Here's one I entirely missed until I stumbled across The Edmonton Sun's Saturday Editorial. It appears that federal natural resources minister Gary Lunn thinks it is only a matter of time before Canada builds a nuclear power station to help extract oil from the massive tar sands in northern Alberta:
"It's not a question of if, it's a question of when in my mind," the Sun quoted Lunn as saying. "I think nuclear can play a very significant role in the oil sands. I'm very, very keen."
Lunn noted that nuclear energy is "absolutely emission free" and "CO2 free" and that it can help replace natural gas and other fossil fuels currently being burned to extract other fossil fuels from the tarsands.
I don't quite know what to make of this. Is it an end-of-year off-the-cuff remark that's best left ignored? Nuclear plants take a hell of a long time to get approved and finally built, so I doubt any structure would be in place before the end the next decade--by which time oil-sands emissions will have more than doubled--let alone this one. Furthermore, initial reaction from the oil-patch itself seems to have been negative. They certainly don't want to get stuck with the cost of building a power plant, and nobody has asked the people of Fort McMurray what their opinion of the project is, either.
Although I doubt these views would be hard to guess. The Edmonton Sun Editorial is already hinting that the proper response might be NIMBYism.
Personally, I am neutral on Nuclear Power. It might be due for a re-evaluation. However, Mark from Section 15 once promised a series of posts on why more reactors would not solve our Global Warming woes. If and when Mark produces, I shall happily link.
Update: Here's a good link on the history of using nuclear power to, well, power the extraction of oil from the tar sands. Luckily, we've moved on from the 50s, when they were thinking of setting off a bomb under Cheechum Crossing. Apparently, the technique works and
...was actually used in the US in the 60's or 70's in Colorado near Rifle. It was called the Rulison project and was to free up significant amount of natural gas. It did, but the gas was not usable because of unacceptable levels of radioactivity
A proposal similar to Lunn's was made about two years ago, but Ralph Klein ruled it out because Greens "would go nuts". Though Ralph is out of the picture, I trust his judgments re. the Alberta electorate. You probably won't be seeing any action on this soon.