.Harmful emissions from the nuclear industry will continue to increase as supplies of rich uranium ore decreaseAccording to scientists Jan Willem Storm van Leeuwen and Philip Bartlett Smith,"...at the present rate of use, worldwide supplies of rich uranium ore will soonbecome exhausted, perhaps within the next decade. Nuclear power stations of thefuture will have to rely on second-grade ore, which requires huge amounts of conventional energy to refine it. For each ton of poor-quality uranium, some 5000tons of granite that contain it will have to be mined, milled and then disposedof. This could rise to 10,000 tons if the quality deteriorates further. At somepoint, and it could happen soon, the nuclear industry will be emitting as much carbon dioxide from mining and treating its ore as it saves from the so-called clean power it produces thanks to nuclear fission." The researchers estimate that"The use of nuclear power causes, at the end of the road and under the most favourable conditions, approximately one-third as much carbon dioxide emission as gas-fired electricity production.".Nuclear power production could well go into energy deficit as rich Uranium orequantities are consumedAccording to energy writer David Fleming in Prospect magazine on the subject ofrich ore depletion, "...it (nuclear) would be putting more energy into the process than it could extract from it. Its contribution to meeting the world
s energyneeds would become negative! The so-called reliability of nuclear power, whichits proponents enthuse over, would therefore rest on the growing use of fossil fuels rather than their replacement."In my view, Fleming’s comments translate into more and larger dangerous uranium tailing ponds with all of their health and safety issues. The Stop Darlington coalition says “there are currently over 200 million tonnes of uranium tailings in Ontario and Saskatchewan. This waste remains a hazard for thousands of years and contains carcinogens, such as radium, radon gas, and thorium among others.”.Nuclear reactors routinely emit other noxious substances, one of the worst of which is radioactive tritium into the environmentAccording to Dr. Gordon Edwards of the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility, "Tritium poses an ever-present radiological hazard to CANDU (reactor) workers. It is also an environmental contaminant which pollutes the drinking water of many communities situated near CANDU reactors. In addition, atmospheric emissions of tritium are readily inhaled - and also absorbed directly through the skin- by residents living near CANDU reactors.".Nuclear reactors can have an adverse impact on surrounding bodies of water, such as the Great LakesAccording to Lake Ontario Waterkeeper, the lake has a “fragile” ecosystem. Since millions of people depend on this lake for basic physiological needs, it is my view that the plan to place additional large-scale nuclear reactors on the lake could enhance that fragility and is, therefore, a highly questionable undertaking..New nuclear reactor design problems can delay or even terminate large scale, expensive projectsOne example of this phenomenon in which I was personally involved, can be foundin Atomic Energy of Canada’s failed effort to develop a promised 10 mw Slowpoke reactor, even while attempting to market it in Canada and abroad. The 2 mw pilotversion at the Whiteshell Nuclear Research Establishment in Manitoba was finallyshut down as it failed to reach its full capacity.