Mini-nuclear power plants at least 10 years out: Canadian Nuclear Association
Could tiny nuclear power plants be the answer to cleaner power for diesel-reliant, remote communities and mine sites? Economics, geography and regulatory complexity makes such proliferation of small modular reactors very unlikely says the Canadian Nuclear Association.
According to association president John Stewart, 10 years is the soonest any such nuclear power device could be deployed anywhere in Canada, and that expanding nuclear power usage would likely happen first where the primary power source remains coal.
“You would want the new generators to go in exactly where those coal plants are,” he said, necessitating scaled down versions of the 900 megawatt CANDU reactors at Darlington, Ontario, rather than micro reactors, some as small as one-megawatt currently under development.
“If you owned (coal-fired) plants like New Brunswick or Saskatchewan does, what you really don’t want to do is complicate the project by having to change the transmission structure.”
But Conservative MP David Yurdiga thinks mini-reactors, or small modular reactors (SMRs) could provide reliable and clean power to scores of small communities outside of a provincial or territorial grids’ reach – coal-fired or hydro electricity.
“Black carbon, particulate matter from burning diesel, is becoming a problem as it can settle out onto the ice fields and the snow and it’s actually causing a melting effect,” said the Fort McMurray–Cold Lake MP.
“There will always be a need for diesel, but you can minimize it and this modular reactor technology becomes attractive to develop in the north when the alternative is transporting diesel in perpetuity.”
Small reactors have been around for a while; about a half-dozen Canadian SLOWPOKE (safe low power critical experiment) reactors are used for research by the places like University of Alberta and McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.
Built in the 1970s by Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, these are roughly the size of a cinder block and powerful enough to heat a bathtub of water – AECL tried to build more powerful versions in the 1980s, but these got little traction because natural gas was cheap.
While military submariner applications have been around for decades, and the Russians recently unveiled a floating reactor to power the Siberian town of Pevek, mini-reactors for commercial electricity have not been tried in Canada.
But Canadian firm Dunedin Energy is currently developing self-contained SMR configurations that its president Peter Lang said are suited for smaller, long-term demands of a mine or small community beholden to diesel electricity.
It’s possible to build really small mini-reactors one megawatt or less, according to Lang but there is an economic sweet-spot.
“Technically, it’s not terribly difficult to build a one megawatt reactor, but that will only generate so much of a revenue stream – you’ve got to staff it, then decommission it after 20 or 30 years,” said Lang. “Whereas a 10 megawatt design is only incrementally more expensive but offers ten times the revenue stream.”
Mines like the Diavik Diamond Mine at Lac de Gras, in Northwest Territories requires more power in a year than all of Nunavut demands and more than 50 million litres of diesel fuel to generate.
“So a 10 megawatt reactor would fit nicely into a place like Iqaluit (population 7740), economically and in terms of base load,” said Lang.
But according to the CNA’s Stewart, bringing modular reactors into the commercial realm would favour public utilities or large-scale mining ventures that “can leverage the necessary capital”.
“And we don’t really know how the regulatory model for SMRs will work because it hasn’t been fully shaped yet,” Stewart said.
“A demonstration effect would be valuable and you might have it at a northern mine site where you could bring people and show them that works and it’s clean,” he said. “And they wouldn’t see that blanket of particle emissions from the diesel.”
Twenty percent of Canadians do not expect to escape debt in their lifetime, according to Global News. Based on a study by The Manulife Bank of Canada, Canadians believe that household debt has increased too much.
More worryingly, however, 67 percent of those in debt believe that the rest of the country is in serious debt, too. This study has also revealed that Canadians are terrible at spending: 45 percent of Canadians say that their spending is increasing faster than their income, which is an increase from 33 percent who said this in the spring.
The study also reported that more than 50 percent of Canadians carry considerable non-mortgage debt, and 60% are in credit card debt. As a result of all this, many Canadians may be in debt for some time.
This study was carried out after the financial firm, Equifax, became concerned with the debt of ordinary Canadians. Since 2014, Canadian debt has surged from $57,000 to $71,979.
Over recent decades, Canadian have become increasingly financially insecure. This sentiment has transitioned into a cynicism for our financial system. Most zoomers (generation z) believe that they will never get onto the property ladder or become debt-free.
In the summer of this year, a study showed that half of the Canadian population was only $200 away from financial disaster.
The Canadian Football League (CFL) is the greatest example of Canadian national pride and the symbolism of Canadiana within a sports setting. Canada has always been a country where diversity is not only accepted but considered a source of strength.
In the mid 20th century, CFL was a place where diversity was accepted, in particular as a playing ground for African-Americans to play football in an environment free of discrimination. The Toronto Argonauts currently operate a platform for anti-bullying efforts and ensuring that youth know that the CFL is a platform for strong Canadian values.
Every fall, the Grey Cup is hosted in a different city each year in Canada and is known outside of the country as our version of the “Super Bowl” as represented in the media. The showcasing of the Grey Cup to a worldwide audience has the ability to represent Canadian patriotism, an idea that we as Canadians hold deeply.
We see true Canadiana every year at the Grey Cup with the Mounties in full uniform. No other sports league invites Canada’s treasured police force to present their trophy. Every time the trophy is handed off, every Canadian should be in awe of how unique and how special our country is.
At the Grey Cup this year, support for Canada’s vital oil and gas industry was on display by Alberta Premier Jason Kenney. Statements such as these are not seen anywhere else, but on the only stage where true Canadian spirit is showcased.
The acceptance of all athletes and personnel, regardless of race or creed, in the world of sports goes beyond the need for players or a full roster card. It speaks to the fact that Canada is a diverse nation and will always be accepting of any individual without regard to their nationality or ethnicity.
Football is seen as a symbol of homegrown Canadian professional sports with multiple meanings beyond the sport. Canadian universities outnumber American universities in regards to draft numbers and have special Canadian-only selections. There is always a particular emphasis on Canadian talent on every squad.
There are also basic differences between the CFL and the NFL, such as in scoring, ball size, field size. To many, the CFL style of football is like watching an entirely different version of football compared to watching the more hyped NFL-style football.
The CFL is largely seen as a league of diversity, of common values and goals, and a particular Canadian national pride. Those characteristics define in part what being a Canadian stands for.
There is no other major sports league in Canada that is solely Canadian and prides itself on being so. The league may not receive the highest of ratings, but it is the one league we know that is ours and ours alone.
Just watch a game for yourself to feel the heritage while watching. It is a feeling you cannot experience when watching any other sports league. It is the only league that has the word “Canadian” in it.
The past history of the CFL has definitely shaped the way we see its current formation.
The big-name ownership of the Argos (including Wayne Gretzky and John Candy) certainly catapulted the CFL into the much-needed spotlight by the early 1990s. Then a failed experiment in the mid-1990s led to expansion in multiple areas of the United States for a three-year duration; seven teams came and went.
It was this defining moment, where the league realized that they were not an international brand, but that they were Canada’s league, and needed to ensure the country gets behind the league to truly make it something special. It should be known that the commissioner of the league from 1996 to 2000 was John Tory, Toronto’s current mayor. Tory played a big part in saving the league entirely.
There is no doubt that the CFL will continue to display signs of strong Canadian values and culture, showcasing the uniqueness of Canada, and represents a one-of-a-kind point of view of how Canadians view professional sports, being Canada’s sole nationwide major professional sports league.
The CFL defines and moves us Canadians. No other sports league can do this in the ever-changing climate of professional sports.
Bill Peters has resigned as the head coach of the NHL’s Calgary Flames after former player, Akim Aliu, accused him on racism on social media, according to Sportsnet.
The Calgary Flames’s general manager, Brad Treliving, made these comments during a press conference. During this, he also stated that Geoff Ward would take over as the interim coach.
Aliu accused Peters on Twitter of directing a racial slur towards the player “several times” when they were both in the AHL. Peters was Aliu’s coach during his time at the Rockford IceHogs.
After Aliu’s tweets, Peter’s released an apology, although he did not direct it specifically to Aliu.
Tonight, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers ended a 29-year championship drought by defeating the Hamilton Tiger-Cats 33 to 12 in the 107th Grey Cup.
Led by a stifling defence, the dynamic quarterback duo of Zach Collaros and Chris Streveler, and hometown hero running back Andrew Harris, the Bombers were able to stave off the Hamilton Tiger-Cats who were favoured to win the game.
The Grey Cup was played in Calgary, Alberta in front of 35,439
at McMahon Stadium.
The last time the Winnipeg Blue Bombers won the Grey Cup was in 1990 when they defeated the Edmonton Eskimos by a score of 50–11.