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[cdn-nucl-l] Montreal Gazette op-ed attacked
> Last week's Gazette op-ed article by McGill's Prof. John J. Jonas (at
> bottom below) was attacked in today's paper by R.W. Morel (below, complete
> & verbatim, with my comments inserted in square brackets...) - the same
> guy who wrote last week's letter, "Kill CANDU before it's too late" (Oct.
> 8, 1999, printed alongside G. Edwards' letter "Say no to plutonium
> Note that Jonas' article addressed the Gazette's Oct. 2 editorial, "No
> nukes, please," NOT the letter by Morel. How's that for fair play ?
> Canada helped light fuse
> John J. Jonas's Oct. 13 commentary was titled "Nuclear power will continue
> to play role." Yes, unfortunately, it will, and we may soon witness it in
> dramatic fashion following the military coup in Pakistan.
> India has put its military on high alert. Both countries are armed with
> nuclear weapons developed with the help of Canadian nuclear technology.
> [COMMENT: Pakistan's test explosions used HEU - beats me how they got
> enrichment technology from Canada, which never developed it, since its not
> required for natural-uranium CANDU fuel...]
> Canada gave a CIRUS reactor to India, which exploded a bomb at the Pokhran
> site in 1974, prompting Canada to suspend nuclear co-operation with that
> country temporarily.
> [COMMENT: bravo ! ...at least we can get one thing straight - that it
> wasn't a CANDU nuclear power plant ! The latest antinuke tactic seems to
> be to give the correct name, but make sure you don't explain that CIRUS
> was a research reactor, with American financing & heavy water
> contribution, or that the subsequent CANDU NPPs in fact have
> non-proliferation safeguards monitoring, and that they are not as amenable
> to W-Pu production as research reactors or purpose-built military
> production reactors...]
> This suspension was formally ended in December 1976, and it was business
> as usual.
> [COMMENT: NO, it was NOT "business as usual" -- see previous note]
> The situation in Pakistan was somewhat similar, with co-operation
> suspended in December 1976, and resumed at the urging of Atomic Energy of
> Canada Ltd. and the CANDU Owner's Group (COG) in 1989. The motto of the
> COG is Strength Through Co-operation.
> [COMMENT: non-proliferation safeguards have been implemented at the
> Pakistani CANDU NPP, and were evidently completely effective, since the
> Pakistani bomb test involved HEU, not Pu ]
> Neither India nor Pakistan have signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation
> Treaty or the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, and Canada does not have any
> formal nuclear co-operation agreements with either country.
> [COMMENT: "you're damned if you do & you're damned if you don't..."]
> Yet we continue to support both, all in the interest of keeping our
> morally and fiscally bankrupt policy of encouraging nuclear proliferation
> while denying that we do so.
> [COMMENT: this is brilliant -- supposedly Canada should summarily deny any
> & all support for the safeguarded CANDU NPPs and expect that the client
> state would somehow remain motivated to adhere to the bi-lateral
> nonproliferation agreement compliance requirements, including a strict
> inspections regime, etc.]
> So, Professor Jonas and his fellow believers can sit back and watch the
> fireworks. They're bound to come, and will certainly be more spectacular
> than the heavy-water spills and other nuclear accidents that take place on
> a quite regular basis.
> R.W. Morel
> Pointe Claire
> COMMENT: for more details on the question of CANDU reactors and nuclear
> weapons proliferation see Jeremy Whitlock's web postings,
> "Did India use a CANDU reactor in the 1970's to make an atomic bomb?" at
> "What is the relevance of Canadian technology to India's recent nuclear
> weapons tests?" at http://www.freenet.carleton.ca/~cz725/cnf.htm#x1_2
> "How easily can an atomic bomb be made with spent CANDU fuel?" at
> Wednesday 13 October 1999
> Nuclear power will continue to play role
> JOHN J. JONAS
> A Gazette editorial of Oct. 2 states "the best way to cope with the
> growing greenhouse-gas problem is through conservation." While
> conservation is important, it will not be able to deal with the great
> expansion in world population on the horizon, as well as with the rising
> standard of living (and therefore of per-capita energy consumption) in
> countries like China and India.
> This is why the U.S. President's Committee of Advisers on Science and
> Technology concluded in its June 1999 report that "according to the
> baseline forecast of the U.S. Energy Information Administration, global
> energy and electricity demands are expected to increase between 1996 and
> 2020 by 78 per cent and 92 per cent, respectively, but U.S. markets are
> expected to account for, respectively, only 9 per cent and 12 per cent of
> these global increments."
> I expect that the Canadian increases will be similar to those U.S.
> My second point concerns your comments on nuclear power. The Environmental
> Assessment Survey carried out in Canada during the earlier part of this
> decade concluded that the deep disposal of nuclear waste in the Canadian
> Shield was "technically safe." Furthermore, the natural uranium fuel
> employed by Canadian power plants (not being concentrated) is not in a
> form that is of use to terrorists.
> In this context, I would like to quote two recent sources relating to this
> topic. The first is from a speech in London earlier this year by Gerald
> Doucet, head of the World Energy Council. He said that "no matter how
> special-interest groups try to cut it, new nuclear power is a key part of
> the world's energy wardrobe now and in the years to come."
> The second statement comes from a detailed study commissioned by the Royal
> Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering in Britain titled Nuclear
> Energy: the Future Climate.
> The 16 expert authors concluded:
> - There is a strong case for acting to mitigate the threat of drastic
> climate change associated with unrestrained increases in emissions of
> greenhouse gases, particularly CO2.
> - It is vital to keep the nuclear option open. We cannot be confident that
> the combination of efficiency, conservation and renewables will be enough
> to meet the needs of environmental protection.
> - We therefore endorse the 1998 recommendation of the Commons trade and
> industry committee that "a formal presumption be made now that new nuclear
> plants may be required in the course of the next two decades."
> Finally, while I am convinced about the important role that will be played
> by nuclear power in the decades to come, a second important issue, the
> greenhouse gases emitted by cars, trucks and buses, has not been
> Clearly, the electricity generated in hydro, coal-fired, gas, nuclear,
> wind, solar and other stations is not in a suitable form for
> transportation purposes. This is where the "hydrogen economy" comes in.
> The vehicles of the future running on fuel cells will not release carbon
> dioxide into the atmosphere. The water vapour they exhaust, while
> technically a greenhouse gas, falls back to Earth as rain. The hydrogen
> for this purpose can be made by electrolysis.
> As long as the electricity required does not come from coal-fired or
> gas-burning stations, no contribution to the greenhouse effect will come
> from satisfying our transportation needs in this way. Here, too, there is
> role for "nukes."
> - John J. Jonas is Birks Professor of Metallurgy at McGill University and
> co-director of the McGill Metals Processing Centre.