Okay, so I’m no Tennessee Ernie Ford. But that doesn’t mean I can’t lament the sheer non-recognition of Ontario’s CANDU nuclear fleet for outstanding services rendered over the past four decades to me, my fellow Ontarians, and the planet. Sticking only to the most recent decade, while the world has argued endlessly over what to do about anthropogenic climate change, Ontario’s CANDUs have quietly chopped the better part of 23 million tons of planet-warming carbon dioxide (CO2) out of the provincial inventory.
(Alert readers will notice I have already dropped my original claim of 26 tons—that’s what happens when you base today’s projections on last month’s data).
I base this on Environment Canada’s National Inventory figures (linked here—see Table A13-7—and I’ll embed a table soon), which says that Ontario’s electricity GHG emissions were 39.6 million tons in 2003. Why 2003 as the reference year? I’m just trying to put this into political terms. The McGuinty Liberals were first elected in 2003, on a platform that called for closure of the provincial coal-fired power plants.
The second part of my comparison is my own estimate of the CO2 emissions from Ontario power plants so far in 2011, which is roughly 16 million tons:
As far as I know, I’m the only person who has pointed this out. Which is strange, because the data on which I make the 23 million ton reduction claim is available to anybody with an internet connection.
The upshot is that Ontario as a jurisdiction is achieving pretty amazing CO2 reductions, and these reductions are due in most part to the nuclear generating fleet. I believe it is because of nuclear’s central role in this reduction that nobody knows about it. The provincial government wants to pretend that wind and solar did the job (they plainly did not), and the constituencies the government wants to please are theologically anti-nuclear.
Nuclear delivered most of those 23 million tons, more cheaply and effectively than the other emission-free sources. And what does it get? No credit.
Meanwhile we’re deeper in debt paying for the expensive unreliable sources.
I’ll elaborate in upcoming days.