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Wednesday, July 28, 2010 

'Nuclear power expensive option for Saskatchewan': Report

"Constructing a nuclear reactor in Saskatchewan could triple consumers' power bills and would not decrease greenhouse-gas emissions, said a report released Tuesday.

"It is an expensive option for Saskatchewan to pursue. It's not cost-effective," said Heath Packman, a former Saskatchewan government official and author of In the Red: The Green Behind Nuclear Power.

The report, commissioned by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA), states nuclear power would have the highest capital costs of any energy form for Saskatchewan. It also says Saskatchewan's export market for surplus power "has been greatly exaggerated," as this power would be forced to compete with more cost-effective hydroelectric power from Manitoba, B.C., Washington and Oregon.

"Nuclear power is not a silver bullet," said Packman, who does not consider himself ideologically for or against nuclear power.

"My issue is the cost," he said.

The Saskatchewan government explored the possibility of a nuclear reactor for the province, but has put any plans on hold, citing cost uncertainty.

According to studies cited by Packman, the capital costs of creating new nuclear power are estimated at roughly $4,000 per kilowatt hour. Nuclear is the most expensive, along with solar, which costs the same amount. Coal ($2,438), biomass ($2,500), wind ($1,700) and natural gas ($700) are the other options cited.

Regina Leader-Post: ...Nuclear Option

I've not read it, but if the report says it would not decrease greenhouse-gas emissions, that is surprising. See wikipedia on comparisons of life cycle ghg emissions http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparisons_of_life-cycle_greenhouse_gas_emissions. Not sure about Candu specifically, but I imagine it has far fewer life cycle emissions, due to its use of non-enriched uranium (lots of power is used in enrichment), which is also abundant in Canada (less energy needed to mine it compared to other Uranium producing countries).

I just finished the report, and it doesn't make a claim that ghg emissions would not decrease.

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