I know a couple in Brockton, Charlie and Tessa (not their real names), who have chosen to permanently disconnect from the electricity grid. For about 10 years, they and their kids worked on a prototype ultra-efficient dwelling that would require very little energy.
When it came time to build their retirement house, they used many unconventional, but effective construction techniques from the prototype. The resulting 2-bedroom bungalow, built into the side of a hill, is a paragon of efficiency, from the LED lighting to the wood-stove-heated water that circulates through the stamped concrete floors. They use wood for cooking, hang their clothes to dry, and the only electric appliance that generates heat is the microwave. Their roof-mounted solar array provides ample electricity, except for the occasional 2-or-3-week period in December when the sun doesn’t shine, and Charlie has to hook up the generator to charge the batteries.
I don’t know if Charlie and Tessa have an opinion about the proposed Deep Geologic Repository for nuclear waste in South Bruce, but I think they’d be well within their rights to be dead set against it. You see, Charlie and Tessa, by their actions, have shunned all conventional methods of electricity generation, and they’ve made the investments and the sacrifices to back it up.
For the rest of us, who prefer to plug in our coffee pots, and throw a load of towels in the dryer before bed, I think being dead set against the DGR is a little disingenuous. You see, for the past 50-odd years, we and our parents and grandparents have benefited greatly from nuclear power – from the massive amounts of electricity it produces, from clean air, and from the tremendous economic benefit of having a nuclear generator as the largest employer in our area. So by rights, each of us “owns” a tiny bit of the nuclear waste that has accumulated, and is being meticulously stored and cared for at our nuclear generating sites.
Before we jump on the “no nuke dump” bandwagon, and loudly proclaim “not in my back yard”, I think each of us should consider that we have not only an obligation, but a unique opportunity. Here in Bruce County, we have the skills, the land mass and the proper geology to safely and permanently store Ontario’s nuclear waste. If we take a leadership role, our province will benefit from having the nuclear waste issue properly dealt with. And our children will benefit from hundreds of good, high-paying jobs in South Bruce for generations to come.
That’s why I encourage my fellow residents and land-owners of South Bruce to be part of the solution, and support the DGR in South Bruce.
RR5 Mildmay ON