Re: “Few energy sources come without baggage,” March 28
Thanks for the lucid explanation about the hidden environmental damage caused by “green” energy production. Even hydro generation requires flooding of precious agricultural land, as the Site C project promises to do.
In his book The Rational Optimist, Matt Ridley deals extensively with the problems of various sources of electricity. He points out, for example, that a single wind farm at Altamont, California, kills 24 golden eagles ever year. Further, wind turbines require five to 10 times as much concrete and steel per watt produced as nuclear power plants. Making concrete and steel requires mines for limestone and iron ore plus huge kilns and blast furnaces. Wind farms also require miles of roads and power lines because the power source is so spread out. Green? No.
It appears as if the cleanest source of energy is a nuclear plant. Admittedly, there is a problem disposing of the spent fuel, but we can expect that problem to be solved reasonably soon.
Some people are worried about the radiation caused by the recent flooding of the Fukushima plant in Japan. That problem was caused by the failure of the plant’s emergency power generators, which were installed in the basement of the plant just a few hundred feet from the sea. The tsunami shorted out the emergency power system so the plant overheated and radiation leaked out. Surely, the designers of a new nuclear plant would have enough sense to protect the emergency generators from such an obvious risk.
Let us cancel Site C and build a nuclear plant close to where the power is needed.