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Au revoir to nuclear power

Quebec's new government has announced plans to close the province's only nuclear reactor, Gentilly-2, in Bécancour near Trois-Rivières, by this December.

This is welcome news, especially in light of the explosion last year at the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan.

It's also in keeping with a global trend. Other industrialized states such as Germany, Belgium, Switzerland and Japan are trading in their nuclear reactors – the dangers of which are outlined in the recently released documentary, Gentilly or Not To Be – for renewable energy.

But what to do with the government money currently invested in Gentilly-2?

We'd like to see it put towards renewable energy projects that stimulate the region's green economy. An example would be wind energy, which, in the right conditions, can be both:

  • low impact
  • low nuisance

There are currently two wind projects at the proposal stage, which could serve as good examples:

  • the parc de Rivière-du-moulin, which straddles the Saguenay and the Charlevoix
  • the parc de la Seigneurie de Beaupré-4 in the region of Québec

Although there is room for improvement in both – e.g., more could be done to lessen the impact of transport during construction – they still offer a glimpse of a greener, healthier future.

That is one reason why Equiterre and other groups will work to make sure that the new energy plan (that Quebec needs to set in place by 2015) prioritizes:

  • energy efficiency
  • clean energy production
  • freedom from oil dependence
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