A Chernobyl in Québec?
correspondence on the dangers of
Québec's only nuclear plant


  • Letter to the Board of Directors of Hydro-Québec, 2 juin 1986.

  • Letter to the President of Hydro-Québec, 28 août 1986.

  • Responses to Hydro-Québec's commentaries on Gentilly-2.

  • Notes and References.

    OF HYDRO-QUÉBEC, 2 juin 1986.

    le 2 juin 1986

    Regroupement pour le surveillance du nucléaire,
    C.P. 236, Succursale Snowdon,
    Montreal, QC, H3X 3T4

    To the Board of Directors,

    Dear Board Member:

    In the wake of the Chernobyl accident, we beg you to consider the permanent closure of the Gentilly-2 nuclear reactor.

    Québec society has nothing to gain by running this reactor, which is currently producing the most expensive electricity in the province (more than twice as much per kW-hr as electricity produced from LG-1). On the other hand, the running of this reactor exposes the Québec population to extraordinary risks of a financial, environmental and medical nature.

    Consider the following points:

    1. The disposal of high level radioactive waste (spent nuclear fuel) is financially onerous, environmentally uncertain and politically divisive. The longer Hydro-Québec continues to produce this waste, the more likely it is that Québec will have to find a nuclear waste repository in the province at some future date. There is no guarantee that Ontario will willingly accept Québec's nuclear garbage, particularly if the CANDU industry goes bankrupt within the next ten years.

    2. As recently confirmed by the Director of Licensing of the Atomic Energy Control Board, the CANDU reactor can suffer a meltdown and is not designed to contain such an accident. Similar findings were made by the Ontario Royal Commission on Electric Power Planning in 1978, and by the Ontario Legislature's Select Committee on Ontario Hydro Affairs in 1980. Moreover, the Gentilly-2 reactor does not have a separate vacuum building (to contain radioactive steam and gases in the event of an accident) such as all operating reactors in Ontario have.

    3. According to figures published by the designers of the CANDU, the probability of a pipe break in the core of a CANDU reactor is greater than 25 percent over its anticipated 30-year lifetime. Like the Soviet reactor which malfunctioned at Chernobyl, the Gentilly-2 reactor is a pressure-tube design which automatically experiences a power surge in the event of such a pipe break. If this power surge is not terminated by automatic shutdown systems within one second, serious damage to the core of the reactor will result, and large quantities of radioactive gases and vapours will be released into the containment shell. A series of hydrogen gas explosions, such as those that occurred at Chalk River during the 1952 accident, could also result. (It is considered likely that this is how the Chernobyl accident began: pipe break, power surge, explosions.)

    4. Citizens of Québec are unable to purchase insurance to protect themselves or their property in case of a nuclear accident. Every insurance policy contains a "nuclear exclusion clause" which automatically voids coverage in the event of radioactive contamination. Moreover. a special act of Parliament (the Nuclear Liability Act) limits the financial liability of the owner to $75 million, even though damage running into the billions of dollars is anticipated following such a catastrophic accident.

    5. Even non-catastrophic accidents can be financially ruinous. So far, over one-and-a-half billion dollars has been spent on the Three Mile Island cleanup, yet not one kilogram of radioactive garbage has been removed from the core of the reactor. GPU, the owners of TMI, only had $300 million in on-site insurance. which ran out years ago. How much on-site insurance does Hydro-Québec carry for Gentilly-2 ?

    6. The electricity produced by Gentilly-2 is entirely surplus to our electrical needs. In fact, there is nor a single gcod economic reason for continuing to operate this reactor. Hydro could save up to $50 million per year in operating costs by shutting it down permenantly.

    7. During operation, the Gentilly-2 reactor releases large quantities of radioactive tritium and carbon-14 into the environment, both of which have been implicated in causing genetic and developmental defects at low doses in animal studies.

    8. If Québec wishes to maintain a minimal expertise in the nuclear field, the best way to do so would be to urge Ottawa to proceed with a full decommissioning of Gentilly-1, which was recently sealed at a cost of $25 million. Since Gentilly-1 has only operated for less than 200 days. the level of radioactivity is very low compared with a larger reactor which has been operating for 10, 20 or 30 years. By decommissioning G-1 now, using federal money, Québec could gain invaluable experience in industrial robotics and radioactive demolition, which could be quite profitable, since there will be billions of dollars worth of decommissioning to be done worldwide in the next ten or fifteen years.

    9. AECL plans to wait 40 years or more to fully decommission Gentilly-1. But Hydro-Québec should not proceed on the assumption that AECL will still exist 40 years from now. Ottawa has clearly indicated that the Canadian nuclear industry could well go broke by 1995. Why should Québec be left holding the bag for Ottawa's mistakes ?

    Ladies and gentlemen of the Board, we hope you will seriously consider the advantages to Québec of not operating the Gentilly-2 reactor any longer:

    Yours very truly,

    Gordon Edwards and Hélène Lajambe,
    pour le Regroupement pour la surveillance du nucléaire

    OF HYDRO-QUÉBEC, 28 août 1986.

    le 28 août, 1986

    Hélène Lajambe et Gordon Edwards
    CCNR CP 236, Succursale "Snowdon"
    Montréal H3X 3T4

    Guy Coulombe, President,
    H Y D R O - Q U É B E C,
    75 boul Dorchester ouest,
    Montreal, H2Z 1A4.

    Dear Mr. Coulombe:

    Thank you for your letter of August 7, and for the enclosed Commentaries from Hydro-Québec related to our letter of June 2.

    We regret that you have decided to continue to operate the Gentilly-2 reactor, particularly since you do not contest the fact that the electricity produced by this reactor is by far the most expensive base-load electricity in the province. We thought Hydro-Québec would welcome the chance to save tens of millions of dollars each year in unnecessary operating costs. Indeed, we have yet to see a single sound economic reason why Gentilly-2 should not be mothballed, just as the Tracy oil-fired plant was.

    The construction of Gentilly-2 was plagued with many difficulties, serious miscalculations, engineering design flaws, and very large cost overruns. (The final cost of the,plant was about one billion dollars higher than originally estimated.) We have every reason to believe that similar difficulties, miscalculations, mistakes and cost overruns will occur when the time comes to dismantle the radioactive structures of Gentilly-2 and to dispose of the associated wastes. Nuclear decommissioning and waste disposal are hitherto unsolved problems.

    We feel certain that Hydro-Québec would not want to be saddled with a billion-dollar cleanup bill in the future if it could be avoided now. A recent US Congressional publication has found that the cost of decommissioning a nuclear reactor may equal or exceed the cost of building it in the first place. Moreover, the cost of a hiqh-level radioactive waste repository is estimated to be between $500 million and $1 billion. [Note: as of 1996, the estimated cost was $13 billion!!] If the citizens in neighbouring provinces refuse to accept Hydro-Québec's nuclear waste, or refuse to allow it to be transported through their communities, how much will it cost Québec to unburden itself of all these wastes?

    Questions of reactor safety should not be dismissed lightly. Just one major accident, such as the one at Chernobyl -- which could happen here in Québec despite all the assurances from the pro-nuclear technologists -- could literally ruin Québec's economy for generations to come. Why take such a risk, when we do not even need the power, especially when it is not even profitable? (Does anybody pay as much as 5 cents per kilowatt-hour for the electricity produced at Gentilly-2?)

    For your information, we have attached our responses to the points raised in the Commentaries of Hydro-Québec which you so kindly provided to us.

    Yours very truly, Hélène Lajambe Gordon Edwards


    re: the Gentilly-2 Nuclear Reactor

    ~ August 28, 1986 ~

    by G. Edwards and H. Lajambe

    On June 2, 1986, the authors sent a letter to the Board of Directors of Hydro-Québec, urging the permanent shutdown of the Gentilly-2 nuclear reactor. On July 31, some commentaries related to our letter were prepared by M. Antoine Duchesne of Hydro-Québec. These were relayed to us by M. Guy Coulombe, President of Hydro-Québec, in a letter dated August 7.

    As we have found the Hydro-Québec commentaries to be incomplete and misleading, we have prepared this point-by-point response.

    1. ''Les coûts associés à la gestion du combustible irradié ... sont loin d'être financièrement onéreux.''

        Translation : ''The costs associated with the management of irradiated fuel ... are by no means financially burdensome.''

      Our reply :

      It is impossible to give accurate cost estimates for a technology which does not exist. The permanent disposal of spent nuclear fuel is an unsolved problem. Never, in the course of human history, has any civilization found an acceptable method for storing poisons so as to ensure that they will not eventually return to the human environment.

      As to costs, in a 1980 report, after extensive hearings, the Select Committee on Ontario Hydro Affairs observed:

      It is difficult to assess the allegations of some critics that the cost of waste disposal will be sufficient to compromise the currently assumed advantage of nuclear power over coal. The Committee could not find in any of the agencies currently responsible for pieces o~ the program satisfactory and complete answers on financial details. It was difficult for the Committee, and will continue to be difficult for the public, to have confidence in this vital program when specifics and responsibilities are left vague and undefined. (Ref. 1)

      In a 1978 report, the Ontario Royal Commission on Electric Power Planning stated that if a satisfactory solution to the waste disposal problem has not been found by 1985, then a moratorium on nuclear reactors would be in order. (Ref. 2)

      In a 1976 report, nuclear physicist Sir Brian Flowers of the British Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution wrote:

      We are agreed that it would be irresponsible and morally wrong to commit future generations to the consequences of fission power unless 1t has been demonstrated beyond reasonable doubt that at least one method exists for the safe isolation of these wastes for the indefinite future. (Ref. 3)

      During its recent efforts to locate a site for a possible nuclear waste repository in the Northeastern Region of the United States, the U.S. Department of Energy never once claimed that it had an already developed or demonstrated technology for the permanent and terminal disposal of spent nuclear fuel or high level nuclear waste.

      Hydro-Québec's basic assumption that "the costs of waste disposal are not financially onerous" is at best naive. Even the costs of a highly developed and proven technology can be seriously underestimated, as shown by the large cost overruns associated with the construction of Gentilly-2. Surely it would be financially irresponsible to assume that the costs of nuclear waste disposal are presently known with any degree of precision -- say, within a factor of 10.

      In addition to the technical difficulties, there are other aspects -- including political problems related to the citing of a waste repository and the transportation of nuclear wastes -- which may greatly increase the cost of waste disposal. It is entirely possible that, several years hence, Hydro-Québec will be faced with the necessity of locating a high-level waste repository in the province of Québec, which would involve an enormous capital outlay.

      Such problems can, of course, be avoided by closing Gentilly-2 permanently and transferring custody of the spent fuel to Atomic Energy of Canada Limited at the earliest possible date.

    2. ''Le réacteur de Gentilly-2 est équipé des systèmes de protection capables ... d'éviter la fonte du coeur.''

        Translation : ''The Gentilly-2 reactor is equipped with safety systems designed to ... prevent the melting of the reactor core.''

      Our reply :

      This statement contradicts the findings of the only three bodies who have studied CANDU safety from an independent point of view, namely, the Ontario Royal Commission on Electric Power Planning, the Select Committee on Ontario Hydro Affairs, and the Atomic Energy Control Board.

      In its 1978 report, the Ontario Royal Commission found that a core meltdown in a CANDU reactor is not only possible, but is considerably more probable than the CANDU technologists have claimed. (Ref. 4)

      In its 1980 report, the Select Committee pointed out that:

      It is not right to say that a catastrophic accident is impossible. The worst possible accident could involve the spread of radioactive poisons over large land areas, killing thousands immediately, killing others through increasing susceptibility to cancer, risking genetic defects that could affect future generations, and possibly contaminating large land areas for future habitation or cultivation. (Ref. 5)

      The Select Committee Report also revealed that CANDU safety systems are not always available. Indeed, all the safety systems in Ontario reactors -- including the emergency cooling systems, the fast shutdown systems, and the containment systems -- were found to be unavailable more frequently than the maximum allowed by the licensing agency. In one case, the emergency cooling system was manually shut off for more than three months while the reactor was operating! In 1986, following the Chernobyl accident, the Director of CANDU Reactor Licensing, Z. Domaratzky, stated publicly that a CANDU reactor can suffer a meltdown, and admitted that the CANDU safety systems are not designed to contain such a meltdown. He considered such an occurrence, however, to be extremely improbable. (Ref. 6)

      However improbable it may be, the insurance companies are very careful to explicitly exclude any coverage for property-owners in the event of such an accident. Also, the nuclear industry -- unlike any other industry in Canada -- is protected by a special Act of Parliament which limits civil liability to $75 million in the event of such an accident. These are extraordinary legal and financial precautions for an accident which Hydro-Québec declares to be "inconceivable".

      It is irresponsible for Hydro-Québec to pretend that such an accident is not possible at Gentilly-2.

    3. ''Le bris d'un tube de force ne constitue par (sic) un problème ayant des conséquences que vous imaginez.''

        Translation : ''The rupture of a pressure tube does not have consequences as serious as you think.''

      Our reply :

      The rupture of a pressure tube at Pickering 2 in 1983 has led to a four-year shutdown of Pickering units 1 and 2, during which a complete re-tubing of the two reactors has been undertaken at a cost of $700 million. It seems to us that this is sufficient reason for Hydro-Québec to be concerned about the possible repercussions of such a tube rupture!

      According to a publication of the Department of Energy Mines and Resources in 1981, the probability of such a tube rupture in a CANDU reactor such as Gentilly-2 is between 1 in 10 and 1 in 100 per reactor per year. (Ref. 7) Using the more optimistic figure of 1 in 100, it is easily calculated that the probability of a tube rupture at Gentilly-2 is greater than 25 percent over an assumed 30-year lifetime!

      Both the probability, and the associated financial risk, can be reduced to zero by shutting down the reactor permanently.

      It is incorrect to assume that the rupture of a pressure tube cannot precipitate a serious accident. In 1969, a pressure-tube reactor in Switzerland was completely demolished when one of the pressure tubes ruptured, leading to a power surge which was not terminated quickly enough by the shutdown systems. The Chernobyl reactor was also a pressure-tube design, and it is believed that the rupture of a pressure tube was responsible for the sudden surge of power that led to the destruction of the core of the reactor.

      The CANDU reactor has the same weakness as all other pressure-tube reactors: any sudden rupture of a pressure tube will result in a power surge, which -- under adverse circumstances, such as the partial unavailability of shutdown systems -- can precipitate a very serious accident indeed.

      Hydro-Québec is also misinformed when it says that the Chernobyl reactor did not have a containment building. Following the recent Vienna Conference of the IAEA, it is now clear that the Chernobyl 4 reactor did have a containment structure which was blown apart by the powerful hydrogen gas explosions occurring inside the reactor building. Such explosions can also occur in a CANDU reactor under accident conditions (as shown by the series of hydrogen gas explosions which occurred at Chalk River during the 1952 accident).

      Although the Gentilly-2 reactor does not have a flammable graphite moderator as the Chernobyl 4 reactor did, it does contain a great deal of flammable zirconium alloy in the core, which can, under severe accident conditions, support a raging fire, producing vast quantities of radioactive smoke.

    4. ''En nous basant ... sur l'expérience de Three Mile Island, un accident pouvant causer des dommages de l'ordre du milliard de dollars à la population est à notre avis inconcevable.''

        Translation : ''Considering ... the example of Three Mile Island, we think it is inconceivable that any nuclear accident could cause billions of dollars in damage to the population.''

      Our reply :

      A billion dollars in damages is a rather large amount of money, regardless of whether the damage is on-site or off site. According to the U.S. General Accounting Office, the cost of the cleanup at Three Mile Island has already exceeded one billion dollars, and the total cost may well be two billion dollars or more.

      Is Hydro-Québec prepared to accept such a financial risk for the privilege of running a nuclear reactor which is entirely surplus to the province's needs?

      G. P. U. was driven to the verge of bankruptcy by the Three Mile Island accident. G.P.U. had only $300 million in insurance for on-site damages in the event of an accident -- entirely inadequate to pay for the clean-up. How much on-site insurance does Hydro-Québec carry for Gentilly-2 ? (Ref. 8)

    5. ''Le nettoyage de Three Mile Island se poursuit et à notre avis le travail effectué à ce jour est des plus remarquables.... General Public Utility s'apprête à en extraire le combustible endommagé.''

        Translation : ''The clean-up at Three Mile Island is proceeding. We think the work done so far is remarkable.... General Public Utility is getting ready to remove the damaged fuel.''

      Our reply :

      The Three Mile island accident occurred more than seven years ago. The damaged fuel has still not been removed from the core. We have to agree that this cleanup operation is indeed remarkable; remarkable for the incredible expense and difficulty involved.

      On October 24 1985, Nucleonics Week reported that:

      The core collapse [at Three Mile Island] was more complicated than previously recognized. Many fuel and structural elements liquefied first at the top of the core and dripped down into the bottom half. Cold water collapsed the brittle remains of the tops of most fuel rods, producing a five-foot void (cavity) and two-foot-thick debris bed.

      Underneath that debris is a material so tough that special drill bits are being designed to penetrate it, and at the very bottom of the vessel is slag-like material that appears to have solidified after being molten. In between, researchers theorize, is another void.

      The theory cannot be proven until samples are analyzed and a program to drill through the entire core debris area is completed, which will take another couple of years. There is not enough money to study all the samples.

      Incidentally, it is now known that the temperature in the core of the Three Mile Island reactor was in excess of 5100 o F.

      Hydro-Québec's insurance policy in the amount of $75 million is useless in the event of an accident like that of Three Mile Island, because it only covers off-site damages.

    6. ''Nous avons l'intention de continuer à exploiter Gentilly-2 selon les besoins du réseau tant et aussi longtemps que cette exploitation sera faite d'une façon sécuritaire, économique et rentable comme c'est le cas présentement.''

        Translation : ''We intend to continue running Gentilly-2 to meet the requirements of the grid, as long as the reactor can be operated safely, economically, and profitably, as it is presently.''

      Our reply :

      According to the testimony of March 26 and 27 given by Hydro-Québec to the Commission Permanente de l'Économie et le Travail, approximately five million megawatt-hours of energy was spilled over the dams in 1985 because of a large surplus of energy. According to graphs contained in Hydro-Québec's Plan de Développement (Horizon 1995), surplus electrical capacity in the province is between 3500 megawatts and 4500 megawatts. If the 600-megawatt Gentilly-2 reactor were shut down, therefore, it would not even be missed.

      Indeed, if Gentilly-2 were shut down, Hydro-Québec would experience an annual saving of several tens of millions of dollars in unnecessary operating costs. Using surplus hydro capacity, the "missing" 600 megawatts could be produced at a much lower operating cost than from Gentilly-2. This being so, it is difficult to understand how anyone can maintain that the operation of Gentilly-2 is economic or profitable.

      As for "safety", it is abundantly clear to us that nuclear reactors are not inherently safe, but inherently dangerous, and it is self-deception to think otherwise. The reason for this is fundamental. A nuclear reactor is not just a machine for generating electricity, but also a vast storehouse of radioactive poisons. In our opinion, any reservoir of poisons should be regarded as a potential hazard that should be eliminated if possible. If you can actually save money by eliminating the hazard, then so much the better.

    7. ''Le niveau des relâches radioactives de tritium et de carbone 14 à Gentilly sont tout à fait négligeables.''

        Translation : ''The radioactive releases of tritium and carbon-14 from Gentilly are so low as to be completely negligible.''

      Our reply :

      There is no "safe dose" of radiation. Every dose, however small, will cause a corresponding increase in the incidence of cancer, genetic defects, and developmental abnormalities.

      The U.N. Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) has reported that tritium-contaminated water ingested by a pregnant female will cross the placenta and enter the foetus. Experimental studies with mice have shown "several statistically significant effects, in no apparent relationship with dose" -- including microcephaly (shrunken heads, also observed at Hiroshima and Nagasaki), sterility, stunting of growth, and reduction of the litter size. The 1977 UNSCEAR Report goes on to say:

      There has been a growing interest in the study of the biological effects of radio-isotopes. particularly plutonium and tritium. A number of studies that have so far been carried out in mice demonstrate that these isotopes are capable of inducing dominant lethal mutations, chromosome aberrations and point mutations (for the last category, only the effects of tritium have been studied). (Ref. 9)

      The Select Committee on Ontario Hydro Affairs found that the dangers from tritium and carbon-14 are of great concern:

      Carbon-14 and tritium are of comparable and special concern for similar reasons.

      First, they each have long half-lives: 5730 years for carbon-14 and 12.3 years for tritium. Long half-lives allow them to accumulate in the environment around a reactor and in the global biosphere.

      Second, they are easily incorporated into human tissue. Carbon-14 is incorporated into the carbon that comprises about 18 percent of body weight, including the fatty tissue, proteins and DNA. Tritium is incorporated into all parts of the body that contain water.

      Thus the radiological significance of both elements is not related to their inherent toxicity, as each is a very low energy form of radiation, but to their easy incorporation into the body.

      Neither Ontario Hydro nor AECB know enough about the propensity of carbon-14 to accumulate in the food chain and biosphere around a plant. In 1977, a group of experts of the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency identified four nuclides that may be of greater global than of local concern. The four are krypton-8S, iodine-129, tritium and carbon-14.

      In heavy water reactors, a relatively small proportion of the tritium is bound up in the fuel. Most is produced in the large quantities of heavy water moderator and coolant. Inevitably, significant amounts are released in the air and water. CANDU reactors produce about 20 times as much carbon-14 as [American] light water reactors. (Ref. 10)

      The Select Committee recommended a totally independent review of the current release limits for carbon-14 and tritium, because the AECB is dominated by men promoting nuclear power. Such an independent review has never been undertaken.

      Rather than telling us that the releases of tritium and carbon-14 from Gentilly-2 are "negligible", Hydro-Québec should be giving us numbers. How many thousands of curies of tritium and of carbon-14 have been released into the environment since Gentilly-2 started operations? Once we know the absolute amounts, then we can discuss the biomedical significance of these chronic and persistent radioactive releases.

    8. ''La seule expertise qu'il convient pour nous de conserver se situe au niveau de l'exploitation des centrales nucléaires.''

        Translation : ''The only [nuclear] expertise that we must maintain is that required for the operation of nuclear power plants.''

      Our reply :

      This is a very short-sighted point of view. Eventually, Gentilly-2 will have to be decommissioned, and it will be Hydro-Québec's problem -- not AECL's. By applying political pressure to persuade Ottawa to embark upon a complete dismantling of Gentilly-1 now, Hydro-Québec can gain valuable experience in radioactive demolition with financial and technical assistance from Ottawa. This will save Hydro-Québec many millions of dollars in research and development costs.

      Once obtained, such skills will be marketable world-wide. The IAEA has estimated that about 100 reactors will have to be decommissioned within the next two decades. It will be a multi-billion dollar global industry, and Québec has an opportunity to get in on the ground floor. There could be valuable commercial spin-offs (e.g. industrial robotics). It is a much more promising field than building or operating nuclear reactors which are superfluous to present needs.

    9. ''Nous croyons qu'advenant la disparition d'É.A.C.L. le gouvernement fédéral respecterait ses engagements contractuels et financiers, incluant le démantèlement éventuel de Gentilly-1.''

        Translation : ''We believe that even if AECL disappears, the federal government will still honour its financial and contractual obligations, including the eventual dismantling of Gentilly-1.''

      Our reply :

      It is heartening to see the faith that Hydro-Québec has in Ottawa's ability to meet any challenge. However, the collapse of the nuclear industry may leave many things undone, even by Ottawa. As the U.S. General Accounting Office points out:

      The possibility of this industry ending raises questlons as to whether there will be nuclear-related organizations, nuclear equipment, and individuals expect in the nuclear field that would be capable of dealing with the decommissioning and decontamination problems that could remain for about 100 years after the last reactor is shut down. (Ref. 11)

      In a 1982 report, Ottawa admitted that it may be powerless to prevent the total collapse of the industry:

      Dans ce document, on abordera la possibilité que des problèmes commerciaux puissent ralentir ou même arrêter le progès technologique, laissant une main-d'oeuvre hautement qualifiée et des capitaux specialisés se détourner vers d'autres usages, ce qui affecterait non seulement le coût et la fiabilité mais également la disponibilité de la filière CANDU. (Ref. 12)

        Translation : ''This document will examine the possibility that commercial difficulties may slow or even halt technological progress, leaving a highly qualified workforce and specialized equipment to be turned to other pursuits -- which would affect not just the cost and the reliability but the very existence of the CANDU option.''

      Of course, as already mentioned, even if Ottawa met its obligation to dismantle Gentilly-1, that would still leave Hydro-Québec with the task of dismantling Gentilly-2. In the eventuality that the nuclear industry collapses, moreover, it is not impossible that Québec may be saddled with both jobs. All the more reason to urge Ottawa to dismantle Gentilly-1 now, while the industry infrastructure is still in place.

    ~ finis ~


    1. Ontario (1980). The Management of Nuclear Fuel Waste: Final Report. Select Committee on Ontario Hydro Affairs. The quote is from page 21, but the entire document is relevant.

    2. Ontario (1978). A Race Against Time: Interim Report on Nuclear Power. Ontario Royal Commission on Electric Power Planning. The recommendation is found in the Compendium of Major Findings, page xii; the discussion is found on pages 91-101.

    3. United Kingdom (1976). Nuclear Power and the Environment. Sixth Report of the UK Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution. HMSO. The quote, which is from paragraph 181, page 81, is also incorporated in one of the principal conclusions on page 202.

    4. From A Race Against Time, pages 78-79: "The probability of a core meltdown per reactor at Pickering is said to he in the order of one in a million years. Two well-informed nuclear critics, Dr. Gordon Edwards and Ralph Torrie, have argued that the probability could be 100 times higher. We believe that the Edwards/Torrie estimate is more realistic."

    5. Ontario (1980). The Safety of Ontario's Nuclear Reactors: Final Report. Select Committee on Ontario Hydro Affairs. See pages 9-10.

    6. Mr. Domaratzky's remarks were quoted in both the Globe and Mail and the Montreal Gazette, and can be confirmed by contacting him at AECB headquarters in Ottawa.

    7. Ottawa (1981). Nuclear Policy Review Background Papers. Energy Mines and Resources Canada. See the chapter on CANDU Safety, written by Z. Domaratzky of AECB.

    8. Washington (1981). Greater Commitment Needed to Solve Continuing Problems at Three Mile island. U.S. General accounting Office.

    9. United Nations (1977). Sources and Effects of Ionizing Radiation. United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation. The longer quote is from paragraph 378, page 477; the shorter quote and accompanying discussion is from paragraphs 245-246, pages 695-696.

    10. The Safety of Ontario's Nuclear Reactors, pages 15-18.

    11. Washington (1977). Cleaning Up the Remains of Nuclear Facilities: A Multi-Billion Dollar Problem. U.S. General Accounting Office. See page 24.

    12. Ottawa (982). Revue de l'industrie nucléaire: problèmes et perspectives 1981-2000. Energie Mines et Ressources Canada. This thought from page 1 is echoed throughout the document.

      [ Accident Possibilities at Gentilly-2 ]

      [ Findings on CANDU Safety ]

      [ Reactor Accidents Sub-Directory ] [ COMPLETE DIRECTORY ]

      Since March 27th 1996, there have been over
      100,000 outside visitors to the CCNR web site, plus

      (counter reset July 2nd 1998 at midnight)