Monthly Archives: August 2012


Talking Nuclear: Dialogue in Action – Register Now for CNA2013

Registration is now open!

Register before September 14, 2012 and be entered into a draw to win a FREE two-night stay in a Westin suite during the conference.

Explore the CNA2013 site to discover what we have planned for you. Learn what this year’s Talking Nuclear: Dialogue in Action theme is about, view the preliminary Program, check out many of our confirmed speakers, and see who has already jumped on board as Sponsors of this world-class nuclear industry event!

2013 Program Topics and Speakers Include:

  • Industry Panel on Nuclear Refurbishment Projects – CEOs from three nuclear facilities will share lessons learned from past projects and discuss how they will be applied to future initiatives.
  • Keynote Speaker: Dr Joe MacInnis,Titanic & Ocean Explorer – Gain insights on the values of courage, communication, and teamwork that enhance performance under the ocean and in the corporate world.
  • Community Leader Panel – Mayors from nuclear communities and a member of the Nuclear Waste Management Organization will discuss about how effective community outreach and education is essential in fostering an informed and engaged community on nuclear projects.

There will be so much more. Check the CNA2013 site for updates as the program evolves.

Don’t miss your chance to win a two-night stay at the Westin for the Conference. Register before September 14th!

See you there!
Canadian Nuclear Association  
2013 Conference and Trade Show
February 27 – March 1, 2013
Westin Hotel, Ottawa, ON

Nuclear Outreach Nuclear Pride

AECL Hosts Open House, Attacts 2,300 Visitors

On August 11, AECL Chalk River held its first open house in over a decade. Over 2300 people attended to check out a number of displays and demonstrations, a non-technical seminar series, as well as guided and unguided walking tours of the facilities and programs on site. The open house was heralded as a huge success; it will surely not be another decade until the next one.

Of the reason for the Open House and the challenges of opening the unique facility to the public, AECL President and CEO, Dr. Bob Walker, said

“We’ve had a strong and deep history in nuclear technology in this country and this has been the birthplace. It continues. That was the past and we’re building into the future … With the world post Sept. 11 we had to take a different security position. We are comfortable with how to manage that security so it was time we told the story again.”

Read about the AECL Open House in Pembroke’s Daily Observer.

At the Open House info fair. Matt Hickman, CNA Regulatory Affairs Officer, with Cheryl Gallant, MP Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke.
CNA Responds Nuclear Energy

CNA Responds: Clearing the Air on Energy Exports

Today we responded to yet another opinion piece from the Clean Air Alliance’s Jack Gibbons. Our response submitted to the Toronto Star is below but here are a couple of extra points we’d like to make:

  • There is affordable, reliable clean air power in Ontario thanks to nuclear.
  • Without low-carbon nuclear power, we would be burning more polluting coal and natural gas.  Nuclear provides the reliable base load we need around the clock for cooling our homes, powering our freezers, etc.
  • The global adjustment (GA) is paid to all power producers – in proportion. Nuclear powers almost 60% of Ontario’s needs and receives only 45% of the provincial GA. That’s a good deal.
  • Many people may not realize that nuclear’s clean, base load power is enabling the province to be coal-free by 2014 and provides the stable base needed to bring more intermittent renewables onto the grid. Nuclear works when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining. Nuclear diverts millions of tonnes of CO2 emissions that would result from the same amount of electricity generated by fossil-based sources, like the natural gas Mr. Gibbons is advocating for.
  • According to a report from the OECD, Canadians pay the same or less for electricity from nuclear power compared to all other forms of electricity; and the overall cost to the consumer is similar to that of large-scale hydro, natural gas and coal, and much lower than wind and solar.  Readers might also be interested in the Ontario Auditor General’s examination of the cost of renewable energy initiatives.
  • Simply shelving the province’s Long-Term Energy Plan, as suggested by Mr. Gibbons, in favour of a less reliable, more financially and environmentally costly energy mix, is risking our ability to meet important emissions-reduction targets and the province’s future energy stability and economic competitiveness.

EDIT: The Toronto Star printed a couple of responses correcting Gibbons’ op-ed, including from Michael Ivanco, Society of Professional Engineers and Associates, Mississauga, and Francois Tardif, Trading Analyst, Market Operations, Ontario Power Generation, Woodbridge.

Read their comments here.

Photo credit: KEVIN FRAYER/CP (via

In response to: Why are we paying N.Y. to take our electricity? (Toronto Star, Aug 7)

Jack Gibbons’ argument contains many unsupported statements as well as many misunderstandings:  about the origins of Ontario’s power surplus, the difference between average and spot pricing, the safety and cost record of nuclear, the reliability of market forecasts, and the constraints of planning our long-term infrastructure.

The power surplus originated mainly in a change in the whole economic growth trajectory for North America, one that very few people foresaw.  The predictions (cited by Gibbons) that power demand will remain flat or falling for the next eight years may be no more reliable than the growth projections made in 2005-2007.  Most market projections more than a year or two out are extremely unreliable.

Meeting any large, long-term supply need is likely to involve arrangements that aren’t completely flexible.  These arrangements are usually entered into in order to obtain prices that are stable and low, close to long term average costs.  These are the kinds of prices that nuclear power has delivered to Ontario.  “Spot” market prices that look low are determined by hourly and daily market forces that can change dramatically.

Gibbons talks about wind and gas power that can be turned on and off instantly, but these sources have fixed installation costs.  Costs do not disappear at the moment that a source is disconnected from the grid.

Gibbons’ casual accusation that Pickering A is a “safety and financial hazard” is not supported, nor is his claim that “every nuclear project in Ontario’s history has gone dramatically over budget.”  Pickering, like other CANDU units in Ontario, has a terrific safety and performance record.  To learn about “financial hazards” to their energy bills, Ontarians could read the provincial Auditor General’s critique of the province’s renewable energy program.

Guest Blog Nuclear Education Nuclear Outreach

Connecting Science to Girls’ Everyday Life!

By Cheryll Cottrill
Executive Director

Extracting chocolate chips from cookies to show the principles of mining and making a model of the eye using a balloon, markers and an egg carton were just a couple of activities undertaken at two separate week-long GIRLS (Girls in Real Life Science) Day Camps in Tiverton, Ontario in July.

Hands-on experiments, using materials that can be found around any household, were enjoyed by a group of 25 girls aged 8-13 at each of the camps. The camps facilitated by Women in Nuclear (WiN)-Canada‘s Bruce chapter and subsidized by Bruce Power invited the expertise of Camp GEMS (Girls Engineering Math Science) ( to deliver the program for the camp.

WiN’s partnership with Camp GEMS is a perfect fit as both organizations share the same philosophy around getting girls excited in science, math and engineering.  The GIRLS Science Camp provides a fun, hands-on experience, using science, math and engineering principles, with a female mentor who has been successful in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) careers and connects science to everyday life. All this is done to awaken a life-long passion for science and ignite scientific curiosity so campers will ask intelligent questions around issues like climate change and energy options and hopefully go on to study these STEM subjects post-secondary. In Canada, only an estimated 21% of students enrolled in applied science and engineering are women.

Mentors from Bruce Power, Ontario Power Generation and Ian Martin Limited helped out each day providing the girls with female role models who are successful in science and technology.

One of the campers summed it up best, “GEMS helped me understand science in a very fun way.”

Additional information and pictures from the camp may be found on the WiN-Canada website at

Amber Splettstoesser (L), 11, Maddy Edey, 10, Jacqueline Shaw, 11, and Chloe Wheeler, 12, all of Kincardine, proudly stand with the poster they made at the GEMS Camp held this week at the Whitney Crawford Community Centre, Tiverton