Gary May 4th, 2009
I say “Yes” to nuclear power plants in the absence of the possibility of hydroelectric power plants and/or regulation of industrial and commercial energy usage.
Nuclear fission provides reliable base-load energy and dependable capacity like coal combustion, but in contrast has very low CO2 emissions (including transportation-generated emissions), and no other emissions.
The natural radioactivity in coal is ten times higher than that from living next to a nuclear power plant for the same period of time. I do not believe in “standards” of any kind, and acceptable levels of radiation from nuclear power plants might be too liberal, however it is no worse than coal unless the affected radius is greater or containment is inadequate. Nonetheless I would not even want to live next to overhead power lines, let alone any kind of power plant.
The province should consider proposals on a case-by-case basis, considering the track record of the investor. Nuclear plants are a whole different ball game, so diligence of the investor and its commitment beyond regulatory requirements to plant safety, containment of radiation and safe on-site waste storage are paramount.
The Alberta Nuclear Consultation workbook and survey [PDF] has been my source of information and the basis of my decision.