Elaine Hughes' Letters

Postby Oscar » Sat Jul 19, 2008 6:36 pm

Published in the Parkland Review on July 18, 2008

Down and Dirty in Hudson Bay!

Back in May, while the rest of us were still reeling from the prospect of having Bruce Power and their friends at Cameco build us a ‘clean and safe’ nuclear power plant on the shore of Lake Diefenbaker, three mining companies very quietly received permits to explore for coal on more than a million acres of beautiful parkland in northeastern Saskatchewan.

Coal mining? In a time when opportunities abound for the intelligent development of truly clean and sustainable energy sources, the prospect of digging up more of the dirtiest fossil fuel on the planet is making headlines – in a time when most people associate coal with the bygone Industrial Age?

One company alone, the North American Gem Inc., has a permit to explore over 950,000 acres lying some 50 kilometers north of Hudson Bay, and includes Wapawekka Lake as well as the Narrow Hills and Pasquai Hills region… a unique and fragile ecological area noted for its fishing, canoeing, tenting and bird-watching – tragically transformed into a barren and polluted moonscape!

This is economic development in 2008?

Elaine Hughes
Archerwill, SK
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No Nuke Insurance

Postby Oscar » Sat Jul 19, 2008 10:29 pm

Sent for publishing July 21, 2008

To the Editor

No Nuke Insurance

One of the most worrisome aspects of the crazed activity surrounding the nuclear power industry in Canada is the disgraceful lack of liability insurance coverage provided for the public’s injury and illness against a so-called nuclear ‘event’.

In accordance with the Canadian Nuclear Liability Act, the maximum coverage a nuclear operation can get is $75 million - available ONLY from the publicly funded Nuclear Insurance Association of Canada. Because of the extremely high risk involved, normal insurance companies won’t touch it! And, even if Bill C-5 is ever enacted to update the Act, it will only increase that coverage to $650 million per operation.

This is not very reassuring when, in the wake of the 1979 Three Mile Island accident, the federally-funded Sandia National Laboratory prepared a report which estimated that damages from a severe nuclear accident could run as high as $314 billion – or more than $560 billion in 2000 dollars. http://www.geocities.com/mothersalert/crac.html.

A 2004 update to this report states: “the economic damages within 100 miles would exceed $1.1 trillion….millions of people would require relocation.” http://www.ucsusa.org/assets/documents/ ... hStudy.pdf

For Premier Wall’s government to needlessly pursue high risk nuclear energy when unlimited opportunities exist for the development of alternative safe and sustainable energy sources can only be described as gross irresponsibility.

Let’s hope that common sense will put an end to this dangerous nonsense!

Elaine Hughes
Archerwill, SK
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Premier goes one better than signing on to TILMA

Postby Oscar » Thu Sep 04, 2008 10:41 am

Premier goes one better than signing on to TILMA

http://www.canada.com/saskatoonstarphoe ... f9d46c61e6

The StarPhoenix Published: Monday, July 28, 2008

We now know why Premier Brad Wall has said he wouldn't sign Saskatchewan on to the secret Trade, Investment, Labour and Mobility Agreement signed by British Columbia and Alberta in 2007 -- so secret that neither their public nor MLAs knew anything about TILMA or understood its implications until it was too late.

All along, Wall knew he had bigger fish to fry.

Without asking Saskatchewan residents, Wall has signed on the province to the Pacific Northwest Economic Region, joining B.C., Alberta, the Yukon, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Alaska. The are all equally bent on increasing their corporate wealth and all part of NAFTA, the Security and Prosperity Partnership and the integration of the U.S., Mexico and Canada into one big North American Union family, sharing our precious resources and keeping their corporate friends happy.

Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Bill Boyd's news release says: "It is imperative that Saskatchewan build on its existing trading relationships and develop new ones in order to sustain and strengthen the province's current economic momentum ... Joining PNWER provides an opportunity to work alongside northwestern states and provinces to identify and manage challenges to present and future growth opportunities."

So, we keep the good times rolling!

Will we now see how the government plans to share Saskatchewan's nuclear power, for example, with those provinces and states (and others), or is it our water they'll get? Or both?

Our great grandchildren will curse us for what we did.

Elaine Hughes
Archerwill

© The StarPhoenix (Saskatoon) 2008
Last edited by Oscar on Wed Sep 17, 2008 10:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Reasons behind deaths now clear

Postby Oscar » Thu Sep 04, 2008 11:09 am

http://www.canada.com/reginaleaderpost/ ... d003ccfb48

Reasons behind deaths now clear

The Leader-Post Published: Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Saskatchewan Ministry of Health has now reported that the province's single confirmed case of listeriosis, an elderly woman living in a long-term care facility, has died.

This brings the total number of deaths (at the time the letter was written) from this outrageous and preventable incident to 12; six confirmed as listeriosis being the direct cause and six listed with listeriosis being a contributing or underlying factor, with no end in sight.

On Aug. 22, the president of the CFIA inspectors union told the Globe & Mail that "... the agency is so short-staffed that food inspections and follow-up audits simply aren't taking place."

This gives a truly dismal picture: whistle-blowers being fired, no funding for government inspectors, self-regulating industries, contaminated food on our grocery shelves, months before we know how many more will die ...

Thanks to the Harper government's obsession with privatization and deregulation, on one hand, and $490 billion over the next 20 years to beef up our military on the other, it doesn't take a genius to see that we can't have it all.

Did somebody mention an election?

Elaine Hughes,
Archerwill
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Postby Oscar » Tue Oct 14, 2008 4:01 pm

Sent for publishing to Calgary Herald on October 14, 2008

To the Editor

Ostriches know no boundaries!

Re: Nuclear energy has many pitfalls – Calgary Herald, October 08, 2008

It’s difficult to believe that Albertans can put faith in any decisions their government might make when, being so bent on keeping their nuclear buddies happy, they are afraid to meet Dr. Helen Caldicott, an obvious expert on nuclear energy.

Why not meet with her and gain as much information as possible, even if it wouldn’t be what Energy Minister Knight or Bruce Power wants to hear? Don’t Alberta residents deserve the best decision possible?

Why?

Because, if he doesn’t, twenty or thirty years hence, Minister Knight can plead innocence to his great grandchildren that he really didn’t know how dangerous nuclear power plants are, or that they will have to spend their lives paying for these archaic aberrations for thousands of years to come.

Not to worry, folks – we have the same breed of ostriches in Saskatchewan!

Elaine Hughes
Archerwill, SK
======================================

Nuclear energy has many pitfalls

http://www.canada.com/calgaryherald/new ... f4bdcd5f2a

Calgary Herald - Published: Wednesday, October 08, 2008

The idea of building a nuclear power plant has started to take root in Alberta in the last couple of years. However, some issues need to be looked at in great depth before any more steps are taken down this road.

If the costs aren't astronomical enough to make Albertans think twice about nuclear power, perhaps the health safety concerns that preoccupy Dr. Helen Caldicott might prove a major source of consternation.

The Nobel Prize nominee was in Calgary this week to raise awareness about the medical issues around nuclear, specifically the untold genetic damage that can take generations to unfold. Unfortunately, the renowned physician was refused a meeting with the government-appointed expert panel preparing an "unbiased" examination for the province, but was to have an audience today with Energy Minister Mel Knight.

It's important people such as Caldicott are heard. If the Alberta government is to develop a safe and responsible policy for nuclear energy, all sides of this contentious issue must be fully debated.

Let's start with the costs. Nuclear is the only energy technology that has the double whammy of high up-front and back-end capital costs. That price tag is a big unknown as industry and governments struggle to figure out how to decommission a plant, and deal with its highly radioactive waste over the very long term.

Alberta would be signing up to be the operator of a radioactive dump for years, as nuclear waste falls under the jurisdiction of the province, not the federal government. Before Alberta's government decides to give nuclear a go-ahead, besides holding a referendum, it needs to get a handle on all hidden costs, including security, monitoring and containment expenses of managing the waste for thousands of years -- until the material is no longer radioactive but long after the production life of the plant has ended.

Even the up-front costs are dubious. Bruce Power's estimate of $10-billion-plus to build a generating complex near Peace River seems low, setting up the potential for taxpayers to subsidize the rest.

The facility will produce up to 4,000 megawatts of power from as many as four reactors. But in the U.S., the estimated cost of just one new reactor typically falls between $8.5 billion US and $14 billion.

In an analysis earlier this year, credit rating agency Moody's Investors Service estimated it would cost $7.5 billion to build a new 1,000-megawatt plant south of the border. That would put the cost of the four reactors proposed for Peace River at $30 billion, begging the question of who will pay the rest.

If the experience of Ontario facilities is any indication, it's federal taxpayers. They've been on the hook for billions of dollars required to correct mechanical problems, maintain old reactors and cover cost overruns.

Several new reactors have been scrapped in Canada after being built, and without ever working, because of problems with the technology. Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. shelved a pair of new MAPLE reactors in Ontario after the government-backed project went millions over budget and years behind schedule. "This is a good business decision," Natural Resources Minister Gary Lunn told the House of Commons earlier this year. "This is the right decision for the Canadian taxpayers." This after more than $300 million was wasted and now it's going to cost $10 million just to close it down safely.

Does Alberta want to find itself in need of cutting its losses after hundreds of millions of dollars have been poured into building a reactor that won't work? The question of real costs must be determined first, before the province moves in this direction.

Then there are the medical dangers which Caldicott says are life and death. "You don't make money by doing things that will kill people," she said during a visit to the Herald editorial board.

Panel chair Harvie Andre says Caldicott is a biased advocate. The panel unanimously agreed it won't "entertain requests from proponents or opponents of nuclear power."

In its researching of the report that will form the backbone of the province's policy on nuclear, the board has "made a decision not to meet with anybody," Andre told a member of the Herald editorial board Monday.

That's too bad because Caldicott is passionate and knowledgeable about the subject, with 35 years of experience studying the medical hazards associated with nuclear energy. She's a physician who understands things like new mutations of recessive genes -- such as those caused by nuclear waste. Because they're recessive, they take up to 20 generations to reveal themselves, she says.

The issue of going nuclear raises important questions that don't have clear answers. If the public interest is to be protected, medical concerns must be part of the debate, along with hidden costs that so often aren't properly calculated. Most importantly, the facts must be made available to all Albertans to consider before any decision is made.

© The Calgary Herald 2008
Oscar
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Where is the Precautionary Principle in the nuclear issue?

Postby Oscar » Thu Jul 02, 2009 9:18 am

Where is the Precautionary Principle in the nuclear issue?

Sent for publishing on June 6, 2009

To the Editor of Saskatoon Star Phoenix

Harper's government is in the process of weakening Canadian environmental laws, moving quickly to eliminate laws requiring environmental assessments of developments such as dams, pipelines, tar sands mines and nuclear reactors that need some federal approval.

Therefore, it should come as no surprise that Brad Wall's government would be doing likewise - changing the environmental laws to keep their industry pals happy; now they can 'regulate themselves' and get to the tarsands, uranium, nuclear energy money quicker - with not a sniff of precaution in protecting us or our life-giving environment.

Where is the Precautionary Principle (if there's a risk of harm, don't do it) in all of this?

Why, lost in the money - of course!

Elaine Hughes
Archerwill, SK
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Saskatchewan - the Saudi Arabia of uranium for the world?

Postby Oscar » Thu Jul 02, 2009 9:28 am

Saskatchewan - the Saudi Arabia of uranium for the world?

February 26, 2009

Dear Editor

So says Premier Wall as, with his hand out, he takes his nuclear agenda to Conservative friends in Ottawa. (Saskatchewan keen to partner with AECL, G&M, Feb. 26.09)

Not too long ago, I heard the tarsands at Fort McMurray described as …’the Saudi Arabia of oil for the world’. . . and we all know what an unspeakable national disgrace that nightmare has become . . . a wasteland, complete with sick and dying rivers, fish, and people!

Predictably, Wall is now seeking federal help – Canadian taxpayers’ money – as he continues his ridiculous pursuit to have Bruce Power build its CANDU nuclear power plant somewhere on the banks of the beautiful North Saskatchewan River.

The stench of uranium money will not prevent contamination of soil, water, air, fish, animals, people – for millions of years – across two provinces into the Hudson Bay and on into the Atlantic Ocean.

Another ‘saudi arabia’?

No . . . this is another deadly legacy driven by greed and lust for power which can only be described as madness!


Elaine Hughes
Archerwill, Saskatchewan
(306) 323-4938
Oscar
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Insurance available for ’nuclear incident’?

Postby Oscar » Thu Jul 02, 2009 10:26 am

Insurance available for ’nuclear incident’?

Sent for publishing on July 02, 2009

To the Editor of Regina Leader-Post

With all the activity surrounding the uranium/nuclear issue in the province these days, Saskatchewan residents might want to check their homeowner insurance guides to learn how much coverage we get in the event of what the industry and government call a ‘nuclear incident’.

Hint: Look in the section entitled “Exemptions”!

Elaine Hughes
Archerwill, SK
Oscar
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Posts: 8272
Joined: Wed May 03, 2006 3:23 pm

Wall’s end-run on consultation process

Postby Oscar » Mon Aug 24, 2009 9:04 am

Published in the Meridian Booster (Lloydminster) on August 17, 2009

To the Editor

Wall’s end-run on consultation process

It was interesting to watch Premier Wall by-pass the so-called ‘public consultations’ process on the uranium issue last week and announce his proposal to Harper’s government to produce medical isotopes at the University of Saskatchewan using a nuclear reactor.

Not to mention the fact that Dan Perrins, the Chair of those consultations, has until the end of August to make his recommendations on how the Sask Party should proceed in its frenzied quest of a value-added uranium industry for the province.

It’s also interesting to note that Manitoba has taken its nose out of the government subsidy feedbag long enough to come up with plans to produce those same medical isotopes with an electron accelerator – without the use of a nuclear reactor.

Sad to say, looks like those folks who said that the UDP public consultations were a sham – were right!

Elaine Hughes
Archerwill, SK
Oscar
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Insurance available for ’nuclear incident’?

Postby Oscar » Mon Nov 23, 2009 11:05 am

Insurance available for 'nuclear incident'?

From: Elaine Hughes
To: Editor Star Phoenix
Date: November 23, 2009

To the Editor

Insurance available for ’nuclear incident’?

With all the activity surrounding the uranium/nuclear issue in the province these days, Saskatchewan residents might want to check their homeowner insurance guides to learn how much coverage we get in the event of what the industry and government call a ‘nuclear incident’.

Hint: Look in the section entitled “Exemptions”!

Elaine Hughes
Archerwill, SK
Oscar
Site Admin
 
Posts: 8272
Joined: Wed May 03, 2006 3:23 pm

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