Frank Touby —
Overpaid lunatics at Ontario Power Generation (OPG) could be the death of everything on earth. OPG was created in 1999 by the disastrous provincial government of Mike Harris in a Tory plot to sell off the province’s electric industry to corporate supporters both foreign and domestic. Harris walked away from his post in disgrace before the end of his second term.
Harris was followed by a soulmate masquerading as a liberal in the form of Dalton McGuinty, who also slunk away before his second term was done.
The payscale at OPG is off the chart of reputed Tory thriftiness and gives a lie to the pipedream that conservatives know how to handle a buck. Pass one, yes.
What the current heavy-pocketed crop of OPG nutcases is seeking to do is dig a hole a mile away from Lake Huron to put down stuff that will remain deadly for eons longer than civilization has existed.
It’s every bit as dumb as much of the nuclear power industry, which boasts lots of reactors built on earthquake faults or in zones where floods or tidal waves can bring disaster sometime between now and a lot less than eternity.
The technology is crackpot and highly optimistic that the worst-case (or even a merely horrid-case) scenario won’t occur, at least while the planning geniuses and their close relatives are still alive.
The super-deadly stuff, like plutonium and highly enriched uranium, is somewhat easier to deal with than the so-called “low-” and “medium-level” nuclear hazards. There are technological ways to bring down the danger from them.
It’s the mops and rubber boots and incidental radioactive materials that create a lot of hazardous bulk the moneybags set at OPG are hoping to bury. And that’s the stuff that needs to be left on the surface in secure storage so that some day technology will be able to decontaminate or eliminate it.
It may be scientists or technologists will produce a way to decontaminate the materials. It may mean just shooting the stuff into outer space with foolproof technology that never fails. The hope is in technology. We’re pretty good at technology.
But burying OPG’s problem near a Great Lake—or anywhere—is to get rid of a problem without solving it. That’s corporatism. It’s the businessman’s way of scratching an itch without using his fingernails. It’s the cost-effective dismissal of a cost of production.
And in doing so, it creates a potential hazard in a way that becomes a technological protocol that expands in usage around the earth to present a hazard that future earthquakes or meteorites can unleash practically anywhere.
Greed can be a positive force in the marketplace that inspires production of services and objects of value for everyone. It can destroy that marketplace, too. Let’s trim the executive suites at OPG and those other Harrisite efforts to pass off our electricity market to the private sector. Let’s merge the nuclear hazard into an effective electricity operation that isn’t perverted by private-business greed.
Put the nuclear-power business wholly in the public sector as a public utility.