Tag Archives: Canada

Is Porter Ranch the natural gas industry’s Three Mile Island?

Thirty-six years ago, Three Mile Island turned public opinion against nuclear power. The worst in history, right now still spewing after three months and Los Angeles County and the state of California have declared emergencies at Porter Ranch, is the “natural” gas industry’s Three Mile Island.

Nuclear, too was touted as safe, clean, and infamously “too cheap to meter”. It turned out to be none of those things, and neither is fracked methane. Three Mile Island alone didn’t stop the thousands of nukes President Nixon promised, but it sure helped. The Porter Ranch disaster has already lasted far longer, had worse direct effects, and is in the nation’s second-largest metropolitan area.

Plus TMI was the first U.S. civilian nuclear accident. The “natural” gas industry has leaks, corrosion, fires, explosions, and now earthquakes monthly and sometimes daily. Sure, the shadow of nuclear war hung over the nuclear power industry, but the monthly fireballs from methane explosions hangs over the natural gas industry. The 2010 San Bruno, California explosion is back in the news because, says AP 13 January 2015: PROSECUTORS: PG&E RESISTED RECORD-KEEPING CHANGE AFTER SAN BRUNO BLAST.

It’s time for a complete moratorium on all new natural gas projects, like the moratorium on all new nuclear projects after Three Mile Island. Instead, let’s get on with what we didn’t have back then: solar and wind power already less expensive than any other sources of power, far cleaner and safer, much faster to deploy, using no water, and requiring no eminent domain.

In 1962 President John F. Kennedy famously said: Continue reading

Charges and findings for Quebec oil train explosion

Low-level employees taking the fall for railroad company executives, that’s what we can see in the future of yesterday’s West Virginia oil train explosion by looking at one in Quebec in 2013. Can we expect any different behavior from fracked methane pipeline executives?

Roger Annis, Truthout, 23 June 2014, What Happened in Last Summer’s Oil Train Disaster in Quebec That Killed 47,

Details of the events leading to last July’s oil train disaster in Lac Megantic, Quebec, have been made public for the first time. They reinforce an existing portrait of the accident as a perfect storm of corporate malfeasance.

Insufficient handbrakes applied, instead Continue reading

Small town in Michigan votes to oppose nuclear waste dump across the lake in Canada

It’s unlikely a U.S. town has any direct power over a siting decision in Canada, but a small Michigan town made its views known anyway, because it would be affected. Local governments affected by the Sabal Trail methane pipeline could do the same.

Lori Maranville wrote for the Milan News-Leader 22 February 2014, MILAN: Council approves resolution opposing nuclear waste site in Canada,

In October, U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow and Carl Levin sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry showing their concern for the proposed nuclear waste site.

“The placement of this nuclear waste storage facility is of great concern given its location near Lake Huron and the importance of the Great Lakes to tens of millions of U.S. and Canadian citizens for drinking water, fisheries, tourism, recreation, and other industrial and economic uses,” they wrote in the letter.

In passing a resolution opposing the site, Milan elected officials brought the issue to light for the city’s residents.

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Town builds its own gigabit network

And for about $57 a month.

Emily Chung wrote for CBC News 18 July 2013, Small Alberta town gets massive 1,000 Mbps broadband boost: Rural community of Olds builds its own fibre network and starts its own ISP

Ultrafast internet speeds that most Canadian city dwellers can only dream of will soon be available to all 8,500 residents in a rural Alberta community for as little as $57 a month, thanks to a project by the town’s non-profit economic development foundation.

“We’ll be the first ‘gig town’ in Canada,” said Nathan Kusiek, director of marketing for O-Net, the community-owned internet service provider that runs the fibre optic network being built by the non-profit Olds Institute for Community and Regional Development in Olds, Alta., about 90 kilometres north of Calgary.

There’s more in the article.


Two more nukes cancelled: Darlington in Ontario

Two cancelled, excuse me, “defer construction”, two others may not be refurbished, and six more may get shut down soon. Yay Ontario!

Jim Ostroff wrote for Platts today, Ontario to indefinitely defer new Darlington nuclear reactors: energy plan,

Ontario will indefinitely defer construction of two new nuclear power reactors at Ontario Power Generation’s Darlington site; back away from firm plans to refurbish operating units at Darlington and Bruce Power’s Bruce A site; and may order the shutdown of OPG’s six-unit Pickering plant prior to the units’ scheduled 2020 closing date, the provincial government said in a long-term energy plan issued late Monday.

The province, which owns OPG, said that advances in energy conservation, enhanced efficiency and a slowdown in electricity demand growth have prompted it to revise a 2010 long-term energy plan that called for building two new reactors at Darlington, as well as refurbishment of 10 units combined at that station and at Bruce A.

Hm, conservation and efficiency. Not even shale gas.

We already know Georgia could get on with efficiency and conservation if Southern Company and Georgia Power would get out of the way. Which they will once they admit Plant Vogtle (new and old) has always been a boondoggle.


Register today for hearing on Great Lakes nuclear waste dump

It’s upstream of much of the U.S. side of the Great Lakes, and you can participate in the hearing without having to go to Canada. It may be a thousand miles from here, but stop one there and maybe stop one here. You wouldn’t want a nuclear waste dump on the Altamaha or Savannah River, would you?

Michael Leonardi wrote for EcoWatch 3 July 2013, Stop the Great Lakes Nuclear Waste Dump,

Surely the question that comes to many is why on Earth would anyone in their right mind consider the shores of Lake Huron for the first permanent nuclear dump in North America? Lake Huron sits to the north of Lakes St. Clair, Erie and Ontario and the water of this lake flows southward and eastward, eventually connecting to the Atlantic Ocean through the St. Lawrence Seaway.

Here’s how to participate in the public hearing, via Burying Nuclear Waste at the Bruce: OPG’s Proposed Deep Geological Repository,

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Floods cause oil spill in the tar sands capital of Calgary

Meanwhile, solar panels seldom flood and work again as soon as the sun comes out. And how much more flooding would we get here with a good hurricane sitting still for a while?

John Upton write for Grist 25 June 2013, Calgary floods trigger an oil spill and a mass evacuation,

Epic floods forced more than 100,000 people to flee their homes last week in Calgary, Alberta, the tar-sands mining capital of Canada. More than seven inches of rain fell on the city over the course of 60 hours.

Now the floodwaters are Continue reading

Canadian nuke nearly melted down in February

A senior plant official happened to spot a human-caused cooling shutdown at a Canadian nuclear reactor, narrowly averting a meltdown.

Ian McCleod wrote for ENENews 15 May 2013, ‘Significance Level 1′ incident at nuclear reactor — “The highest order” — Public not alerted by officials — Characterized as ‘near miss’

[…] a Chalk River nuclear operator mistakenly closed a vital pumping system that cools the immense heat generated within the NRU reactor’s core […]

[…] the Crown corporation said the Feb. 27 event — which the official report characterized as a “near-miss” — needs to be taken very seriously. […]

[Randy Lesco, vice-president of operations and chief nuclear officer for Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd] said that further categorizing the incident as at “Significance Level 1,” the highest order, means AECL is treating it with appropriate importance […]

CNSC President Michael Binder questioned why AECL and CNSC staff did not alert the public to the incident, which the Citizen first reported on May 8. […]

And why didn’t the reactor have automatic alerts? Ian MacCleod wrote for the Ottawa Citizen 7 May 2013, Human error blamed for “near-miss” at Chalk River reactor

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13 oil spills in 30 days

As if three spills in one week wasn’t bad enough, the spills, leaks, and derailments just keep on coming, 13 of them on 3 continents in just the past 30 days, as listed by tcktcktck and illustrated in this graphic. Meanwhile, a solar spill is still called a nice day.


Arkansas tar sands oil spill

Will Exxon clean all these tar sands oil spills like BP “cleaned up” the Gulf? Meanwhile, a solar spill is called a nice day.

June 2013, pipeline ruptured in Alberta: 250,000 gallons spilled into the Red Deer River.

27 March 2013, train derailment in Minnesota: 15,000 gallons spilled.

“Only about 1,000 gallons has been recovered,” said Dan Olson, spokesman for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. “The remaining oil on the ground has thickened into a heavy tar-like consistency.”

30 March 2013, pipleline rupture, Mayflower, Arkansas: “thousands of gallons” spilled.

Kimberly Brasington, an Exxon spokeswoman, confirmed the oil from the ruptured Pegasus pipeline originated in Canada. The oil is “Wabasca Heavy Crude from Western Canada,” she said in an e-mail Sunday. Canadian group CrudeMonitor describes Wabasca as a blend of heavy oil production from the Athabasca region.

Aerial footage of the Arkansas crude seeping through woods, waterways, streets, and yards:

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