-isolated communities centered
around resource development. And it would allow strong industrial
development within the Kyoto protocol, which would help with their problems
in terms of changing climate ( mostly not beneficial ) to which they are the
most vulnerable due to the size of the Asian continent and their position in
the North.

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