Nuclear Power near Peace River - Northern Alberta - YOUR OPINION
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.Nuclear Power

Nuclear Power
Near Peace River.

Nuclear Power is okay.

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Too dangerous for our area.

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Nuclear Power in the Peace Country........
By Ken Connors March 2008

In 2007 it was first learned that one of the locations being considered for a Nuclear Power plant was near Peace River at Lac Cardinal Lake in northern Alberta. In March 2008, Bruce Power let it be known that they have taken the first steps to build a Nuclear Power plant by making application with the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission. If approved the four reactors could be functioning as early as 2017 at Cardinal Lake producing up to 4,000 megawatts of electricity.

While there have only been a few in this area that have publicly supported a Nuclear Power plant, stating that it is safe and that CANDU plants emit very low levels of radioactivity, there have been more negative opinions expressed in the Fairview, Peace River and Grande Prairie newspapers. Jim Harding, author of the book, Canada’s Deadly Secret, spoke in Grande Prairie as well as Peace River. He warned not to believe nuclear power to be the answer saying Nuclear power is not safe, peaceful or economic, let alone necessary. Other negative comments referred to communities surrounding the Bruce nuclear plant in Ontario that had some of the highest rates of cancer in Canada and that Sweden and Germany were phasing out nuclear plants and going towards a cleaner source of energy such as the use of wind generation. Gordon Edwards, one of Canada’s top nuclear experts questioned how the company would deal with nuclear waste and pointed out that there was more than 800,000 tonnes of radioactive waste stored near Port Hope in Ontario with no where to put it.

Energy Minister Mel Knight as well as Premier Ed Stelmach dodged the nuclear issue as much as possible during the Provincial Election Campaign while a number of opposing Political Parties made their stand against Nuclear Power. Premier Stelmach has recently stated he will appoint a government panel which will present recommendations to caucus and followed by public consultations. The process of having a Nuclear Power facility near Peace River has started going forward.

The lake in northern Alberta that is being considered for the Nuclear Power plant was first known as Bear Lake, and in 1912 was renamed Lac Cardinal after a local homesteader, Louis Cardinal. In 1956 the park became known as Lac Cardinal Provincial Park. Later when Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip of England visited the area in 1978, the park name was changed to Queen Elizabeth Provincial Park to honor the Queen. Thousands have enjoyed the purity of this park and area over the years. Also located near the shores of the lake are the Lac Cardinal Regional Pioneer Museum and North Peace Stampede Grounds that features the famous Stampede the takes place each year for 3 days in early August. It includes a race track, covered viewing stands, concession booths and and old time dance hall. Having a Nuclear Power plant here would mostly likely put an end to visiting the area in a recreational manner.
(see Queen Elizabeth Provincial Park featured on

The residents in the area surrounding Lac Cardinal Lake will be mostly affected by a decision to build a Nuclear Power plant. Lac Cardinal Lake is located approximately 6km northwest of the Town of Grimshaw (2,400 People), 15km north of the Village of Berwyn (550 people), 25 km north of the Hamlet of Brownvale (130 people), 23km west of Peace River (over 6200 people), 39km west of Hamlet of St. Isidore (300 people), 47km west of the Village of Nampa, 50km north of the Town of Fairview (3150 people) 45km south of the Hamlet of Dixonville (500 people) and 80km to the south of the Town of Manning (1300 people). Another park and lake close to Lac Cardinal Lake is the Figure Eight Lake Campground (23 campsites) located a short distance to the west. This lake was created in 1969 by volunteers from the nearby Brownvale Community. Besides the Hamlets, Villages and Towns, there are thousands of rural residence living in the area.


The Municipal District of Peace River wanted to know what ratepayers in the area thought about the proposed nuclear development at Lac Cardinal. A questionnaire was sent out to 1,155 residents in February of 2008. In March, the results were published in the Peace River Record-Gazette and showed that the majority of those who responded were opposed to the Nuclear Power plant with 56% against. Only 24% were in favor while the remainder were undecided. Only 377 residents responded to the survey. The collected information was forwarded to local MLAs Hector Goudreau and Frank Oberle and MP Chris Warkentin.

Nov 2008 - Bruce Power announced an alternate site for a Nuclear Power Plant that is being considered is locted 30km north of Peace River at the Whitemud site. Residents of Weberville were told that two neigbours in the area had given Bruce Power the right to purchase their property for the project. Bruce Power will hold another information session in January of 2009.

Dec 2008 -Recently Bruce Power presented a cheque for $15,000 to the Town of Grimshaw to help construction of a new arena. In mid-December, a group of 44 Peace River and area residents visited the Bruce Power nuclear plant in Ontario. There was a mixture of reactions to the tour.

Jan 2009 -Bruce Power withdrew its application to construct a Nuclear Power plant at Lac Cardinal, near Grimshaw. They are still considering a 2nd site about 30 km north of Peace River.

Jan 2009 -A Pro Nuclear Group promoting the economic benefits has been formed with about 30 people from the local area. (Committee for Sustainable Regional Soci-Economic Development) The group is more in favor of the Lac Cardinal location than the Whitemud site.

March 2009- Bruce Power decides the Whitemud location near Peace River is a better location for a nuclear power plant than Lac Cardinal.

March 2009- Protesters in Manning made their thoughts known at a recent Information Session conducted by Bruce Power. "Keep Alberta Nuclear Free" was the message which included some residents from the district of Deadwood which is located near the Whitemud River. The protesters recently formed a group called "Earth Alternatives".

October 2009- About 500 people attended a debate in Peace River with Dr. Duane Bratt (Mount Royal College) speaking in favour of nuclear power and Dr. Helen Caldicott (Australian pediatrician) speaking against .

December 2009- The Province annouces that a majority of Albertans are in favor of Nuclear Power (45%) while 27% were opposed. About a thousand individuals were surveyed in a Government comminssioned telephone survey. Energy Minister, Mel Knight, made it public he would not stand in the way of nuclear power plants.

Dec 2011: Bruce Power has decided not to go ahead with a nuclear plant near Peace River. Over the past few years most of the comments posted on were opposed to have a nuclear plant in Alberta.

NUCLEAR POWER near Peace River - Northern Alberta

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