Wind and solar have lost their ‘social licence’; the masses no longer believe the ‘clean and green’ propaganda. Wrecked communities, wrecked environments and wrecked economies are too difficult to hide or spin away.
Once people get a grip on the great wind and solar scam, their conversion is irreversible.
The original trope had it that wind and solar were ‘friends of the earth’. But as millions of toxic solar panels and thousands of toxic wind turbine blades get crushed and dumped into landfill, that relationship appears more strained than ever.
Which is where nuclear power steps in.
Safe, reliable and affordable, nuclear power ticks all the boxes, including being the only stand-alone power generation source that can satisfy those fretting about human-generated carbon dioxide gas, by not generating any during the generating process.
Sky News’ Chris Kenny takes a look at Canada’s exemplary move towards a nuclear-powered future, in this interview with Dr Chris Keefer.
Nuclear energy is the ‘most environmentally friendly’ option
Chris Kenny and Chris Keefer
6 September 2023
Canadians for Nuclear Energy President Dr Chris Keefer says nuclear energy is the “most environmentally friendly” form of energy due to its low environmental impact.
“The entire nuclear sector, including the uranium mines, factories, the fabrication of fuel and the power stations, even the waste storage fits on 20 square kilometres of land in Ontario, that’s the size of our Pearson International Airport in Toronto,” Dr Keefer told Sky News host Chris Kenny.
“So this is an incredibly dense form of energy.
Chris Kenny: Joining me is Dr. Chris Keefer, a medical doctor and president of Canadians for Nuclear Energy. Thanks for joining us, Chris. Really appreciate the chance to talk to you. First, tell us about Canada. Canada is not as blessed with the coal reserves that Australia has, but you have an enormous amount of gas and also an enormous amount of hydroelectricity power. Why has there been a push back away from coal to nuclear power, especially in a big province like Ontario?
Dr Chris Keefer: Well, most of the nuclear is concentrated in the province of Ontario, and that’s precisely because we weren’t blessed with the kind of coal reserves that Australia has, and so we were importing coal over from the United States. And when the 1973 energy crisis hit, we had a doubling in that price of coal and we’d been developing this nuclear reactor technology. We ended up commissioning 22 reactors in just 22 years and accidentally decarbonized our electricity grid. So it’s interesting that a power source can help grow an economy and accidentally decarbonize it. I think that shows you something about how cost-effective it can be.
Chris Kenny: Now with the continuing push for net-zero, some of that’s been expanded because around the world, after Fukushima, there was a lot of push to get out of nuclear. But now we’re seeing in South Korea, in Finland, in France, in the UK, going back to nuclear. What’s your assessment of Australia’s options when it comes to reliable, affordable emissions-free electricity?
Dr Chris Keefer: Well, listen, the grid is a civilizational life support structure, and I think there’s symptoms that it’s not doing well right now. I pick up a newspaper here in Australia and I see story after story, rolling blackouts anticipated this summer because of low wind and high temperatures from the end of the La Nina effects. I see coal stations that are being life extended because the reliability of the system is in such peril. You see the blowouts at Snowy 2.0. The situation is not looking great. I think it’s always important to have a plan B. And what we’re seeing here, I think, indicates that it’s better to have more tools in the toolbox than to cut something out that actually has a proven record of decarbonization. There’s no jurisdiction in the world that has achieved what we have in Ontario, which is a deeply, again, decarbonized grid, with wind and solar, that just hasn’t happened to this date.
Chris Kenny: Let me show you what our current federal labor climate and energy minister tends to say about the nuclear option.
Chris Bowen: The most expensive form of energy and the slowest to roll out, nuclear. The only thing small about a small modular reactor is the output. Nothing small about the cost.
Chris Kenny: How do you fact check a statement like that, Chris?
Dr Chris Keefer: Well, I hate to rub it in, but our emissions are 1/10th those of Australia in Ontario, and our electricity is one half the cost. Again, we commissioned 22 large nuclear stations in 22 years. When there’s a sense of urgency in Australia, I can see that there’s bipartisan moves that can happen, such as with the AUKUS situation. And I think as the grid Australia continues to become more unreliable and more expensive, eventually that will lead to a search for other options. And I think if you want those to be low carbon ones, that’s going to have to be nuclear.
Chris Kenny: Yeah, I think it’s inevitable too for those reasons, and we’re seeing enormous backlash around the country as we look to put in wind turbine farms, offshore wind projects, solar farms, massive transmission projects to connect all of this. So you’re creating a lot of other environmental problems and using up a lot more land. One of the advantages of nuclear is it’s concentrated in the land it requires and plugs into largely the existing transmission network.
Dr Chris Keefer: That’s absolutely true. The entire nuclear sector, including the uranium mines, the factories, the fabrication of fuel, and the power stations, even the waste storage fits on 20 square kilometres of land in Ontario. That’s the size of our Pearson International Airport in Toronto. So this is an incredibly dense form of energy, which means that it has the lowest environmental impacts. It requires the least mining and the least land footprint. And so really nuclear is the most environmentally friendly form of energy, but it’s been misrepresented so much over the years.
Chris Kenny: It sure has. And one of those relates to people’s health and safety. Just very quickly, as a medical doctor, your assessment there?
Dr Chris Keefer: You’re right, I’m a medical doctor. I am the source of the largest amount of radiation, artificial radiation that people get every year. We all get a natural background dose. Medical doctors deliver the majority of that. But it makes me literate in again, that dose of radiation. And the nuclear industry has done an extraordinarily good job at limiting any emissions from the plants. I mean, we have a perfect track record in terms of nuclear waste storage. Just the fact that we can contain all of the waste that’s produced is remarkable and again, speaks to that incredible energy density. So I live with my family about 20 kilometres from one of Ontario’s large nuclear stations, I feel very safe living there and so does the community around the plant.
Chris Kenny: Thanks so much for talking to us, Chris. I really appreciate it.
Dr Chris Keefer: My pleasure.
Chris Kenny: Chris Keefer there, sharing with us some of the insights from Ontario in Canada. We need to learn and follow this. I think, like Chris said there, I think it’s inevitable Australia will go down this path, especially given we have such great uranium reserves that we’re exporting to much of the world. We’ll go to this form of energy eventually. So every year we dawdle, we just add to our own burden.