Greens Alone in Opposing Nuclear Expansion in Saskatchewan


Society can be a strange thing; it is a reflection of our combined moral codes, lifestyles and the strength (or not) of our desires to initiate change. Our current provincial government has just given notice to the public that they are in the process of increasing our involvement in the nuclear industry - more mines, a uranium refinery, nuclear waste storage. In the short run or in a perfect world, this would make sound economic sense. In this world, I believe it will lead to any number of disaster scenarios that will not be economically beneficial. We have all lived under the shadow of the nuclear genie for the past 60 years. We have had our environment contaminated by nuclear bombs and tests, disasters like Chernobyl, and releases from mine accidents and improper handling of wastes. There are currently 40 countries that have highly enriched nuclear material; many of whom are not particularly on friendly terms with their neighbours. Further proliferation can only increase the risks.
If you think humans are ever going to live in a peaceful world, observe two innocent young children fighting over a toy. We have moved from world powers jockeying for dominance to terrorists who really don’t care if they use nuclear devices or dirty bombs. We already produce one third of the world’s uranium. As we increase our importance to the nuclear industry we will not only make ourselves more complicit in making this world a more dangerous place but we also make ourselves more of a target. The radioactive tailings from the mines, the shipments of uranium as they pass near our communities, refineries themselves and shipments of nuclear waste will all be potential targets. If any of these are ever hit, I suspect it will result in immediate public pressure to shut this industry down.

We do not have an obligation to deal with the waste of others who don’t want to deal with it. The steady and sure path for us and the world is simple and clean technologies like wind, solar, energy efficiency and conservation. They will provide plenty of good decentralized employment worldwide and there is no way that a complicated and dangerous technology like nuclear can compete with them.

There is no doubt that moving away from nuclear is the way to go. The only political party that consistently supports this view is the Green Party. Send a message to the provincial NDP that they must reverse their decision. The dangers inherent with nuclear energy are never going away. Give our children a better future. It is the ethical thing to do.

Steve Lawrence

Prince Albert