If you think ITER is a good idea, now is the time to send a letter of your support to the federal government. Mailing details can be found in the anti-nuclear campaign info attached below.
Iter Canada site: www.itercanada.com
Adam Maclean's "Quest for Fusion Energy" site: www.cns-snc.ca/branches/Toronto/fusion
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ACTION ALERT --- May 27, 2003
>From the Sierra Club of Canada
=> STOP ITER
=> SAY NO TO FUSION SUBSIDIES
=> SUPPORT GREEN ENERGY
Please spread this message...
Apologies for cross-postings
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
The federal Cabinet will be making a crucial decision sometime in the next
few weeks on whether to provide a $1 billion subsidy in order to entice an
international consortium to build the $19 billion experimental ITER fusion
reactor at the Darlington reactor site in Clarington, Ontario.
There are many environmental and economic reasons to oppose this new nuclear
boondoggle. See below for more background information. The Sierra Club of
Canada, The David Suzuki Foundation, The Pembina Institute and Greenpeace
Canada are all opposing ITER, but we need additional support to ensure our
Below is a sample letter. You can simply duplicate this letter, or
personalize it according your interests or using the enclosed background.
Please translate if appropriate.
IF YOU ARE SENDING YOUR LETTER AS AN INDIVIDUAL, please send it directly to
Prime Minister Chretien by e-mail, and/or fax (remember to include your name
and full mailing address).
The Right Hon. Jean Chretien
Prime Minister of Canada
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1A 0A6
Fax: 613-941-6900 &/or 613-957-5571
IF YOU ARE ABLE TO SEND YOUR LETTER WITH AN ORGANIZATIONAL AFFILIATION, WE
WILL INDIVIDUALLY ADDRESS AND FAX YOUR LETTER TO ALL FEDERAL MEMBERS OF
PARLIAMENT. If possible, please include an electronic version of your
letterhead and a scan of your signature. Send your letter in MS Word or PDF
format to <firstname.lastname@example.org> with "ITER LETTER" in the subject line.
For more information, please contact:
Dave Martin, Sierra Club of Canada
[SAMPLE LETTER TO PRIME MINISTER CHRETIEN &/OR ALL MPs]
I am writing to urge you to speak out against government subsidies for the
$19 billion fusion reactor known as the International Thermonuclear
Experimental Reactor (ITER). The project organizer, ITER Canada, originally
said that the government would not have to provide any funding, but is now
seeking a subsidy of $30 million per year for 30 years -- almost $1 billion.
Scarce tax dollars should not be wasted on the ITER reactor -- it is purely
experimental and will not produce any electricity. Even the supporters of
ITER admit that a fusion reactor to generate electricity is at least 35 to
50 years (if it ever works).
Canada's urgent energy challenge is to meet and surpass our Kyoto targets by
2010. One billion dollars is half of the $2 billion budgeted to meet those
targets, and ITER will do absolutely nothing to reduce carbon dioxide
emissions. By contrast , we know that efficiency programs and renewable
energy are cheap, clean, and safe ways to secure Canada's energy future and
meet our Kyoto obligations. We do not have 50-years or a billion dollars to
waste on the fusion energy fantasy.
Please respond to my concerns in writing.
[Name & affiliation if any]
THE 'ITER' FUSION REACTOR
Briefing notes from the Sierra Club of Canada -- May 2003
Construction of a $18.7 billion (CDN) experimental fusion reactor is being
proposed at the Darlington Nuclear Station, in Clarington, Ontario, just
east of Oshawa. The reactor is known as ITER (International Thermonuclear
Experimental Reactor). An international bidding process is under way to
determine which country will host the reactor. Current partners include the
European Union, Japan, the Russian Federation, United States, China and
Canada. ITER Canada is competing against three other bids from Japan, Spain,
and France. If the whole project does not collapse, a siting decision may
take place during the United Nations General Assembly in New York in
The project organizer, ITER Canada, originally said that financial costs
would be covered by the foreign partners. However, they rejected the
proposal in 2002, and ITER Canada returned to the federal government seeking
$1 billion in cash subsidies -- $30 million per year for 30 years. This is
more money than the United States, which has committed only $500 million
(USD) for 10% of the $5 billion (USD) construction cost. Nuclear subsidies
are a slippery slope, and ITER Canada can be expected to ask for even more.
NO ELECTRICITY WILL BE PRODUCED
The ITER reactor is purely experimental and will not produce any
electricity. Even worse, ITER will require huge amounts of electricity to
operate -- up to 500 megawatts, equivalent to a Pickering-sized reactor --
further stressing Ontario's electricity system. Despite 50 years of
research, fusion reactors have not achieved "break-even" (generating as much
energy as goes in). A commercial fusion reactor to produce electricity is
35 to 50 years away, if at all. Canada's urgent energy challenge is to meet
and surpass our Kyoto target for reduction of climate change emissions over
the next decade. There are cheaper, cleaner, safer alternatives to fusion --
efficiency programs and renewable energy are the keys to a sustainable
energy future. We do not have 50 years or a billion dollars to waste.
TAXPAYERS AND RATEPAYERS WILL PAY
In 1995, the Canadian government wisely canceled its own fusion research
program and said it would not fund ITER. In addition to the billion-dollar
subsidy, ITER Canada wants restoration of the federal fusion program, which
cost about $100 million in the 1990s. Electricity ratepayers in Ontario will
also be forced to subsidize ITER by providing the site, tritium fuel, and
RADIOACTIVE WASTE AND POLLUTION
Fusion is not "clean". ITER will produce 30,000 tonnes of radioactive waste,
deadly for 100 years. ITER will routinely and accidentally release
radioactive tritium, increasing cancer risk in the downwind population and
adding to emissions from the four reactors and Tritium Facility already at
BAD ENVIRONMENTAL PROCESS
No siting decision has been made, but the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission
(CNSC) is conducting a screening level environmental assessment (the lowest
level possible) on ITER. The 'screening' is a whitewash that should be
terminated. A full panel review under the Canadian Environmental Assessment
Act should take place if the project is awarded to Canada.
Sierra Club of Canada Nuclear Campaign
c/o P.O. Box 104
Uxbridge, Ontario, Canada L9P 1M6