Response to “Nuclear Power Not the Clean Energy Answer”

September 10, 2013

Editorial by Cowichan Valley Citizen
September 4, 2013

September 10, 2013

Cowichan Valley Citizen
69 Whistler St
Duncan, British Columbia
V9L 4X5

Dear Editor,

Your recent editorial (“Nuclear power not the clean energy answer,” Sept. 4) includes several factual errors.

In fact, Canada has an exemplary nuclear track record with over 45 years of occupational and public health and safety, and is a leader in the industry worldwide.

Regarding Fukushima, it is incorrect to suggest that the Dai-ichi reactors were damaged by the earthquake of March 11, 2011. In fact, automatic safety systems performed as designed and shut down the reactors.

Instead, the accident resulted from the tsunami that drowned emergency generators and disabled the reactors’ cooling systems. Three reactors overheated, causing meltdowns, explosions and radiation release.

As you suggest, it was clearly essential that Canada evaluate its nuclear safety following the tsunami. This we did. Canada’s nuclear companies launched a thorough assessment of our own systems and operations to confirm their safety. This included looking at back-up power systems and the ability of nuclear facilities to withstand natural disasters that could happen here.

On October 2011, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) released the Fukushima Task Force Report. It concluded that all Canadian nuclear power plants are safe, with facilities designed to withstand conditions similar to those that triggered the Fukushima failures.
On March 5, 2012, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) released the results of its November 2011 assessment of Canada’s nuclear regulatory framework. It concluded that the CNSC’s response to the events at Fukushima Daiichi was prompt, robust and comprehensive, and is a good practice that should be used by other regulatory bodies.

The bottom line, which your readers should see, is that Canada has led the way in demonstrating that nuclear energy can be harnessed safely.

Yours sincerely,

Heather Kleb

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