CNA2015

Download the CNA2015 Mobile App!

CNA2015 is just around the corner. And with that, we’d like to remind you about our mobile app.

Just like last year, you can use your smartphone or tablet to view detailed program content, download documents, message other attendees, navigate the floor plan, submit photos, and more!

You can download the app at cna.ca/app, or by using the QR code below.

If you’re using an iPhone or Android device, be sure to download the native app for the full experience.

 

mobile app

Thanks and we look forward to seeing you in two weeks!

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Nuclear Provides 62% of Ontario’s Electricity

Nuclear power generated 62 per cent of Ontario’s electricity for the year of 2014, recently released data shows.

The Independent Electrical System Operator (IESO) bought 94.9 terawatt hours of electricity from nuclear generators in 2014. That’s 62 percent of electricity delivered through Ontario’s grid, up from 59 per cent in 2013.

Energy output by fuel type

Better yet – the nuclear power industry delivered all this electricity at roughly six cents per kilowatt-hour. That’s well below the average price paid by Ontario consumers of 8.5 cents.

In just six years, nuclear has increased to 63 per cent from 53 per cent in 2008, according to the IESO.

This confirms the wisdom of Ontario’s strategic investment in nuclear energy and shows its enduring benefits.

Nuclear power continues to provide Ontario with safe, reliable, and carbon-free electricity at a price well below the rates set in Ontario’s regulated-price plan. The province’s nuclear electricity providers – Ontario Power Generation Inc. and Bruce Power – received approximately six cents per kilowatt hour in 2014.

In addition to affordable electricity, the nuclear industry provided significant economic benefits to Ontario through thousands of durable, high-paying jobs. According to Canada’s Manufacturers and Exporters, the nuclear industry employs about 60,000 people directly and in its supply chains.

Rejuvenating ten of Ontario’s 18 nuclear reactors would add thousands more jobs between 2016 and 2031.

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Germany Replaces Nuclear with Coal, GHGs Skyrocket

German flagIn 2011, German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced a plan to close all of the country’s 17 nuclear plants by 2022 and to generate 80 percent of Germany’s electricity from renewables by 2050.

Many environmentalists and anti-nuclear types viewed this Energiewende (“energy transition”) as good news.

But Germany’s green Energiewende is producing one big not-so-green result – a return to coal.

Replacing nuclear power quickly with renewable energy has proven difficult, mainly due to renewable energy’s primary weakness – intermittency.

The sun does not always shine, and the wind does not always blow. When wind and solar are not available to generate electricity, power buyers need another source. For Germany, that means more coal.

In 2013, Germany’s electrical production required a 44 percent rise in coal power. In fact, coal represented 45.5 percent of Germany’s power output, its highest level in 20 years.

Expect those numbers to rise, because Germany is building more coal plants, and expanding old mines. Progressive publications have taken notice. Mother Jones recently ran a profile of a German town first settled in Roman times that faced the threat of being bulldozed aside to make room for an open-pit coal mine.

While German greenhouse gas emissions fell between 1990 and 2010, they have risen since the chancellor’s 2011 announcement. This places Germany out of step with the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the European Union. Both are demanding drastic GHG cuts in order to prevent severe climate change.

In 2013, Germany’s carbon emissions rose 1.8 percent, while European Union emissions fell 1.3 percent.

Not surprisingly, The Economist described the Energiewende as more like “a marketing slogan than a coherent policy.”

And the Energiewende hasn’t only increased the amount of atmospheric carbon Germany is producing. It’s increasing consumers’ power bills.

The annual increase in residential electricity rates has accelerated since 2011 when the Energiewende went full throttle. The annual increase is now seven percent, compared with 4.3 percent between 2005 and 2010, according to Eurostat.

The long-term results of the Energiewende experiment are not known. For now it stands as a cautionary tale for governments thinking about replacing low-carbon nuclear energy with carbon-creating fossil fuels.

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UN Experts: Triple Nuclear Energy

UNIn discussing climate change, politicians and media often speak of the need to increase “renewable energy” sources to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Not to get bogged down in semantics, but it would be more accurate to say that we need more “clean energy” sources. Clean and renewable don’t mean the same thing. For instance, nuclear isn’t renewable – the Earth has finite but extensive uranium resources. But nuclear is unquestionably a source of low-carbon electricity, and offers real potential in slowing down the concentration of climate-changing carbon in the atmosphere.

For example, did you know that nuclear power has the approval of the United Nations’ climate change scientific advisory body?

In April of 2014, the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recommended tripling the amount of energy use from renewable energy and nuclear power in order to keep climate change within safe limits of two degrees Celsius.

The report recommends a massive transformation of energy policies, including calling for 80 per cent of electricity generation to come from low carbon sources, such as nuclear and renewable, by 2050.

“At the global level scenarios reaching 450 ppm (target for CO2 in the atmosphere) are also characterized by more rapid improvements in energy efficiency, a tripling to nearly a quadrupling of the share of zero- and low-carbon supply from renewables, nuclear energy AND fossil energy with carbon capture and storage (CCS) OR bioenergy with CCS (BECCS) by the year 2050,” the IPCC report states, as it clearly includes nuclear as part of the clean energy mix.

“Nuclear energy is a mature low-GHG emission source of baseload power, but its share of global electricity generation has been declining (since 1993). Nuclear energy could make an increasing contribution to low-carbon energy supply, but a variety of barriers and and risks exist,” the IPCC added.

The IPCC report is meant to offer guidance to policymakers.

Not surprisingly, nuclear is a part of U.S. President Barack Obama’s climate-change mitigation plan.

“The president continues to see nuclear energy as an important part of a diverse energy portfolio, and it’s part of his goal of doubling the national share of electricity from low-carbon energy sources by 2035,” U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said in a 2013 speech to the American Nuclear Society.

For what it’s worth, Ontario is already well down this road. Its Long-Term Energy Plan calls for more renewable power sources – while continuing the province’s strong reliance on nuclear energy.

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Nuclear: Better GHG Performance than Wind for Power Generation

Is renewable energy necessarily green? Only if it can generate electricity without adding more carbon to the atmosphere.

Power utilities across Canada and around the world are ramping up their renewable energy sources, and adding wind to their supply mixes because it seems so clean, so green.

But a recent independent study of life-cycle carbon emissions questions whether wind power really reduces greenhouse gases in real-world uses.

Hatch report coverThe study, by the Toronto-based engineering firm Hatch Ltd., compared greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from nuclear power plants and from wind farms backed by natural gas plants.

It’s an apples-to-apples comparison: Nuclear plants generate around the clock, but wind plants operate only when the wind blows. To match a nuclear plant’s output, a wind farm needs backup.

The replacement power usually comes from hydro dams, which can open additional gates to raise electrical output, or from natural gas plants that fire up additional burners. Gas plants are faster and easier to build than hydro dams, so they often supplement wind farms.

Looking at actual generation data, the Hatch team estimated that wind farms produce only 20 percent of their potential, and assumed that natural gas plants would make up the difference.

The analysis estimated nuclear power emitted 18.5 grams of greenhouse gases per kilowatt-hour (kWh) through the entire life cycle, compared to 385 grams per kWh for wind backed by natural gas. In other words, a decision to invest in wind plants is actually a decision to produce climate-changing greenhouse gases.

“When considering wind backed by natural gas power (20%/80%) to compensate for intermittency, emissions from the modified grid mix closely resemble that of natural gas production, diluted by a low-emissions power source,” the study noted.

To the average person, the term “renewable energy” suggests an energy source that does not contribute to climate change. But “renewable” doesn’t always mean “low-carbon.” A closer examination, such as the Hatch study, shows that nuclear energy is the better choice for the climate.

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Nuclear Brings Clean Air to Ontario

It is important that when we speak of “clean technologies” in Canada, we include nuclear. Thanks to nuclear power, the atmosphere gets a break on its steady diet of carbon dioxide – a 90-million tonne CO2 reduction annually.

“Canada’s record on reducing greenhouse gas emissions is substantially helped by Ontario’s use of nuclear power,” says Canadian Nuclear Association president John Barrett.

In April 2014, the Ontario government announced a major clean-air landmark: it shut down its last coal-fired generating station, and became the first North American jurisdiction to eliminate coal entirely.

How was Ontario able to do this? Because it relies on that clean, reliable workhorse – nuclear power.

“We are extremely proud of the role Bruce Power has played to support the phase out of coal in Ontario,” says Duncan Hawthorne, Bruce Power President and CEO, and also the Chair of the CNA’s Board of Directors. Bruce Power has doubled its fleet of operating reactors from four to eight, becoming the world’s largest nuclear generating station. Says Hawthorne: “By returning 3,000 megawatts of safe, reliable and carbon-free electricity to Ontario’s grid, we have played a major role in this important environmental and health initiative.”

In Ontario, nuclear power provides nearly 60 percent of the electricity mix. Between 2000 and 2013, nuclear-powered electrical generation rose 20 percent, coinciding with a 27 percent drop in coal-fired electricity. During the same period, non-hydro renewables increased to 3.4 percent from one percent. This major transition to a cleaner Ontario could not have happened without nuclear.

bruce power output

Source: Bruce Power.