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VIEW: ‘Stop Darlington, choose green energy’ says Barlow

Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow, Provincial Council of Women of Ontario president Mary Potter, Greenpeace nuclear analyst Shawn-Patrick Stensil, and Enfinity Canada managing director Chris Young write in the Toronto Star, “As the debate over our energy future heats up in advance of the provincial election (in Ontario), more than 150 organizations have come together to send a message to whoever forms the next government: We want a green energy future and that means cancelling plans to build new nuclear reactors at the Darlington station.”

They argue, “Investing billions in new reactors today limits the long-term growth of green energy, locking Ontario into a risky and expensive technology even as major world economies are abandoning nuclear power in favour of renewable energy. Nuclear power’s environmental impacts are well known. New reactors at Darlington will create radioactive waste that will threaten the environment and human health for millions of years. And, as the Fukushima disaster in Japan reminds us, new reactors will increase the risk of a catastrophic accident or potential terrorist attacks that have the potential to cause harm for generations to come.”

They conclude, “If the next government approves expensive new reactors at Darlington, it will inevitably leave a legacy of radioactive waste and debt… It would also lock Ontario into a technology the world is abandoning while stunting the growth of modern green energy. Ontarians need to ask if our politicians are preparing for the post-Fukushima world.”

To read the full op-ed, please go to http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorialopinion/article/1051287–choose-green-energy-stop-darlington.

Earlier this year we noted in a campaign blog that the Council of Canadians Peterborough-Kawarthas chapter is a member group in Safe and Green Energy (SAGE). This group intervened in the March-April public hearings on the building of two new nuclear reactors at Darlington on the north shore of Lake Ontario near Clarington (about 22 kilometres from Peterborough).

The Council of Canadians rejects nuclear power because it poses an unacceptable risk to people and the environment. It is neither clean, safe, peaceful, nor economic. We are opposed to the further expansion of nuclear power in our country. Faced with climate change and diminishing energy resources globally, we recognize the need for a just transition away from a fossil fuel and nuclear dependent society, while ensuring Canadians access to basic energy needs, to sustainable, publicly funded and publicly delivered energy alternatives that benefit both workers and their communities. We support renewable, non-invasive energy sources (such as solar and wind power), energy efficiency and conservation.

In late-March, Barlow also signed a World Future Council letter that states the “human community…should phase out, abolish and replace (nuclear) technologies with alternatives that do not threaten present and future generations. …The large amounts of radioactive wastes that are created by nuclear power generation will remain highly toxic for many times longer than human civilization has existed, and there is currently no long-term solution to dealing with the threats these radioactive wastes pose to the environment and human health. …Nuclear power is neither the answer to modern energy problems nor a panacea for climate change challenges. There is no solution of problems by creating more problems. Nuclear power doesn’t add up economically, environmentally or socially.”