1.Why is nuclear power necessary?
Nuclear power is only one of a number os sources of electrical energy. Some of these sources are becoming scarce, such as oil and natural gas. Nuclear power is working and is proven. It is a vital ingrediant of Canada's energy program and is prudent to continue developing it along with other promising energy options.
2. What is the Safety record of nuclear power plants?
In the 20 years that nuclear power plants have been operating there have been no radiation ities. In Canada no member of the public has ever been ingured by the operation of these plants and radioactive releases from them are generally heald to a target of less then 1 percent of the permited lever. Work is continuously being done to ensure that nuclear safety is maintained and to increase safety margins even further.
3.Can a nuclear reactor blow up like an atomic ?
In no circumstances can a reactor explode like an atomic . The fissile material is not nearly concentrated enough. Also the physical arrangement of the uranium in the reactor ensures that it can never be compacted to the extent where fissionable material could undergo a nuclear explosion.
4.What are nuclear wastes?
There are two kinds of nuclear waste: over 99 percent is in the highly radioactive used fuel coming out of the reactor. The rest consists of other materials such as clothing, mops or rags that have been contaminated in the process of maintaining the station.
5.How poisonous is plutonium?
The plutonium produced in a nuclear reaction is as poisonous as radium, which occurs naturally and is freely distributed through the soil and rocks. Plutonium is poisonous when it is inhaled.
6.What is being done with nuclear waste?
Since nuclear energy produces less then one pound of waste for every twenty tons, the nuclear wastes produced in Canada are small in volume. They are stored safely at reactor sites.
7.Do nuclear affect the environment?
There is no way of producing electricity without some impact on the environment. Nuclear plants do not emit the combustion products produced by coal or oil filled stations. However, like all thermial stations, they reject waste heat. The steam which turns the turbines is condenced by cooling water pumps from an adjacent lake. This cooling water is returned to its source warmer then it was taken in. Under certain circumstances, the warmer water could cause problems, such as disruption of fish migration. The AEC board has therefor set temperatures the cooling water is normally disscharged about 10 degrees celcius warmer then it was taken in. Proposals to exploit the waste heat, from heating greenhouses ans fish hatcheries to municipal district heating, are being studied.
8.Are nuclear plants reliable?
Yes. They have provided over 100 billion killowat hours of electricity, as much as would provide the city of Ottwa with all the eletrical needs at preasent consumption levels for over 30 years. 1977, the stations reliability has established its position as the best in the world with a 91% capacity for lifetime production.
9.Is electricity from nuclear power plants more expencive then electricity from other sources?
The plant on Ontario costs just under one cent for each killowat hour which is about half of that from a coal burning plant. Thais saves people in Ontario over 100 millon dollars annually.
10.What about the alternative source of electricity?
It would be unwise to focus exclusively on a singl source for energy. By the time oil and natural gas have become scarce there will be no alternatives to coal, hydor and nuclear for most of Canada. Wind suffers fron geographic restrictions but contribute to the energy demands in particular areas. Solar energy is becoming an option for space heating, but is not available for the production of electricity.