Today's discussion:

Canada needs reliable nuclear power now more than ever—just ask Alberta

Expanding nuclear generation across the country is a necessary requirement to decarbonize provincial grids that lack massive quantities of hydroelectricity to meet their electricity needs. The economic and environmental benefits of the Capital Power-OPG agreement represent an exciting model that ought to be applauded and emulated across the country.

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Comments (18)

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Stephen McClellan

This new partnership for developing small nuclear power generation is a welcoming development for sure — albeit long overdue in IMHO. That said, it is hardly the solution to Alberta’s current problem. The lead times for even small nuclear are long and could face the same push back from the NIMBY syndrome. Frankly, the real solution is to expand natural gas power generation, a resource that is both plentiful and inexpensive and produces power that is far more reliable and far cheaper than either wind or solar (and I might add with less full-cycle environmental costs). Instead, our federal government is pushing this “net zero” policy which is at best an ill-conceived policy and at worst a policy driven by an eco-ideology. Either way Canadians will pay and we will reap little or no benefits — not even all these jobs of which Minister Freeland speaks.

19th January 2024 at 7:53 am
Jane c Cryderman

Billions of dollars are being squandered on “virtue ” projects that will never come close to delivering the kind of power we need to sustain a basic standard quality of life our society operates on.. Add the flood of immigrants coming in to Canada to the coming surge of power for use in the electrification of everything..
We know that government has not considered the whole picture damming and harnessing wild rivers for hydroelectric power. This has far more environmental costs than are being considered. Habitat and species loss. fish life cycles ..pollution..groundwater degradation.. The sad sad story of the water table situation in the USA should be a stark lesson to us. Hydroelectric is not a considered solution.
The new, very safe very efficient new generation Nuclear is the only logical solution we have on the table.. Yet, the biggest opposers are the so called environmentalists.
We must get real..and now.

19th January 2024 at 7:22 am

NO…..There are other more sustainable modalities such as solar, wind, and tidal power……the naysayers point to their deficits, while researchers are working on improuving them…. if tge government gave more of tgeir gas and oil and nuke subsidization funds to thise aferemantioned researchers, the improvenents would come more quickly….. nuclear is a forever further contamination of the planet….

19th January 2024 at 8:41 am
Jason Wager

I would disagree. In jurisdictions with extremely cold weather, where a lack of energy drives deaths higher, a more stable source is required. Solar in winter, with an 8-hour day and low sun, generates 30% on the best times of day, but only for 6 hours. Wind is helpful, however at temperatures below -30C, all wind farms are shut in for the safety of the wind turbines. Storage can help with peak shaving, but when energy is short in cold weather, you need generation. Tidal power has been tried numerous times, and the equipment is damaged in months not decades. The Bay of Fundy Tidal Power Project with Emera as an example.
Solar, wind, and storage are good assets most of the time, but when they can not be useful when you need them, then you need a baseload generation source. Ottawa thinks the prairies can power themselves with 70% wind, I suggest they come on out and feel -40C with wind power.

19th January 2024 at 8:29 pm

Nuclear is unlike wind and solar a viable energy option

19th January 2024 at 10:25 am
Richard Courtemanche

Yes for nuclear power. Stop wasting on costly and inefficient energy projects.

19th January 2024 at 8:19 am
Jerry Ouellette

Enjoyed the article and there are many other factors that should be listed. For example just outside Fort Smith John BC on the peace river the Site C damn is listed to be completed in 2024. This damn is listed as being able to produce 5,100 gigawatt’s annually, enough to supply 450,000 homes. Fort St John population is in area of 20,000 so a surplus of production is available for some distribution. Difficulty comes in when trying to get electricity to locations as transmission infrastructure normally requires significant upgrades for large capacity transmission. That and line loss, over longer distance transmission makes such sales a potential concern. However suppling closer areas in Alberta that they themselves receiving distance transmissions within Alberta would free up Alberta supply for other major centres. The time period to develop nuclear plants can be quite lengthy after getting all the plans and approvals in place and could be looking at 15 years before having production.
That and hey should agreements proceed Buy Uranium stock! Lol
Much more to this but this gives a glimpse understanding of other aspects in play.

19th January 2024 at 10:03 am
Paul Attics

What is there to say? This is a great news story all around. Governments at all levels should of course ensure that such initiatives are safe and that any externalities are paid for by the private sector, but otherwise get out of the way, or even better, clear the path.

Obviously there is a compelling standalone business case (i.e. no government funding) for this or the private sector would not be proceeding. As stated in the article, a successful initiative would open the possibility of Canada actually meeting its decarbonization commitments, lower energy costs for consumers, create positive economic activity (GDP), and create a product that can be sold to the rest of the world for them to achieve the same decarbonization goals.

I look forward to any thoughtful and substantiated criticism to temper my rosy view of this story!

19th January 2024 at 7:57 am
A. Chezzi

Alberta is a red herring. Power is a provincial jurisdiction and as Smith says, let the feds stay in their own lane. Alberta has kicked the issue of power down the road for a long time. The failure of the grid is on Smith not the feds. No other western province is in the same situation as Alberta is. Alberta put all its eggs in one basket fossil fuel, paused renewables and when the plant went off grid and the weather turned very cold, Albertans were left in the cold. Smith’s passion, like Poilievre, for blaming everything on the feds, is an abdication of her duty to Albertans. Pushing her right wing ideology is not serving Albertans.
Yes, we need alternative sources of clean energy but Alberta, at the moment will only move in that direction on its terms. There will be no dialogue or co-operation, or consensus. That is the problem with today’s Con, provincially and federally. They claim Trudeau is intransigent but the Con are just as bad. What we need in Canada at the moment is an alternative to both main stream parties (Bernier and his ilk are not what I mean) which can work for the betterment of Canadians.

19th January 2024 at 9:08 am
Chuck Guyitt

Maybe in a pipe dream of yours. It was the socialist NDPers that shut down the generators and tried to claim that the solar panels and wind turbines will meet the demand. Ontario already has those high priced panels and wind turbines and trust me they couldn’t even come close to supplying the energy that Ontario requires. Plus the extra cost of having these things that get more than the sale price for producing energy but the provinces sell the energy for far less. Ontario will never recoup their cost as to what these two items have cost us.

20th January 2024 at 12:46 pm
Nigel Howcroft

Now I see the forum is only for a particular article.

21st January 2024 at 9:13 pm
Nigel Howcroft

Regarding the article by Tara Henley titled “What happened to Canada?: Canada’s social fabric has frayed dramatically, and in a remarkably short period of time”.

As can be seen from her title, Ms Henley believes we have experienced a dramatic decline in the social fabric of our country.

In an attempt to explain how we got to the terrible place she thinks we are in, Henley refers to (a) the housing crisis, (b) “woke” politics, (c) public health responses to the Covid pandemic and (d) the election of Justin Trudeau in the midst of the pandemic.

Some of Ms Henley’s concerns are perfectly legitimate. However, as I outline below, the developments she refers to hardly support a conclusion that our social fabric has “frayed dramatically”.

I published a substack note to rebut the notion that Canada is in a political, economic or social crisis. Rather Canada remains one of the freest and most democratic nations on earth, if not in history. Its economy has recently faltered, especially as compared the United States, but we are not experiencing an economic collapse.

The rebuttal is important because, as Ms Henley indicates, many Canadians do share her concerns, however misguided they may be.

Here is a link to my substack note:

21st January 2024 at 9:12 pm

As Paul Hellyer once pointed out, we have the technology for free energy, which is better than oil, open the patents.

21st January 2024 at 1:28 pm
The Hub Staff

Thank you for participating in Hub Forum.

19th January 2024 at 5:10 pm
Bruce Hamilton

Nuclear power is a big part of the solution, but it requires the federal government to step up and finally resolve the nuclear waste storage issue.

The feds could also go a long way to make interprovincial energy transfer possible by leading an effort to add peaking units to existing hydro dams and strengthening interprovincial grid connections.

We need action not meaningless targets.

19th January 2024 at 2:27 pm

Could someone explain to me how nuclear power is clean when no jurisdiction that uses it has come up with a viable long term solution for it’s waste, not to mention the mining and refining processes of uranium. Large scale grid power is the problem as there is no solution to large scale line loss. Smaller scale, local production is the way forward!

19th January 2024 at 12:38 pm
Kim Morton

NO NUKES> EVER. The whole anti fossil fuels scam is being pushed by the nuke industry to peddle their dangerous and poison spewing expensive power plants. BC has a no nukes law. Other provinces would be wise to follow our example before they turn their provinces into vast wastelands.

19th January 2024 at 11:14 am
Paul Attics

Quick, you must alert Ontario and New Brunswick that their provinces are “vast wastelands”…and France while you are at it! SMH

19th January 2024 at 11:45 am