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Macleans

CANDU Flawed

This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on August 25, 1997. Partner content is not updated.

In the belly of the nuclear beast, the massive domes of the reactors rise ominously to a height of more than 45 m, their radioactive interiors visible only through the thick windows of airlocks.

Macleans

Blackout Hits Ontario and Seven US States

This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on August 25, 2003. Partner content is not updated.

IT TOOK just nine seconds to turn the clock back a century. A voltage fluctuation in some Ohio transmission lines. Then, at 4:11 p.m. n a muggy August Thursday, a faster-than-you-can-blink reversal in the flow of current, suddenly sucking away a city's worth of power from the eastern half of the continent.

Article

Royal Commission on Energy

The Royal Commission on Energy (Borden Commission) was established (1957) by the government of John DIEFENBAKER under chairman Henry BORDEN, the president of Brazilian Traction, Light and Power Co, Ltd, to investigate "a number of questions relating to sources of energy.

Article

Atomic Energy Control Board

The Atomic Energy Control Board (AECB) was established in 1946 under the Atomic Energy Control Act, with the declaration that nuclear energy is essential to the national interest (and therefore under the exclusive jurisdiction of the federal government).

Article

Natural Gas in Canada

Natural gas ranks among the fastest-growing energy sources in Canada and is seen by many in the energy industry as a game-changer, a comparatively clean, low-cost and versatile fuel. It can directly generate power and heat and can be chemically altered to produce a wide range of useful commodity chemicals. It burns cleaner and more efficiently than other fossil fuels, releasing significantly fewer harmful pollutants into the atmosphere. Natural gas is colorless, odourless, shapeless, lighter than air and contains a mixture of several hydrocarbon gases, which are organic compounds consisting of some combination of hydrogen and carbon molecules.

The primary consumers of natural gas are the industrial (54.1 per cent), residential (26.6 per cent) and commercial sectors (19.3 per cent). Canada is the fifth largest natural gas producer after the United States, Russia, Iran and Qatar. Currently, all of Canada’s natural gas exports go to the United States through a network of pipelines, making Canada the largest foreign source of US natural gas imports. At the end of 2016, Canada had 76.7 trillion cubic feet of proven natural gas reserves and had produced 152 billion cubic metres of natural gas that year. It is forecasted that global natural gas consumption will double by 2035.

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Pipelines in Canada

Pipelines are systems of connected pipes used to transport liquids and gases — namely oil and natural gas — across long distances from source to market. More than 840,000 km of pipelines criss-cross the country. They represent part of the oil and gas sector which directly and indirectly employs approximately 740,000 people. According to Natural Resources Canada, the sector earns the government an average of $20 billion in royalties, fees and taxes each year (see Natural Resources in Canada). It also contributes nearly 11 per cent of Canada’s gross domestic product.

Pipelines, however, have  been controversial in Canada. Pipelines help transport fossil fuels and research indicates  that  fossil fuel use,   is significantly contributing to climate change. In recent years, Indigenous groups, environmentalists, municipalities and labour unions have opposed numerous pipeline projects due to the risk of  contaminated local waterways from spills and leaks. (See also Environmental Movement in Canada).

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Mackenzie Valley Pipeline Proposals

In 1970, the Canadian government introduced guidelines for the development of a pipeline corridor south from the Mackenzie River delta to Alberta and the United States. Energy companies have since proposed three separate projects to transport natural gas by pipeline along this route — the Arctic Gas Pipeline, the Foothills Pipeline and the Mackenzie Gas Project — with an oil pipeline likely to follow in the first two cases. However, due to high costs, engineering challenges, environmental concerns, Indigenous land claims and changing markets, none of these pipelines has been built.

Macleans

Ontario Hydro Meltdown

This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on August 25, 1997. Partner content is not updated.

Carl Andognini gives his diamond pinky ring a fiddle and offers a thin smile. A very thin smile. He has just come from yet another meeting with a crowd of ONTARIO HYDRO staffers in the mega-corporation’s mirrored headquarters in downtown Toronto.

Article

Keystone XL Pipeline

Keystone XL was a proposed 1,947 km long pipeline project that would have carried crude oil from Alberta to Nebraska. It was owned by Calgary-based TC Energy Corporation. The pipeline was named XL for “export limited.” First proposed in July 2008, it was the prospective fourth phase of TC Energy’s existing Keystone Pipeline system. In Canada, Keystone XL had the support of both the federal and Alberta governments. However, the project faced significant opposition and legal challenges on environmental grounds. In January 2021, United States president Joe Biden cancelled its permit on his first day in office. On 9 June 2021, TC Energy and the Alberta government announced the termination of the Keystone XL pipeline.

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Sustainability in Canada

Sustainability is the ability of the biosphere, or of a certain resource or practice, to persist in a state of balance over the long term. The concept of sustainability also includes things humans can do to preserve such a balance. Sustainable development, for instance, pairs such actions with growth. It aims to meet the needs of the present while ensuring that future people will be able to meet their needs.

Article

Bitumen

One of the easiest ways to understand bitumen is to compare it to its cousin, conventional crude oil. Whereas conventional crude oil flows freely, bitumen does not. At room temperature it looks like cold molasses, and must be either heated or diluted before it flows.

Macleans

Ontario Hydro's $6 Billion Loss

It was a sight to behold: men and women who have dumped all over the province's public electrical utility from the dawn of political time, running in rhetorical circles in an effort to persuade worried voters and nervous consumers that Ontario Hydro's decision to write $6.