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Preventing another Chernobyl

This Magazine Staff

The 20th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster (yesterday) is a chilling reminder of the havoc nuclear power plants can cause with just one accident. While the nuclear industry protects its interests by downplaying the impacts of Chernobyl, Greenpeace is fighting to make sure no such disaster occurs in Canada.

Pickering is home to a major nuclear reactor, and is just 30 km from downtown Toronto—the closest a nuclear plant can be found near a major city. After the Chernobyl meltdown, a 30 km zone around the station had to be permanently vacated.

Although there is disagreement over Greenpeace’s claim that the CANDU reactor at Pickering is potentially as dangerous as the Soviet RBMK reactors at Chernobyl because they share a “positive void coefficient” in their design, there are plenty of reasons to oppose nuclear energy. Proper disposal of nuclear waste is a very real problem, and the economic costs of building, running and decommissioning power stations pull valuable public resources away from truly sustainable, green power solutions such as wind and solar power.

Greenpeace is asking Ontarians to call Premier Dalton McGuinty’s Toronto office directly to demand the Pickering nuclear station is shut down. Even if you’re outside Ontario, it’s in your interests to strive for better energy solutions. The number to call is 416-325-1941.

(PHOTO: COPYRIGHT GREENPEACE/KURT PRINZ. The banner in the image reads “IAEA: Don’t Whitewash Chernobyl”)

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