Tuesday, April 01, 2008

SPP and nukes in the tarsands : "a marriage made in heaven"

In 1957 the US Atomic Energy Commission was looking for peaceful uses for nuclear bombs. They began to explore the possibilities of using them in engineering projects and in '58 Project Ploughshares was announced to the world by Edward Teller, father of the hydrogen bomb. According to historian Dr. Michael Payne, "the cabinet of Alberta Premier Ernest Manning seriously considered allowing the underground detonation of a 9 kilotonne atomic bomb at Cheechum Crossing in northern Alberta in an experiment to determine if nuclear power might help remove oil from the oilsands."

They don't give up easy, do they?

On Friday the Alberta and US governments signed an agreement to jointly research the use of atomic power for oilsands development. The Alberta Research Council and the U.S. Energy Department’s main nuclear laboratory, Idaho National Laboratory, announced they will collaborate on "the potential application of current and future nuclear energy technology".

But what I found illuminating was how differently the "partners" chose to announce it :

Mel Knight, Alberta’s Minister of Energy :
"Meeting our province’s electricity demands both now and in the future begins with reliable and clear information on all of the available energy options,” said Mel Knight, Alberta’s minister of energy. “We welcome collaborations such as the one announced between the Alberta Research Council and Idaho National Laboratories to provide the solid analysis and research on the options available to address Alberta’s unique needs."

So this is for Alberta's electricity demands, Alberta's "unique needs" then?
According to INL - not so much...

INL : "This is a marriage made in heaven," said Idaho laboratory associate director Bill Rogers.
Although no budget for the collaboration was announced, he said potentially all his operation’s 3,800 scientists can be drafted into the Alberta project. “The U.S. is dependent on Alberta for energy security,” Rogers said, pointing to the province’s "essential" role as the biggest source of increasing American oil and natural gas imports."

Not that we haven't had, you know, inklings :
Bruce Power buys assets of Energy Alberta Corp. in bid to build nuclear plant

Alberta doesn't yet have a written nuclear policy, according to Premier Stelmach .
I'm betting the US Energy Department can help them with that.

1 comment:

West End Bob said...

Great catch, Alison!

It's revelations like this that really piss me off when people "pooh - pooh" the idea that Deep Integration is not so bad.

What are they thinking?


I know.

They're not.

Thinking, that is . . . .

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