Is nuclear power necessary to address the economic issues and support the policy formation in Canada? It is a known fact that about 15% of the electricity generation in Canada is supported by the nuclear power. But then again, it is important to know whether or not there is more to it rather than power generation. Nuclear power should be an aid to policy formation and an answer to the economic issues surrounding the administration of the country.
It was in 1942 when the National Research Council of Canada worked to establish the British-Canadian laboratory that paved the way for the participation of the Canada to the nuclear industry. In this present time, the nuclear power has been able to support the electric power generation in all of Canada. In examining the controversial issues of policy one might take a safely historical approach, merely reporting opposing positions and arguments and hoping for a synthesis of conflicting views. Instead, an analytical view of the economic issues and to join in their appraisal, as a more stimulating and illuminating approach to both past and future public policy formation. Writing on nuclear energy well in advance of publication is vulnerable to unpredictable events. It has not been possible to do more about developments since then than to note briefly in the text certain major ones that have occurred. Among these the most important have been the second reduction by the AEC in the prices of enriched uranium (effective July 1); the passage by the Congress of legislation authorizing the proposal of Washington state public power groups to finance and operate electric generating facilities using heat from the AEC's New Production Reactor at Hanford, Washington; and the recent announcement by India of its intention to purchase a large nuclear power reactor from the General Electric Company. Certain other developments, however -- such as the forthcoming study of the civilian nuclear power program now being prepared by the AEC in response to the President's request last March -- could not be covered as per Webb (1976).
This study will answer the question of whether or not the nuclear power in Canada address the economic issues and support the policy formation. More specifically, this paper will answer the following questions:
- What are the economic issues that are being faced by Canada?
- Does nuclear power address such issues?
- Is nuclear power being taken into great consideration during the process of policy formation?
- What is the effect of the nuclear power in the governance of the Canadian administration or government?
Background of the Study
At their inception the steam engine, the electric motor, and the internal combustion engine were all regarded as hapless toys of impractical dreamers that could be of little interest to businessmen or statesmen. Bedford (1990) believed that each transformed the world. They brought the industrial revolution, mass production, mass transportation, and incredible shrinkage of both space and time. The unbelievable became the foundation of a new world. Today it is the energy within the atomic nucleus that promises an industrial, economic, and social revolution greater than any of the past. But atomic power must face the skeptics. Its existence is convincing enough, thanks to the horrendous bombs. Yet fear of its great power and ignorance of its esoteric science reinforce the normal hesitation of the public to embrace the strange giant. So he waits at the gate, mistrusted and with a lingering bad name. But time moves quickly nowadays. The world has such need of power that the giant will be put to work in this generation, not the next. The professors of science, who have full knowledge and no fear, are in authority and engineers today are financiers too. They lead us on, if not here, then in other lands where industrial power is more needed. A nuclear power plant has been operating in Russia for more than two years. The British Atomic Energy Authority put its first to work in 1956 and is planning a dozen more.
It is perhaps the long shadow of wartime secrecy, plus the inadequate place of science in our education during past decades, that still prevents understanding of atomic energy and full confidence in atomic power. Mullenbach (1963) stated that but only technical details are now secret or hard to learn. The time has come for businessmen, legislators, and leaders of thought to comprehend this great new force, to evaluate what it means to mankind and thus to enter the atomic age. Such is the way of science in this technological age. Its wildest dreams become the most powerful of social forces. None could have been wilder than Albert Einstein's mathematical but preposterous idea of fifty years ago that matter could be transformed into energy. Slowly but fatefully the facts emerged from the laboratories of Rutherford and Chadwick in England, Bohr in Denmark, Fermi in Italy, Curie and Joliot in France, Anderson and Lawrence in the United States, and Hahn in Germany. By 1939 fact had caught up with theory and a uranium atom had yielded its incredible energy. But war at once exploited the discovery. Cravens (2007) stated that Albert Einstein called it to the attention of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Within five war years Hahn's single exploding atom became the horrendous bomb. Unprecedented concentration of European and American brains and ample money and technical
facilities in the United States made Hahn's esoteric experiment into the most powerful force that engineering and the fate of nations had ever known. It developed under military secrecy. It required vast production and accumulated a store-house of scientific and engineering knowledge that remained
hidden for almost ten years. Suddenly, at Geneva, a colossal industry was revealed in full operation, too big for the military purposes of the moment at least, but ready, quite as a by-product, to transform the world and all of Canada.
Canada is known to be one of the most civilized and rich countries in the whole world. As a matter of fact, it is being considered a land of opportunities which equate to the United States of America. But then again, just like any other nations, Canada has many issues as well. Although, one cannot disregard the fact that it can handle much of the tensions and the issues that surrounds good governance. One of the many issues that are being faced by the Canadian government is the power generation. With the increasing population and with the expectations that the Canadians and other immigrants have, the government has to make sure that all the needs of its people are being provided for and address. According to Ferguson (2007), unlike many other nations such as the third world countries, it has become harder and more difficult to even provide complete energy generation with cheaper electric bills. Hence, many are wire-tapping and stealing energy to avail of it for free even in various illegal means. But the government of Canada is not experiencing such things because of the fact that it has so much electric energy that can support all of Canada. As a matter of fact, Suid (1990) that about 15% of its power is supported by the nuclear power plants established for the purpose. But then again, one has to understand still that there are hazards as well with nuclear power plants especially in terms of the exposure of people to it. Hence, Canada has been constantly moving in order to provide health precautions and to ensure that the nuclear power will not be used in any way as a weapon of destruction and as an aid to war.
It can therefore be conclude that the nuclear power has aided a great deal in the development of Canada in terms of its governance and policy formation. However, there is still a need to press on and push to explore all the potential of nuclear power for the benefit of all of Canada.