Toronto’s Rogers Centre, home of the Blue Jays, is a domed stadium with a retractable roof. It is a beautiful place to visit and watch a ball game. When the roof is closed, it has an internal volume of 1.6 million cubic meters. How big is that? Why, big enough to hold 2,877 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), the principal man-made greenhouse gas pollutant.And how much is that? Well, on a hot day in July, about one hour’s worth of Ontario gas plant pollution.
You may recall my post “Ontario’s world-beating climate change express train is about to careen off the rails,” in which I commented on Ontario’s grid electrical output of July 18 2013, an extremely hot day. On eleven individual hours of that day, the provincial gas plants dumped enough CO2 to fill up the Rogers Centre at least once. Over the course of that single day, Ontario’s gas plants dumped 21 Rogers Centres’ worth of CO2 into our air.
During the month of October 2013, the same plants, producing of course at a much lower rate than in July, dumped just over 530,000 metric tonnes of CO2 into our atmosphere. That is enough CO2 to fill up Rogers Centre 184 times.
Next time someone tells you natural gas is clean, ask them if that’s so then why did it generate enough waste to fill up Rogers Centre, a 46,100-seat baseball stadium, with CO2 21 times over on July 18.
And here is a bonus fact. You may recall that Germany’s CO2 waste from combustible-fueled power generators was 325 million tons in 2011. Well, those 325 million tonnes of German power plant CO2 could have filled up the Rogers Centre more than 112,900 times.
That was one year’s worth of Germany power plant CO2.
By contrast, all the nuclear plants in Canada have generated enough waste to fill six NHL hockey rinks up to the height of the boards. Well, a typical NHL hockey rink is 200 feet by 85 feet (according to the NHL). That works out to 17,000 square feet (actually less—you have to allow for the curved edges at either end; I won’t bother with the calculus). According to Rogers, the Rogers Centre has 143,000 square feet of exhibit space at field level. That’s more than eight NHL hockey rinks.
Pile half a century’s worth of used nuclear fuel bundles from all of Canada’s reactors up to the level of a typical NHL hockey rink’s boards, i.e., up to about low chest height, and you would cover Rogers Centre at field level… once.
Ontario’s gas plants were dumping one whole Rogers Centre’s worth, which is far far higher than chest height, of gaseous waste in a single hour last July.