Canadian Environment Week: June 5-11, 2011

We celebrated our 50th anniversary last year, so we know what a big deal a milestone such as Canadian Environment Week‘s 40th anniversary this year is. The Canadian nuclear industry has been, for over 60 years, leading in nuclear research and, for over 45 years, providing safe, reliable electricity to millions of Canadians. Currently, nuclear energy provides 15% of the electricity produced in Canada, all while emitting virtually no greenhouse gasses, meaning our industry doesn’t contribute to climate change or smog.

CEW is celebrated this week to coincide with World Environment Day on June 5, which was declared by the United Nations in 1972 to spark global awareness and action on the environment. This year’s theme is: Preserving our Forests, Protecting our Future in recognition of the UN declaring 2011 the International Year of Forest.

Did you know?
Canada’s existing nuclear plants avoid the emission of about 90 million tonnes of CO2 each year that would result if their electricity were produced by coalfired plants, the most economical available alternative source of electricity generation.

Tonnes of CO2 produced per unit of electricity per TWh (terawatt hour = million megawatt hours)


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Speaking of terawatts…

Ontarians, for example use more than 152 terawatt hours of electricity a year. It’s a good thing Ontario’s power mix includes 50% nuclear power. Unfortunately, that’s not the case in all provinces/territories.

Shown above are the four CANDU nuclear reactors in Wolsong, South Korea. Each nuclear reactor avoids producing, on average, about 5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide each year.

And a quick word about the environmental footprint of nuclear power.

(Image Credit: BraveNewClimate.com)

From the blog Brave New Climate:

“A golf ball of uranium would provide more than enough energy for your entire lifetime, including electricity for homes, vehicles and mobile devices, synthetic fuels for vehicles (including tractors to produce your food and jet fuel for your flights). Your legacy? A soda can of fission product, that would be less radioactive than natural uranium ore in 300 years.”

‘Nuff said.

Useful links and other enviro-focused days taking place during the week:

Happy Canadian Environment Week, everybody. Keep loving the planet!

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