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Happening Now: 2011 Ontario Energy Association Annual Conference

The 9th annual conference of the Ontario Energy Association is happening right now, today and tomorrow, in Niagara Falls.

Among other topics, industry experts will discuss what is needed for companies to invest in Ontario and the risks and challenges faced in the ever-changing political environment.

Download the conference program here

Conference speakers include

  • Jeffrey Simpson – National Affairs Columnist, The Globe and Mail
  • Peter Buchanan – Senior Economist, CIBC World Markets
  • John Brace – President and Chief Executive Officer, Northland Power Inc.
  • Patrick Lamarre – Executive Vice‐President, Power SNC‐Lavalin Group Inc.
  • Benjamin Grunfeld – Managing Consultant, London Economics International LLC

Download the speaker profiles here

Get all the Conference details here

Ontario has diverse energy needs. As the province looks to phase out reliance on coal-fired plants in favour of cleaner, lower emitting sources, we have an opportunity to invest in new generation capacity to shoulder the needs of today and tomorrow. Effective energy policy is not about choosing some energy sources and excluding others. Energy policy is about choosing an appropriate balance. And nuclear is an essential element in that equation. It’s time to reinvest in nuclear.

Nuclear Energy Nuclear News Nuclear Outreach

World Nuclear Association Symposium – Sept 14-16, London

The Future of Nuclear Power:
Now It’s Down to Us

The 2011 Symposium‘s theme is “The Future of Nuclear Power: Now It’s Down to Us”.

36th Annual Symposium

14-16 September 2011

Central Hall Westminster, London.

As WNA membership has grown to encompass almost every enterprise in the global nuclear industry, the Annual WNA Symposium has established itself as the industry’s premier international meeting, attracting an attendance of over 700 leaders and specialists from more than 25 countries. The Symposium is also drawing increased attention from non-industry professionals who recognize nuclear power’s central importance in securing our world’s energy and environmental future.

The CNA is there, proudly representing Canada on the world-stage, and will have an update for you once we’ve returned from jolly old England.

In the meantime, check out the schedule of eventsthe programme, and speaker bios

CNA Responds Messages Nuclear Energy

Nuclear is an Important Part of Canada’s Clean Energy Portfolio

This editorial was recently submitted to the Toronto Star. Please read and share it, and let us know what you think in the comments.

Canada is a diverse country with diverse energy needs. Yet there remains one constant: When the light switch is flipped, all Canadians expect the lights to come on.

We have important decisions before us as a country. As provinces look to phase out their reliance on coal-fired plants in favour of cleaner, lower emitting sources, we have an opportunity to invest in new generation capacity to shoulder the needs of today and tomorrow.

Effective energy policy is not about choosing some energy sources and excluding others.  Energy policy is about choosing an appropriate balance. And nuclear is an essential element in that equation.

Today, nuclear generation provides fifteen percent of the electricity produced in Canada.

Nuclear energy is a safe, affordable, and reliable form of generation. What people often overlook is that it’s also an integral part of the clean energy portfolio. Nuclear power plants produce virtually no greenhouse gas emissions, and do not contribute to either climate change or smog.

In fact, if we were to replace the electricity generated by nuclear power plants in Canada today with the same amount of electricity generated by fossil-based sources, it would add about 90 million tonnes of greenhouse emissions annually.

As we seek to reconcile our energy needs with a proactive and pragmatic approach to environmental stewardship, the benefits of nuclear power beckon.

While there is certainly a place for renewable sources such as wind and solar in the electricity supply mix, these sources are not at a point yet where they can replace more reliable, established forms of energy generation. As we all know, the sun doesn’t always shine and the wind doesn’t always blow. It would be irresponsible to rely upon intermittent generating capacity.

Our nation’s critical infrastructure relies on a consistent, predictable supply of electricity. Businesses and homes depend on cost certainty. Nuclear generating stations produce a constant, stable amount of energy. Canada’s rich supply of uranium provides security with respect to the availability and long-term price certainty of nuclear fuel.

It also provides security with respect to safety. Our stations use natural rather than enriched uranium, which is cooled with heavy water and, as a result, is much safer in the long run.

Canada’s nuclear power operations have a track record among the safest in the world. Safety is, and has always been, our number one priority. In more than 45 years of operation, not once have we experienced a significant incident, largely due to our reactors’ robust design, as well as the industry’s unwavering commitment to a “safety first” culture. As part of this commitment, we continue to look beyond our borders to experiences and lessons learned about safety around the world, in particular Japan following the Fukushima tragedy, and identify opportunities where we, as an industry, can improve.

It’s time we took a moment to consider Canada’s energy future. It’s time we make an investment in our future. It’s time to re-invest in nuclear.

Please visit www.CNA.ca and follow us on our Blog, Twitter, and Facebook to participate in our ‘TalkNUclear’ conversation.

Denise Carpenter
President and CEO
Canadian Nuclear Association

CNA Responds Messages Nuclear Energy Waste Management

CNA Responds to “Benefits of Nuclear Power Oversold”

Last week this Letter to the Editor appeared in the Saskatoon Star Phoenix. We thought we’d take a minute to respond with our own letter. Please take a read:

We have important decisions before us as a country. As provinces look to phase out their reliance on coal-fired plants in favour of cleaner, lower emitting sources, we have an opportunity to invest in new generation capacity to shoulder the needs of today and tomorrow.

Effective energy policy is not about choosing some energy sources and excluding others. Energy policy is about choosing an appropriate balance. And nuclear is an essential element in that equation.

Unlike other sources of energy, the price of nuclear is both stable and affordable. According to studies by the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development, a multi-national organization working to further growth and development, the overall cost to the consumer of nuclear power over the life of a nuclear power plant is on par with that of large-scale hydro, natural gas and coal, and much lower than wind and solar.

Not only is nuclear energy stable in price, but it’s also a stable source of energy itself. Canada’s nuclear power plants were designed to operate continuously to consistently produce a stable amount of electricity. It complements other forms of generation that operate more intermittently. Wind and solar depend on the wind blowing and the sun shining, while more established forms such as hydro and natural gas tend to run during periods of high demand.

Regarding the management of used nuclear fuel and low- and mid-level waste, our commitment to public safety and environmental stewardship includes the safe, secure and responsible long-term management of all of the used fuel produced by Canadian nuclear power plants. The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) was established in 2002 to work with industry, research and government organizations to develop a management plan. The implementation of this plan is highly monitored and regulated by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission to protect the health, safety and security of people and our environment.

Nuclear generating stations produce a constant, stable amount of energy. Canada’s rich supply of uranium, most of which is mined in Saskatchewan, provides security with respect to the availability and long-term price certainty of nuclear fuel. And generation does not contribute to atmospheric carbon emissions.

In fact, if we were to replace the electricity generated by nuclear power plants in Canada today with the same amount of electricity generated by fossil-based sources, it would add about 90 million tonnes of greenhouse emissions annually.

It’s time we took a moment to consider Canada’s energy future. In committing to nuclear, Canada will be committing to a renewable, environmentally sustainable and economically viable means of energy.

For more information on nuclear power, please visit our association’s website www.cna.ca You’re also invited to join the conversation on our TalkNuclear Twitter and Facebook pages, and our TalkNuclear blog.

Messages Nuclear Energy Nuclear Outreach Nuclear Pride

Nuclear Power as a Foundation for a Sustainable Energy Future

Recently we were asked by the Canada West Foundation (CWF) to provide a guest blog post about nuclear for their Let’s Talk Energy blog — an initiative under the CWF’s Powering Up for the Future project. The post is basically a nuclear primer for an audience which may not be familiar with all of the benefits and contributions of the technology.

Let us know what you think!

Nuclear Power as a Foundation for a Sustainable Energy Future

Originally posted at Let’s Talk Energy

Given recent events in Japan, the first thing that anyone wants to know about Canadian nuclear is: Is it safe? The answer is yes, and I’ll tell you why.

Safety is our number one priority. Canada’s nuclear power operations have a proven track record of being among the safest in the world. They are highly monitored, stringently regulated and continuously improved through the daily efforts of qualified professionals who are committed to ensuring public safety. In over 45 years of operation there has not been a single significant incident at a Canadian facility.

Our industry continues to make investments and improvements as part of our ‘Safety First’ culture. In response to the Fukushima accident, Bruce Power has taken concrete action on a number of fronts following the events in Japan. For example, they recently announced the re-organization of their emergency response organization, which involves approximately 400 employees who form the basis of their industry-leading emergency response capability. Building on lessons learned from the Fukushima event is a top priority for our industry.

At Ontario Power Generation (OPG), a four-month examination of its nuclear operations following the events in Japan uncovered no major safety issues. OPG carefully studied the safety of its facilities and re-evaluated the potential of unlikely events such earthquakes, severe flooding, tornadoes, hurricanes, fire and ice storms having major impacts on nuclear operations. The studies showed that the plants continued to be safe, but as part of continuous improvement OPG will make investments to increase safety margins during these unlikely events. This includes accelerating the installation of hydrogen recombiners and the purchase of additional back up generation and diesel pumps.

Currently there are 17 operational CANDU reactors in Canada that supply 15% of all electricity in Canada. This 15% means the potential emission of 90 million tonnes of greenhouse gases each year is avoided. Imagine, without nuclear power, if that same amount of electricity was fossil-fuel generated, Canada’s total GHG emission would increase by a whopping 12%.

Canada’s nuclear facilities are located in Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick. Communities in these provinces are benefiting not only from an available, reliable and clean source of energy, but an affordable one as well. According to studies conducted by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), a multi-country organization working to further growth and development of its member nations, the overall cost to the consumer of nuclear power over the life of a nuclear power facility is similar to that of large-scale hydro, natural gas and coal, and much lower than wind and solar.

What about the rest of the country, you might be wondering. What are the benefits of nuclear for the rest of the country not currently powered by nuclear? Power generation is only one of the many great things about nuclear, and it isn’t only Canadians who benefit from the Canadian nuclear industry, both today and historically, what with the countless Canadian innovations in the field.

The Canadian nuclear industry provides a broad spectrum of products and services that benefit Canadians and people around the world. The application of nuclear science improves the health and well-being of us all through nuclear medicine and food safety technologies. Innovation in nuclear science is also being applied to address a number of societal challenges such as public health and transportation.

Our nuclear industry is made up of over 70,000 Canadians employed directly or indirectly in exploring and mining uranium, generating electricity, advancing nuclear medicine, and promoting Canada’s worldwide leadership in science and technology innovation. Through the efforts of these Canadians, our nuclear industry is a $6.6 billion per year industry, contributing $1.5 billion in tax revenues and $1.2 billion in export revenues.

Our commitment to public safety and environmental stewardship includes the safe, secure and responsible long-term management of all of the used fuel produced by Canadian nuclear power plants.  Used fuel is initially stored in secure water-filled bays on site of the nuclear power plants for 5 –10 years. It is then placed in large concrete and steel containers safely stored on site. In order to address the long-term care of Canada’s used nuclear fuel, the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) was established by nuclear energy producers in 2002 in accordance with the federal Nuclear Fuel Waste Act.

NWMO has worked with industry, research and government organizations to develop a management approach for the long-term care of Canada’s used nuclear fuel, including development of a deep geological repository in a suitable rock formation. Initial stages of the plan are now being implemented. NWMO’s plan and its implementation is highly monitored and regulated by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission to protect the health, safety and security of people and our environment. In fact, radioactive waste facilities are monitored by the licensees and by the provincial and federal authorities, and they are kept extremely secure.

Let’s see, we’ve covered: safety, zero-emission power generation, affordability, contributions to medicine, heath, science and technology innovation, various industries, and the Canadian economy, and talked about how we clean up after ourselves. These reasons all illustrate why nuclear energy should be considered not only in the discussions about a Canadian energy strategy, but also as a component for a sustainable energy future.

I’d love to continue this discussion with you. We have a blog at TalkNuclear.ca and we talk nuclear on Facebook and Twitter. Come join the conversation about all things nuclear and energy related.

If you want to know more about the daily benefits of nuclear beyond energy generation, visit our new microsite. Find out how the future is NU.

Originally posted at Let’s Talk Energy

 

Nuclear R&D

Canada’s Innovation Puzzle: Is our National Conversation Missing a Piece?

John Stewart – CNA Director of Policy and Research

Canadians have been concerned for decades about their country’s level of research and development activity, which is presumably related to productivity and living standards. However, recent major national studies and policy efforts related to R&D have focused almost exclusively on business performance of R&D. As policy-makers in the US and other major innovator countries recognize, public institutions such as national laboratories are an integral part of national science and technology performance, as they concentrate many diverse researchers together, offer training opportunities for highly qualified personnel in many fields, and can supply R&D facilities and services that may not be offered by private institutions, regardless of incentives. Policy efforts must look at the full ecosystem of public, academic and private institutions to have a complete picture of national science and technology performance.

Access the entire article here (PDF)

This article is featured in the September issue of the Institute for Research on Public Policy (IRPP)’s Policy Options magazine.  This month’s focus is on innovation.

Policy Options > Innovation Issue – September 2011