Nuclear energy: a credible energy source

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 74, No. 836, 1981

J. BOULTON, Assistant to the Vice-President, Whiteshell Nuclear Research Establishment, Pinawa, Manitoba

Nuclear energy is an established and proven energy source. Today, CANDU-PHW nuclear-electric generating stations produce over one third of Ontario's total electrical supply: safely and economically. In many parts of Canada, where economic hydro resources do not exist or are fully developed, coal and nuclear energy are the only alternatives for future large-scale electrical generating capacity.Recent analyses have suggested that, in the face of increasing energy demands and decreasing reserves of hydrocarbon fuels, Canada must depend on electricity to provide an expanded fraction of its energy budget. Nuclear energy is likely to play an increasing role in the generation of electricity; there are also potential applications as a supplier of process heat in industry and in the in-situ recovery of bitumen from tar sands.The future supply of nuclear fuel, reactor safety and radioactive waste management are briefly discussed. In each case, the benefits to be gained from a controlled expansion in the use of nuclear energy outweigh any uncertainties which may exist.
Keywords: Energy resources, Nuclear energy, Generating stations, Electricity, Reactor safety, Radioactive waste management, CANDU reactor, Environmental control.