Perspectives on Nuclear Issues
Nuclear is a fascinating and complex topic. Countless studies, opinion pieces and news articles are frequently released. Below are a number of links of interest that represent some of the voices contributing to the debates over the use of nuclear technology in Canada, including regulatory aspects.
- The Health Physics Society (HPS) is a scientific organization of professionals specializing in radiation safety. In July 2010, the HPS released a position statement on radiation risk (PDF). Their position is that there is "substantial and convincing scientific evidence for health risks following high-dose exposures. However, below 50–100 mSv (which includes occupational and environmental exposures), risks of health effects are either too small to be observed or are nonexistent."
- In its June 9 edition, Forbes published an article on Pandora's Promise, a documentary by Academy Award nominee Robert Stone, about environmentalists that have changed their minds about nuclear energy because of concerns about climate change.
- The Energy Collective, an independent, moderated community of professionals focused on the complex challenges of meeting the world's energy needs sustainably, recently published "Nuclear Energy and My Greenpeace Conundrum", a blog that evaluates the nuclear energy position of non-government organizations, such as Greenpeace.
- The Energy Collective, an independent, moderated community of professionals focused on the complex challenges of meeting the world's energy needs sustainably, recently published "Nuclear Energy: Truth vs Fear", a blog on the public's perception and understanding of nuclear energy.
- May 2, 2013 - Learning the Right Nuclear Energy Lessons: A New Paradigm for the Future (source: The Energy Collective)
In this editorial, Chair of the World Nuclear Association Economics Working Group, Milton Caplan, discusses the legacy of the Fukushima and Chernobyl nuclear accidents and the lessons from these incidents that can strengthen the nuclear industry and increase public support of nuclear power.
- On March 15, 2013, the Journal of Environmental Science and Technology published an article by Pushker Kharecha and James E Hansen called “Prevented Mortality and Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Historical and Projected Nuclear Power.” This article addresses the ways in which nuclear power reduces the impact of climate change and pollution, according to data from Europe and the United States. Overall, the study reported that nuclear power has minimised global mortality and greenhouse gas emissions related to fossil fuel.
- March 10, 2013 - Fukushima Radiation Proves Less Deadly Than Feared (source: Bloomberg)
In this editorial, Eric Lax and Robert Peter Gale, M.D., authors of a recent book entitled Radiation: What It Is, What You Need to Know share their observations and thoughts about the consequences of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident.
- The Facts on the KiKK Study: At several Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) hearings, interveners raised concerns over the alleged danger of living near a nuclear power plant based on the findings of a German study on this topic (the KiKK study). The findings of this study have been greatly misunderstood and the CNSC would like to set the record straight, based on extensive research. The KiKK study has been addressed by CNSC staff in the The Health Effects, Dosimetry and Radiological Protection of Tritium report, and in the Setting Radiation Requirements on the Basis of Sound Science: The Role of Epidemiology report, as well as on the Mythbusters section of the CNSC Web site. For more detailed information about the KiKK study, please read our fact sheet.
- On February 6, 2013, the Scientific Advisory Committee on Veterans’ Health released a report on the issue of depleted uranium titled: Depleted Uranium and Canadian Veterans: A Review of Potential Exposure and Health Effects. The report addresses the potential exposure of Canadian soldiers to levels of depleted uranium that could be harmful to their health and the overall potential health effects of depleted uranium exposure. Overall, the report concluded that veteran health problems are unlikely related to depleted uranium.
- The documentary Powering America, created by the Heritage Foundation, provides an overview of the nuclear power industry and advocates the use of nuclear energy in the United States. The documentary, which aired on May 26, 2012, focuses on facilities such as Three Mile Island and the ongoing involvement of the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission in enforcing safety measures and keeping nuclear power safe.
- In June 2012, the Journal of Radiological Protection published another rebuttal to the New York Academy of Sciences 2009 publication, “Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment” by Yablokov, Nesterenko and Nesterenko. The 2009 article alleged a number of health effects as a result of the Chernobyl nuclear accident and is occasionally referenced during CNSC public proceedings. The latest article, entitled “On protecting the inexperienced reader from Chernobyl myths”, identifies mistakes in methodology and refutes the conclusions on health effects drawn in the 2009 publication.
- How Deadly is your Kilowatt? We Rank the Killer Energy Sources (source: Forbes, June 10, 2012)
- As referenced during the Commission hearing in Mistissini and Chibougamau on June 5, 6, 7, 2012, read the Northern Saskatchewan Health Indicators Report 2011 produced by the Northern Saskatchewan Population Health Unit: Report (PDF) - News Release (PDF)
- The Energy Compass is a report published in October 2010 by the Canadian Society for Senior Engineers (CSSE), and includes among its authors two of the CNSC's recent guest speakers, Mr. Don Lawson and Mr. Arnold Eyre. The report presents a ranking of the 26 prime Canadian energy alternatives. The ranking was developed through an analysis of these alternatives in the contexts of "using indigenous energy," "conserving energy," and "exporting surplus energy." In consideration of these contexts, the report outlines how and why the use of indigenous nuclear energy emerges from the analysis as the fore-runner ahead of the other 25 primary energy alternatives.
- Work begins at TRIUMF on the Advanced Rare Isotope Laboratory (ARIEL) to develop a new way to produce medical isotopes for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, heart disease, Parkinson's and Alzeimer's. Read the TRIUMF news release about the start of the ARIEL research tunnel construction.
- Teacher and author Larry Aaron from Danville and Pittsylvania County, Virginia, USA, was among a group traveling to Saskatchewan, Canada, to visit a working uranium mine and mill. The trip was funded by Virginia Uranium Inc., which hopes to mine the Coles Hill uranium deposit northeast of Chatham, Virginia, USA. Larry Aaron, as a special to the Star-Tribune, wrote articles about his visit to Cameco Corporation's Rabbit Lake milling operation in northern Saskatchewan, and his meetings with Government of Saskatchewan and Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission officials:
- September 28, 2011: Saskatchewan: Uranium Capital of the World (source: Womack Publishing, WPCVA Web site)
- October 5, 2011: Group visits uranium mine, mill in Canada (source: Womack Publishing, WPCVA Web site)
- October 14, 2011: Uranium mining safe, regulated, according to Canadian officials (source: Womack Publishing, WPCVA Web site)
- Non-nuclear energy failed Fukushima - Interview with John Ritch, Director General, World Nuclear Association (source RT, June 28, 2011)
- Childhood cancer and nuclear power plants in Switzerland: a census-based cohort study (source: International Journal of Epidemiology, July 12, 2011)
- In 2008, the Nuclear Energy Agency’s Radioactive Waste Management Committee (RWMC) established a project to study the issues of reversability and retrievability in geological disposal of radioactive wastes. This project was supported by contributions from member states. Participants from 17 countries, international organizations, and other RWMC groups have contributed to the project. The project's draft report and leaflet are now available for review:
- The Supply of Medical Radioisotopes: An Economic Study of the Molybdenum-99 Supply Chain (PDF) (source: NEA Web site)
- Bill Gates and the development of new nuclear technologies: View Mr. Gates’s presentation at TED 2010 (source: TED 2010 Conference)