Federal government urged to speak up for nuclear at Paris climate talks

CNA-IEA-nuclear-industry-Darlington-Canada-greenhouse-emissions-Paris-climate-change-EDIWeekly
Darlington Nuclear Generating Station in Ontario

Canada’s nuclear industry hopes that the federal government will take up its cause and support it as a clean energy source at the upcoming Paris climate talks. The CEO of the Canadian Nuclear Association (CNA), Dr. John Barrett, said in a statement today that Canada should ensure that any “decisions or protocols” coming out of the Paris meetings recognize nuclear energy as a low-carbon solution to combat climate change.

Barrett held up Ontario and New Brunswick as examples of modern complex economies meeting their electricity needs with a low-carbon mix. Ontario currently derives 62 per cent of grid-delivered electricity from nuclear generating plants. Another 24 per cent comes from hydro, and 4 per cent from wind. Ontario was able to end its use of coal-powered generation because of the availability of nuclear, he said. New Brunswick relied on nuclear power for 31 per cent of its electricity in 2014. The ”nuclear foundation” enables solar and wind technologies to “integrate progressively” into the electricity system, said Barrett.

In arguing its case, the CNA points to the American commitment to nuclear power as a climate change-fighting strategy. After a summit on nuclear energy earlier this month, the White House stated that both newly developing and existing nuclear technologies remain important components of its clean energy strategy going forward.

The International Energy Agency (IEA), meanwhile, has stated that the use of nuclear energy has avoided 56 gigatonnes of greenhouse emissions since 1971, the equivalent of nearly to years’ worth of global GHG emissions.

CNA-IEA-nuclear-industry-Canada-greenhouse-emissions-Paris-climate-change-EDIWeekly
Source; Canadian Nuclear Association

The IEA has further claimed that doubling the world’s nuclear-generated electricity by 2040 would help limit the rise in average global temperature to the target of 2 degrees Celsius about pre-industrial levels. Nuclear-generated electricity is “essential” to slowing and even stopping climate change, according to the IEA.

There is also the important economic incentive to consider. Canada is among the few countries in the world that can mine uranium, produce nuclear fuel, design and operate “world-leading” nuclear reactors and advance nuclear science, all while managing nuclear operations safely and reliably. With 60,000 Canadians employed in nuclear-related jobs, the benefits of the $5 billion industry improve all of our lives, says the CNA.

“Nuclear energy is clearly part of the solution,” said Dr. Barrett. “Not only does it help reduce carbon dioxide emissions, but it also provides better energy security, affordable electricity, clean air, and opportunities to advance economic development.”

There are currently 72 new nuclear reactors under construction in 16 countries. A further 92 reactors are planned. There are 19 reactors operating in Canada, most of them in Ontario.

Did you miss this?

Other Popular Stories

  • $25.8 million Low Carbon Innovation Fund aims to help commercialize technologies that reduce greenhouse emissions.
  • Building permits up in June, non-residential construction leading
  • Ontario Tire Stewardship offering $50,000 for recycle projects
  • Hopes high for Bombardier CSeries breakthrough at Farnborough Airshow
  • Space X Mars plans become feasible: Elon Musk's multi-planet species goal may yet launch
  • Aerogel, 99.8 percent air — a solid so light it challenges design engineers to find an application
  • Thousands of construction workers needed but interest low among young
  • Electricity rates a disadvantage for Canadian industry: report
  • Space engineering firm COM DEV announces major satellite contract
  • Siemens awarded largest ever contract for onshore wind turbines
  • Powering the Future through Protonic Ceramic Fuel Cells?
  • Auto industry back on top as Canada's biggest exporter: report
  • A cloaking device possible? Stealth technology studies virtual invisibility through "irradiating with its own specific pattern"
  • Mixed news for industrial production capacity, employment
  • SPPCA's new landing gear facility opening in Mississauga
  • MRO in space: Inside a routine Maintenance-Repair-and-Overhaul mission with NASA: sealing, lubricating and keeping cool
  • First new Canadian refinery in 30 years now on track for 2017
  • Canada one of the world’s most energy-intensive countries: 15 percent energy reduction possible through lighting, computer and HVAC retrofitting: Conference Board of Canada Report
  • Volvo aims to put garbage collectors out of work with autonomous robot garbage trucks
  • Lockheed Martin seeking industry partners in new innovation and research facility
Scroll to Top