As a member of Canada's Energy BOT Squad here's what you need to know.
I'm super charged. Nuclear power is Canada's third largest source of electricity. Canada needs me to keep the lights on, even if I'm trying to chill out. But it's not like I can just take it easy — nuclear development faces opposition around the world. And with the 2011 tsunami that damaged nuclear reactors in Japan, that opposition has been getting fresh attention.
Even though there’s a lot of heat involved in nuclear energy, none of it makes it directly to your home. If I’m keeping you warm, it’s with the flow of electricity to your electric heaters.
Electricity is where I really… shine. I’m the country’s third-largest source of electricity, and that makes me a very popular bot for 15 per cent of Canada’s 12.3 million homes.
Canada has the world’s third largest uranium reserves, which are found in Saskatchewan. With so much, it’s no surprise that Canada exports a lot of uranium, much to NuclearBOT’s dismay. (How would you feel if somebody shipped off all your food?)
I have a few reactors to snuggle up in — nuclear power is produced in Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick. But some provinces, like BC, have rejected me. Others, like Alberta, have left the possibility open.
How does it work?
Just like a coal plant does, nuclear reactors produce heat, and that heat in turn turns water into steam. Then that steam passes through a turbine, which causes a generator to make electricity.
I’m not only a powerful player in electricity, I might also be critical to your health. Canada’s Chalk River reactor produces a third of the world’s medical isotopes.
Globally, nuclear energy contributes about the same percentage of electricity generation as it does in Canada. But, after reactors in Japan were damaged during the 2011 tsunami, many governments are reviewing safety standards at their own nuclear operations and in the industry.
Next: Time to find WindBOT. Here’s what we already know: this next bot’s wild. Wild like a Wolfe.