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Green Bitumen? Nuclear reactors in the tar sands.
The Canadian energy industry grasps at straws to get the most out of three terrible, polluting, hazardous forms of energy production. The Tar Sands oil extraction is an awful idea and nothing is going to make it better, especially not going from bad to worse by adding nuclear reactors into the mix.
There is no such thing as environmentally sustainable "green bitumen." It is a fantasy of the industry to promote small modular reactors which, in addition to poisoning the environment, create the opportunity for major proliferation danger.
"It's a sad commentary on our society when government institutions meant to protect and inform us become puppets of the industries that harm us. Their obstruction of the truth compromised the best interests of Albertans for the benefit of an industry that has created massive debt and contamination for Canadians for the past forty years." Peace River anti-nuclear activist Pat McNamara.
"Nuclear energy is not clean or green – it uses up huge amounts of fresh water, routinely spews out numerous pollutants and carcinogens into the air and water, and leaves behind a legacy of highly toxic, long-lived wastes." David Geary, anti-nuclear activist in Saskatchewan.
SASKATOON—What do you get when you cross a nuclear reactor with a hydraulic shovel-full of tar sands? The answer, according to the Canadian Energy Research Institute, is "Green Bitumen."
The brainchild of the nuclear industry, this novel concept of deploying small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs) to replace natural gas is being sold as a solution to the tar sands' reputation for producing the largest carbon footprint on the planet. Nuclear is being touted as an environmentally friendly, "clean" energy source for the extraction process. But in order to make that claim, one must overlook the substantial carbon emissions in the nuclear "fuel cycle," from mining to ultimate disposal; the risks of weapons proliferation; the toxic radioactive footprint; and the legacy of highly radioactive waste left behind for many generations to come...
...Irrespective of the economics, environmental journalist Andrew Nikiforuk told The Dominion that using nuclear power to produce bitumen is an absurd plan. "It's an insult to basic energetics and thermodynamics."