Nanticoke Nuke


Staff member
I'm glad the plans for a nuke plant at Nanticoke were withdrawn! I don't agree with provincial government plans to invest more in the nuke plants we have. It's not perfect, but how about burning our abundant natural gas for power until we can develop a greener, safer, power supply.
The amount of Natureal gas required is over whelming in the winter months and since the home owners, appartment buildings, condos, shopping malls, business, etc. all require natural gas as a fuel source for heat it really is not a good option unless you want to py much higher gas bills.

Coal is still the best option. Naticoke/Lambton/Bath all are about 20-30 years behind stack scrubbing technology. The coal burners in Europe put out cleaner emissions than the natural gas turbine fired gen station. I know I will probably get lots of email saying I'm full of it... but this is factual.

What has happened here is the Gov syphoned off all the money that was slated for the scrubbers at the coal burners to build the windmills... and how is that working out?... looked at the hydro bills latley? Have we paid other producers to take our excess?

If Gov wants to help the industry then legislate that OPG/Any burner has to commit to clean stacks period.

just my 2 cents worth.
Considering what has happened in Japan I doubt we'll be getting a new nuclear facility in this neck of the woods any time soon. That being said JustForUs has made some valid points. Natural Gas has a very low heating value as anyone who has converted their BBQ will tell you. We cannot afford the prices we are paying for electricity generated by solar pannels or wind power. At 6.4 cents per kWh(last hydro bill)I used over $60 of electricity (over $100 including all the other charges). We are compensating some solar panel producers more than 10 times that amount. Modern technology can make coal almost as clean as natural gas. Both unfortunately generate CO2 but coal is cheap, very abundant and produces lots of BTU's. The real choices are not as easy as our Government pretends when they talk about a better future by shutting down coal plants.
Littleperch. The worst that can happen with a coal burner if the boiler looses feedwater is the tubes melt. Then there could be an explosion. The plant goes up in smoke... water puts out the flames, clean the debris up and rebuild. Yes a catastrophic disaster but the land is still usable, the building can be rebuild, the lines, turbines, valves, wires all can be either melted down and rebuild or refurbished on site. Nukes… All of the infrastructure is now radioactive and non of the steel can be used, non of the buildings, ground, copper feed wires. No body in the world will take the scrap that has been caused by the explosion… Nobody. No steel mill will touch the scrap now for fear and reality that the scrap will "infect" the blast furnace, subsequent mills, people etc. etc. It will sit in some bone yard encased in concrete for 132 years ( that is how long it takes for the ½ life of uranium 132 to deplete ½ of the radioactivity)

25 years later Chernoble is STILL to this day a hot zone and nobody or nothing is grown for 30 miles around the plant. Hopefully they still monitor for radiation levels but who knows if they got the monitors in the right spot to get all the leaks.

I have always promoted that we as a society should deal with the here and now. Not pass the problem to a generation 132 years away so they can finally get rid of the radioactive material.

Coal is not perfect.... but if allowed to spend the money it is far safer, cheaper, easier to create power with.
The nuclear electricity plants in Japan are "boiling water" reactors, where the enriched uranium bundles are cooled by water (which boils to produce high pressure steam that drives the turbines), and the nuclear reaction is controlled by special rods that are inserted into the fuel stack to control or shut down the reaction when the reactors are shut down.

Unfortunately, if the "moderator" rods are not fully inserted, the nuclear reaction can continue, and regardless of that, the enriched uranium has high residual heat, and a "flywheel" effect after shut down that requires continued need for cooling water.

In the Japan incident, the nuclear reactors were shut down when the earthquake occurred, and the plants survived the earthquake in good shape, but the rush of water from the tsunami took out the external power supply to the generators that supplied electricity to the cooling pumps. (Pumps are normally run by electricity generated by the reactor, but with the reactors down, outside power was brought on line.)

Battery power was the final backup, but these soon ran down and could not be recharged. Thus the cooling was still an issue, resulting in the problems.

In Canada, the CANDU reactors are run using natural uranium, at a much lower concentration than enriched uranium. In addition, CANDU reactors are "moderated" (read: made to operate) with the use of heavy water (produced at Tiverton, ON). The heavy water slows down the neutrons to a speed that allows the nuclear reaction to proceed. That heavy water then goes through heat exchangers that transfer the heat to natural water, that produces steam to generate electricity.

If, in the CANDU case, the heavy water is drained from the reactor, the reaction simply quits (ie: the reactor ceases to run). While there is a slight flywheel effect, the remaining fuel is easy to cool down as it runs at a much lower temperature than the Japanese "boiling water reactors".

In summary, the Japanese reactors use a much higher concentrated uranium (and Plutonium in some cases), surrounded by very little water, while CANDU reactors use far less reactive uranium (ie: producing lower temperatures) surrounded by much more water.

Again - when coolant is lost (heavy water) in a CANDU system, the unit simply quits producing heat. In addition, CANDU reactors have a large "dousing tank" that can dump water (ie: not pump) huge amounts of water on the reactor vessel to cool it in an emergency. The Japanese units, i believe, don't have that feature,

The fact is, in a crisis situation such as occurred in Japan, a CANDU reactor is a far safer option than the BWR (boiling water reactor) that is used in many parts of the world.

We just don't have the same risks associated with the Canadian (CANDU) systems.

Hope this helps to clarify the confusing questions for those who aren't aware of the technical differences.

Big Wally
Big Wally.. I agree the CANDU reactor is much safer, But please tell me that there has been no leaks from the Bruce, Darlington, Chauk river. Sorry your wrong. there has been leaks. Until they can prove that there is no need for these swimming pools of spent rods that have to be maintained for a life time... the Radiactivity of the nukes are still very much an issue.

If Darligton/Bruce blows up the containment housing via a 8.9 earthquake - please do not tell me we do not get them just remember last year when Ottawa got a 5.9 - then where does the radioactive material go? down wind you you/me... we're all dead.

Same earthquake happens and the caol burn blows up... ensuing fire, explosion, we all live.

Simple to me... Coal burner blows up I live... Nuke blows up... I die.
Big Wally, I rarely ever post here, but I just wanted to say it's nice to see that some people are in fact educated about what they discuss. Since the commercialization of nuclear reactors in the developed countries only 63 people have died directly from nuclear accidents (53 from Chernobyl and many of them were "sacrificed"). To contrast this many 1000's of people die in coal related accidents (mostly mining) each year and this doesn't even consider the health effects related to coal.

JustForUs, I'm not sure how close you live to the previously purposed Nanticoke nuclear site, but if there was a plant there and it did experience a meltdown you would not die. In fact, unless you were working at the plant during the meltdown it's extremely unlikely you would even experience a level of radiation that could pose any health issue at all.

I would also like to point out that the explosion on the BP oil rig killed 11 people, who had zero chance at evacuation, and the environmental devastation from that incident is far worse than a Fukushima meltdown would be.

We should educate ourselves about modern technologies before we develop opinions about them. If we don't we will not progress.
dhaw... Just because I have an opinion that differs from yours please do not assume I am uneducated on the subject matter.

To this day Chernoble is a waste land 25 miles in all direction. You state that 63 people died directly from nukes... what about the thousands from chernoble alone that died from the resulting cancer? won't count them like you did in the 1000's of coal miners which is a little slanted.

will you stand 5 ft from japans reactor in 2 weeks time... how about 2 years time... or 25 years time like chernoble? Will I go out and boat in the gulf? yep. How about fish in the gulf... how about fishing next to the reator in japan in a months time... don't think so.

notice I also stated not a melt down but a containment breach. That means that the radiactive material is now air boarn. drifting with the wind. Full blown blow out. building not there. now stand next to it see how you do. Any coal burner no issues. Still have not dealt with the radioactive fuel rods. the fly ash can be used in after market products - cement and other building materials.

sorry still have not convinced me...
:Dnuke is the longest lasting scourge man can be involved with its forever japan isn t:( done yet no nukes here for me8all the so called [:eek:)]no it alls can preach :(an soap box it for nuke power but they are nut balls :([8)]nuke is never safe no matter who says [xx(]
I think its a mistake to judge the devastation of an accident by whether or not you can stand next to the building immediately after it occurred...just my opinion though.

I'd like very much to discuss this topic with you more (in private). Please email me if you have the time.

Note, this is not an invitation for a heated debate, I'd just like to try and understand your side of the issues a little better.
The problem with the Nanticoke coal plant is that it burns some of the highest sulphur content coal found in North America. It is just shipped across the lake from Pennsylvania. Nasty. Like someone said it needs good scrubber technologies to reduce the amount of smog we get from it. But in the end we need to have electricity made from renewable resources such as wind,solar,water and other naturally occuring energy sources. Fossil fuels are not the answer as it just stored energy produced from the sun millions of years ago and supplies are limited.It is incredible that the oil sands in Alberta use natural gas (fossil fuel) to generate steam to extract bitumen(fossil fuel), then use more fossil fuel generated electricity to complete refining to produce gasoline and other fuels.Who knows what the answer is.Good thread and very informative.


" Never mind if the horses are blind, just load the damn wagon"
A good explanation here:


Toggle forward and back with the arrows on the page for complete info.

Big Wally
There is no shortage of fossil fuels to fire up hydro plants,were led to believe there is low reserves,its all about profit.
Fact...If we were to burn all the massive oil reserves of Alberta and Venezuela at once,the oxygen used for the burn would deplete earths oxygen percentage level so and most complex life will be done.. yes nothing is safe and life is a risk but there is energy in the ground.Splitting the atom is tampering with creation and we shouldnt go there,definately the most dangerous method for making electrical power( no doubt) but..its a good thing that there is fossil fuel,wind,solar,James bay project,Niagara hydro power still going strong.
Thank God were in Canada..well i have more to say,i think i just said it.
[:eek:)]piggy remember three mile isle well its over 30 years now and as you and ur wife know its the cancer thats showing up on the north shore of lake erie / from this 3 mile isle melt down/ it was a high read and it takes its time the old nuke poison to affect the population//so no chicken little here // besides its big money to quell the fears 888[:eek:)]:(do u really think the nukers care [V][V]
I think the question should be not how to produce more "cheap" power, rather how do we use less? Seems to make the most sense to me?

I remember bringing this subject up a few years ago.
Back then nobody really cared much.
They didn't care about storing the used materials on site.
Amazing how it only takes another nuclear mishap since
Chernoble to refresh everyones minds.
I didn't realize the Nanticoke nuke plans were withdrawn but
am glad to hear of the news.

Ontario Fault Lines
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