Chris Keefer is a medical doctor and president of Canadians for Nuclear Energy who testified before the Canadian Parliament on April 25, 2022. In his third appearance on the podcast, (previous appearances were November 2021 and May 2021) Keefer (who is also the host of the Decouple podcast) talks about the growing bipartisan interest in nuclear energy in Canada, why the “CANDU reactors are immortal,” the dangers of America’s powerful anti-nuclear “NGO-industrial complex,” Canada’s uranium wealth, and why investing in renewable energy has been “an enormous waste.”
Robert Bryce 0:04
Hi, everyone, welcome to the power hungry Podcast. I’m Robert Bryce. On this podcast we talk about energy, power, innovation and politics. And I’m pleased to welcome back my friend Chris Keefer. Dr. Chris Keefer. He is joining us from Toronto, Ontario. He is the director of Canadians for nuclear energy. Chris, welcome back to the power hungry podcast.
Chris Keefer 0:22
Robert, it’s a pleasure to be here. I think this is the third time I feel like we’re becoming good friends.
Robert Bryce 0:27
Third time. Okay. See, I’m losing count here. I’m bad at counting. But yeah, second, third. It’s always great to see you again. And there’s lots
Chris Keefer 0:34
of talk about. Absolutely, absolutely.
Robert Bryce 0:37
So I gave you just a quick title. But you know, guests introduce themselves. So I don’t have to remind you this tell tell us who you are.
Chris Keefer 0:45
I do for sir. So I am. I was like I You start off with your family. So I’m gonna steal a page from your book. I’m the proud father of a beautiful three and a half year old boy. As you mentioned with some agency, his name is Liam Finn, Liam Finn. Okay. And he’s the best little boy that’s ever been. But that’s that’s just my opinion. I understand a lot of parents feel that way. Yeah, I’m an emergency physician, as you mentioned, involved a lot in simulation based medical education, which is a whole other topic, but a lot of fun. But my interest in the last three or four years is strangely pivoted towards energy and nuclear. Providing SRE I guess, it’s the sort of triage ethic that I have for medicine, which is about identifying the most pressing problems and steering, limited resources in the most skillful ways towards towards solving those. And, you know, I am a climate Hawk, for sure. And that’s what led me towards a real embrace of nuclear energy as the logical solution that can guarantee both effective climate action, but also, you know, economic prosperity, energy, security, all the stuff we should really be be caring about holistically in order to do this, right.
Robert Bryce 1:57
Well, that’s great. I want to talk about that idea around the different vision for the grid and what that means, but bring us up to date on we’ve talked by phone and WhatsApp, or in the last few days, bringing us up to date about what’s happening in Canada and why there seems to be a kind of a rebirth of interest in in nuclear energy in Canada. What’s going on?
Chris Keefer 2:18
Man, Robert, I mean, how long you got, this is a really exciting topic for me
Robert Bryce 2:22
an hour an hour or less, so cut to the chase getting killed, kill the babies. That’s the old Newsline about Nina kill. Yeah. So give us the give us the headlines here.
Chris Keefer 2:31
Yeah, I mean, Robert has been a really busy journey. As was saying, I’ve been in this field for a little over three years now, we held our first stand up for nuclear event. This is a global advocacy movement that holds in person demonstrations around the world. And that’s kind of where I caught the bug. You know, we had about six people in, in one of our main sort of city squares here in Toronto, in Toronto, in Canada’s largest city. You know, handing out homemade pamphlets, talking to whoever we could mostly, you know, homeless and mentally ill people. But, you know, so we are humble beginnings. And last week, you know, just to give you a sense of how things have changed the way the ground shifted under our feet, just from an advocacy perspective. I was on Parliament Hill, I guess that’s the equivalent of our sort of Capitol Hill, you know, meeting with members of both of the main sort of National Party’s of governance, it’s almost kind of sloppy making comparisons between Canada and the US, but essentially it kind of the Democrats and Republicans, if you will, my Canadian listeners, I gotta apologize for that gross oversimplification. But meeting with with caucuses of both parties, there are actually dedicated nuclear caucuses within the liberal and conservative party. But also meeting with actual cabinet ministers, I met the minister of defense, the Minister of Housing and Social Development’s met a senators invited me to speak on the Senate Committee of the Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Committee. So it’s really been sort of a dizzying rise here. And yeah, you have to ask yourself, why what is it about nuclear in Canada that’s kind of throwing open these doors wire? Why are politicians in particular, so interested? And why? I mean, you’re kind of coming coming at me from Texas here, and why is that so different from the US? So? You know, that that’s a big, big question to answer. But I’d say Canada’s kind of unique in the West, you know, we have managed to maintain our nuclear sector. And it’s not atrophied in the same way that it has across the West. You know, our candy reactors benefit from essentially being immortal. The internals can be swapped out every 30 to 40 years. And then we can keep these things running and running and running. And we’ve done that with a good chunk of our reactor fleet, and we’re doing it with almost the rest of it. And what that means is that we have an active workforce, an active supply chain, active expertise, and it’s Canada’s largest infrastructure project. It’s a $26 billion investment which keeps us as you know, with with a certain amount of industrial capacity, we have heavy forging capacity, we’re making our own steam generators, and we have a supply chain, you know, Canada’s this really interesting tier one nuclear nation where not only do we have, you know, the world’s richest, highest or grade uranium in the world, but we do our own fuel manufacturing, we have our own engineering and technology, our own Canada reactor, which I think is a country we should be very proud of. And so we’ve captured all of the value within that supply chain. So despite nuclear, you know, I’m not trying to paint a picture of Canada, that’s totally rosy. You know, our particular governing political party has a very contradictory approach to the sector. There’s enough, you know, what Mr. Pena would call path dependency and inertia within the system. And it’s just such common sense, particularly in the light of the mounting global energy crisis. And the really the geopolitical crisis that the Russian invasion of Ukraine has set off that, you know, as part of this global return to nuclear Canada’s very well positioned to take advantage of that. And it’s really just in our in our sort of vital national interest. And, of course, climate is always a tertiary concern when the rubber actually meets the road. Sure, it’s nice to see those things aligning, you know, the energy security, the national interest and, and climate climate impacts.
Robert Bryce 6:21
Well, so let me ask you about that. Because I think that’s an interesting point. You know, I think that the the Russian invasion of Ukraine should certainly be an inflection point when it comes to the issues of energy. And you know, as Ted Nordhaus says that climate climate policy will take a backseat to energy policy. But how much of this this resurgence in interest or the increase in bipartisan interest in nuclear in Canada has been brought to the fore by the by the the war in Ukraine is that does that figure into this?
Chris Keefer 6:50
It does. I mean, this is this is very fresh stuff. And probably it, it has to do more so with, you know, the ways in which the the Russian invasion is further driving up prices, I think that’s the ultimate pressure point. And that’s why you’re seeing countries like, you know, the UK under Boris Johnson committing to building not just one new, large EPR reactor, but actually eight, while you’re seeing the turnaround in France, why even Belgium is partially reversing its nuclear phase out. Obviously, we’re not as connected to that problem. In Canada, we have, you know, the benefit of being your neighbor, and having benefited from historically cheap natural gas prices. But even that is changing, because, you know, I think we’re about to see the US embark on what I’m calling an energy Marshall Plan for Europe. Europe has made this commitment realistic or not to get off Russian fossil fuels and particularly natural gas within five years. And that’s going to see a natural gas sector in the States, which, you know, to my limited understanding, again, as a amateur energy enthusiasts, it’s you know, there’s there’s a situation in the US where there’s been under investment in the fracking industry where the Geraldton, uncompleted wells are running out, we’re seeing prices spiking, I was just checking on, it looks like we’re up to $8 per million Btus. That’s a quadrupling of natural gas prices. And I think it’s really changing the calculus. Here in Ontario, where we’ve been planning on shutting down one of our enormous nuclear power plants and replacing with gas capacity. It’s an issue that I’m really active on, on advocating for the refurbishment of the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station. But, you know, the facts on the ground are changing rapidly. You know, the politicians are thirsty, I think, and they’re playing catch up trying to understand this new reality. And luckily, you know, we’ve been really uniquely positioned in Canada as the only civil society, all volunteer nuclear advocacy groups, who are willing to be bold, to throw open the Overton window or just what is possible within nuclear, and make make the impossible possible again. So I’m just so excited
Robert Bryce 9:01
if I can interrupt because I think it’s interesting too, as you’re talking about this is the that Canada has this more cohesive supply chain and the unionized workforce behind it, and just a quick station break. So I’m talking to Chris Keefer. Canadians for nuclear energy is his He’s the founder of that group, right? You’re the founder of the Canadians for nuclear energy. Chris,
Chris Keefer 9:22
I’m the president but there is a group a group of founders,
Robert Bryce 9:25
okay group of founders, and just so you can find them at sea for in e.ca that see letter a numeral four n e.ca. But I thought it was just you know, what, how you ran through the fact that we have our own uranium we we can we refine it ourselves, we have our own reactor design, we have this embedded and now trained workforce over generations. And when I look at the US, I’m thinking we have none of that we have none of this kind of cohesion around nuclear energy in the US and we certainly don’t have any kind of bipartisan support that’s needed it As you probably noticed, during his State of the Union Address, President Biden didn’t use the word nuclear energy one time didn’t didn’t mention those words not once, which I thought was a I mean, it just egregious oversight, particularly given what’s happening, but, but I’m pleased to hear it. Well, it seems to me that what candidate the reaction in Canada and what you’re seeing there is the more appropriate response to what we’ve seen with the invasion of Ukraine. And we haven’t seen anything similar here in the US, and it makes me makes me well, not ready to move to Toronto. But I mean, that it seems like that’s a more proper and measured political response to what we’re seeing here in the US, which is kind of just ignore it, ignore the promise of nuclear energy?
Chris Keefer 10:42
Well, I mean, first off, Robert meat costs us two constants. So whenever you want to move up here, you’re most welcome. But we do have I think, I think we might be the most expensive real estate in the world. Right now we have a quite the real estate balloon. But all that aside, I mean, I don’t want to paint an overly rosy picture I’m describing the government is taking baby steps here. And I’m really happy to discuss, again, this this highly contradictory policy towards energy, which I spent in nuclear energy, which I think is starting to be clarified. But you stressed again, the importance of this, you know, supply chain, which is, again, 96%. Indigenous here in Canada, we have independent economic analysis that says for every dollar that we invest in Canada, nuclear, we get $1.40, back in GDP growth, right. And this paints the stark contrast between competing visions of you know, what this net zero or energy transition world will look like, particularly when it comes to a just transition? Because, you know, what are the costs of nuclear once the plants are built, it’s dirt, cheap uranium, and we don’t even need to enrich the stuff here in Canada, because our candles will burn anything, right? And labor. And so we have parking lots, you know, with 3000 parking spots, because we don’t just build one can do here, we put eight of them, you know, in a single site. And so you pay people, you know, you pay tradespeople, six figure salaries. And that money bounces around in their community, it gets spent in their community, it stimulates the local economy. And so that’s what we see this incredible benefit. You know, in terms of, again, not wanting to paint an overly rosy picture, the context of this recent advocacy and I think why things have really taken off is we went from in our last parliamentary session, which had almost the exact same seat composition, we had a snap election that was an attempt to get a majority government by our Liberal Party. It kind of backfired, the parliament’s the exact same, but we had a really important cabinet shuffle, where we had a prominent Minister of natural resources. Seamus O’Regan, who was saying bold things like there is no path and answer without nuclear can do is a gold standard reactor around the world. And you know, really scratching his head talking about how the environmental NGOs are anti mining, where the hell do they think all the you know, the the minerals are going to come from that are going to, you know, supplant the hydrocarbons, supposedly, right. We got instead the next most, you know, the cabinet shuffle gave us a former Greenpeace activists who repelled off the CN Tower to protest climate change. I mean, a real committed guy with, you know, a record in the anti nuclear movement of opposing, you know, every single nuclear nuclear thing possible, right.
Robert Bryce 13:14
And this is Gilles. Bo, right?
Chris Keefer 13:16
This is Steven guilbeault and guilbeault. You know, okay. Yeah, I mean, I had an interaction with him that I talked about, when we debriefed about comp 26. Or I confronted him and I said, Listen, you know, you have this principled stance as an anti nuclear activist, you know, will that cloud your judgment as, as our Minister of the Environment, given the IPCC and all of its principal decarbonisation pathway says, Hey, we’re gonna need a big increase in nuclear energy. He said at the time, a government has no role in this. And he quoted some levelized cost numbers and we’ll nuke there’s just gonna have to compete in the market. Six months later, he’s in charge of developing our green bond framework. And it excludes nuclear, it’s justified by a single sentence saying, you know, it’s just green finance. This is the practice out there, but he went further. And he really trolled the nuclear sector, you know, workers who I consider to be clean air, climate and medical heroes, because of our medical isotope production. But he trolled them by placing them in the same category as gambling, the manufacture of tobacco and alcohol. You know, firearms, we don’t we don’t like guns as much as you guys down there, but he really put it in the sin stock category. And this led to, you know, we put forward a petition to the House of Commons. It’s a very interesting democratic mechanism where if you get enough signatures in sponsoring MP, your petitions read on the floor of the House of Commons, the government’s mandated to provide a written response. It was a real lightning rod, and it got about 10,000 signatures in a month, which is pretty decent for Canada. And it really put a bee in the bonnet of the government. And, you know, in my discussions with both the opposition party, the Conservatives and the liberals, there’s a huge openness to nuclear once you lay out the facts, there’s really not a lot of prejudice is there and I’m gonna take a break so let you get some words in here, Robert. But I have a very interesting theory as to why that is.
Robert Bryce 15:02
Well, so I’ll interject just one quick point and which is that what was the quote, It was a guy that Vic Reese, he used to work at the Department of Energy. And he was talking about this partisan split around nuclear. And he said, The problem with nuclear and he’s talking about the Congress in the US, he said that Republicans are pro nuclear and anti government and Democrats are anti nuclear and pro government. So we need government officials who are pro nuclear and pro government. And it seems to me as I’ve thought about this a lot, and we’ve talked about it before. For nuclear to succeed in the US, we’re going to need pro government, pro nuclear people. We don’t have that in the Biden crowd. We just don’t have it. They think they’re the most anti nuclear administration in American history. And I don’t take any pleasure in saying that and, you know, talk to different people who push back on that, but when you look at what’s happening at the NRC, but but continue on about that, that the where that common interest or commonality of interest in Canada and the idea of Canada, I guess, if when you’re talking about what the success of the country is, you’re seeing the liberals and the conservatives coming to the same kind of view on nuclear. Why is that from where does that come?
Chris Keefer 16:07
Well, I mean, as you mentioned, there’s an incredible opportunity for consensus here. And, you know, my organization has been creating briefing memos for these caucuses, for cabinet ministers, you know, we’re really ceding ideas up through the back benches up to the highest level of government. And that’s, that’s a very exciting opportunity. Because, again, the nuclear industry is so short sighted in terms of its aspirations. You know, the only thing that has social and political license right now is small modular reactors in Canada. And that’s partially the industry’s fault, because that’s the only thing that will advocate for, you know, by throwing throwing that Overton window open by saying, Here’s, you know, we’re going to advocate for something that’s, you know, it’s ridiculous that it’s controversial, but the refurbishment of, you know, one of our large nuclear generating stations, and the building of more large nuclear, you know, we by advocating over on that side, we win, you know, sprinklings, of government support on the SMR stuff. But when you only advocate for the most conservative thing that currently has social and political license, you don’t win much at all right? So this is just classic. I mean, I really observed this, you know, when Obama won the presidency, the Senate and the House, and then proceeded to immediately try and build a sort of bipartisan agenda and watered down all of the political capital he had, you don’t, you don’t build out a bold vision by compromising immediately, right, you stake out, you know, a bold claim. And so we’ve been really successful. I think we’re doing that and things, things are really shifting and our talking points are near identical for the, you know, the conservatives, the liberals and our sort of left wing social democrats. So the peripheral party that the New Democratic Party, it’s, you know, we emphasize different things, we emphasize more economic frost, like climate action, with economic prosperity, with energy security to the conservatives, we emphasize more the climate talking points for the liberals and with the NDP, the Social Democratic Party, the National Party of labor, we emphasize the just transition, because I was talking earlier about this, this competing vision, what is our economy? What is their energy system going to look like? It can either be high tech, high skills, you know, very skilled trades, people, engineers, you know, almost exclusively unionized workforce with excellent, you know, long term, intergenerational jobs tied to communities that thrive, right, that’s one option. Or we have this dystopian wind and solar future, where we import all of our technology and our, you know, energy infrastructure from places like China, Vietnam, because let’s face it, not even Europe can build wind turbines, you know, anymore, you know, the costs are just getting too high, especially with commodities ticking up. Do we become a nation of solar panel installers, you know, take 50% Maybe more pay cut for a workers move into low skilled jobs, essentially just screwing solar panels on the fucking metal frames, jobs that I compare to sort of like energy Kearney jobs, you know, like carnival workers that go from town to town, right? These are intermittent jobs running intermittent energy, you know, they’re, they’re de localized. And I mean, it’s really a distant and it produces, as we’ve talked about the grid as the commons, the vital life support structure of modern civilization. You know, that’s what’s at stake. And so, you know, I can make arguments right across the political spectrum, that I think they’re incredibly cohesive. And that paints a much rosier picture of what’s possible. But I wanted to just say, briefly, Sherman, we can explore this in more detail what’s so different about Canada in the US, and there’s a few things as I mentioned, the supply chain, etc. The internal logic is stronger in Canada. But in terms of the political culture, the US suffers from something called the nonprofit industrial complex. Right. And, you know, it’s the nonprofit sector in the US is worth more than a trillion dollars is larger than probably the majority of the world’s economies for God’s sakes. And my understanding of the reason it is that way is because it’s a beautiful tax avoidance mechanism for ultra wealthy American tends to, to, you know, sprinkle money on foundations and nonprofits get a nice tax receipt. And it’s a way that’s very libertarian. It’s, you know, why would I pay, you know, taxes to the government lose control of where that money gets spent, when I can sort of, you know, steer that money towards what what my interests are, in a way, I mean, I can see why it’s attractive. But in another way, if we need the state to do bold things, and set industrial policy and do the kind of things we used to do when we built the grid by 5% per year in the 50s 60s, and 70s, it’s gotta go the other way. But when you have a nonprofit industrial complex, you have environmental NGOs, anti nuclear, environmental NGOs that have annual operating budgets of over $1 billion, right. And that means they’re infiltrated right across the intelligentsia. right up into the White House, I forget her name, but former NRDC Chairwoman, who’s an advisor on
Robert Bryce 20:50
McCarthy, this senior climate advisor in the Biden administration, and they’re not going to speak up and they’re not going to speak up for the the preservation of the Palisades nuclear plant in Michigan, they said bubkis, about the closure of the Indian Point nuclear plant in New York, they said bubkis about the closure of nuclear plants in Illinois. They even said a word about the closure of the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant in California. I mean, it’s just it truly is disgusting to me. I mean, and I say that I use that word. It’s the right word. It’s total disgust. If these are climate hawks, what are you doing? I mean, what are you doing this is the ease these this is the low hanging fruit. But let me jump back to what you what you said about the Conservatives versus the nuclear in the Labour Party with the New Democratic Party. I thought that was interesting you know, what do you how do you appeal to those different interests well with a conservative as you say energy security with the with the liberals you talk about climate and with the labor guys you talk about good union jobs which something I’ve seen myself at Indian point where when one once Indian Point close that that the Buchanan New York they lost was 1000 or more new, high paying intergenerational union jobs where you could families could make it on one salary. And and that’s completely lost. And I look at the the liberals in the US, the Democrats, I’m thinking, well, who are you supporting? What are you who are you representing? You say you represent the poor in the middle class, but here they are, and you’re, you’re abandoning them. And now with gasp, nat gas prices going up? Electricity prices are skyrocketing. And that’s a completely regressive. So I think you’re you know, it’s just interesting to see how your journey has progressed over the years. And I admire what you’re doing, I think I just don’t see a pathway in the US for the activism you’re doing because as you say, these NGOs are so powerful inside the beltway that there’s effectively no chance of getting getting this message heard in any kind of way that’s going to really reverberate, particularly in this administration. And well, I mean, let me tell you, it’s depressing. I think, in my view, it’s very depressing.
Chris Keefer 22:50
Let me paint a biblical, visual image for you here. Okay. Sure. I talk a lot about, you know, the kind of ideological battle of ideas, right, because fundamentally, you know, we’re this is a battle of ideas, we have competing models of what the future would look like. And I kind of laid out that, you know, nuclear based model versus the the, you know, nation of solar panel, installers, installers model. But let’s talk about the forces arrayed on that battlefield. And I’m going to argue that it’s a real David and Goliath struggle. On the one side, we have that probably more than a billion dollars of annual operating revenue collection of the usual suspects, the NRDC, the Sierra Club, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, etc, right. And on the other side, let’s say this is kind of team equal modernism, you know, those who reject the pseudo religious narrative of having sinned against Mother Nature, by modernizing by industrializing having to go back to the Garden of Eden, that’s, that’s the billion dollar man, folks. On one side of this battle, that ideas we have kind of team, you know, innovation team pragmatism on the other side, and I would be stretching, and I think, to see the annual operating budgets of organizations on that side of the battlefield control $10 million, probably less, right. So I mean, it’s astounding that our ideas carry as much traction as they do, particularly in the States, given, you know, the forces arrayed here and I mean, we know that money solid, tell me
Robert Bryce 24:13
about the battle of ideas here and the money behind it. What, where’s the where’s the money? And where’s the momentum?
Chris Keefer 24:19
Right. I mean, so here’s here’s my biblical framing of this year. We have we have competing competing ideologies, competing visions for the future, you know, which I think I outlay there with a, you know, a Nuclear Future of, you know, high paying union jobs, high tech stem trades, jobs grounded in communities versus you know, being a nation of imported Chinese solar panel installers, basically. Right. But on the on this battlefield, we have, you know, the traditional environmental NGOs, you know, with annual operating budgets of likely over a billion dollars groups like the NRDC, Sierra Club, Friends of the Earth. Greenpeace, right. And these are folks that subscribe to this pseudo religious outdated narrative that we’ve sinned against Mother Nature. In the only way, forwards is actually backwards. Towards rejecting modernity, small is beautiful. I mean, families use
Robert Bryce 25:07
less, work less, be less don’t travel, all these things.
Chris Keefer 25:12
And frankly, you know, those their profits have a self fulfilling prophecy of of catastrophe. Because if we follow their edicts and fail to innovate, we don’t use genetic engineering to improve our crops. We don’t develop abundant, reliable energy to have air conditioning and power desalination. I mean, then you start having hundreds of millions people dying, maybe from four degrees of climate change by 2100. But all that aside, that’s one side of this battlefield, and it’s got a billion bucks behind it. On the other side, we have, you know, Team eco modernism, Team innovation. And I would be very surprised if if that side controls, you know, an annual operating budget of $10 million. I think it’s probably half that. Yeah. And I think what’s what’s most astounding about that, as the traction that, you know, Ico modern ideas are getting, given this vast gas chasm in finance and money talks in terms of buying influence in terms of getting media attention in terms of getting political intent, attention. But I think our arguments have have the ring of truth behind them and the ring of logic. And if you can actually sit down one to one with people. I mean, I’ve got an amazing track record of bringing people around and convincing people on this. And it’s just common sense. But, you know, that’s our challenge. That’s sort of our generational challenge is, is, is winning this battle of ideas. It ain’t gonna be easy, Robert, but but that’s what you know, your podcast is about, that’s what my if I can be so bold, that’s what my podcast is about. And I think we’re, we’re gonna win eventually.
Robert Bryce 26:40
Well, so tell me about that. Because as you were talking about that, I thought, you know, I’ve found a lot of power in doing the power hungry podcast, right? It’s just given me a platform and people are contacting me want to be on my crappy little podcast. And really, it’s just me, you know, but it seems to decouple has really given you a different, it really changed your, your brand. That’s another change in your profile. And given you a different way to, I mean, would any of this have worked? If you weren’t a podcast? Or would you have gained this level? I’m just curious how you view decouple with how your your rise as a pronuclear, and advocate in the public sphere, trying to affect policy? How’s that? I’m curious. Tell me about that.
Chris Keefer 27:23
I don’t want to give away all my secrets. But yeah, I mean, I think as you’ve noticed, a podcast is an incredible sort of social capital instrument, and incredibly intimate, you know, form of communication, you know, and I have I have diehard listeners that I think have listened to every single episode. I mean, that’s an eyes, you know, that’s hundreds of hours, or you’re right inside people’s ears, and, you know, it’s a wonkish podcast, it’s got a, you know, it’s not got a huge following, we’re nearing 200,000 downloads, and I am very excited to get towards a quarter million that just has a nice ring to it. But But I mean, really, really intelligent people are listening to this podcast, and it’s building a political culture, for instance, you know, there is a huge social pressures to, to not have any critiques of renewables, right. I mean, the kind of thuggish policing of the discourse around this where you’re labeled a nuclear bro, if you have intelligent critiques of of renewables is it’s shocking to me. And so I’ve been able to carve out a space for that, and I think show leadership that one can be articulate, principled, you know, brewery, like nuke bro brewery is a way of behaving towards other people, you know, it’s being an asshole, it’s being presumptuous, it’s being rude. It’s not about a position that you hold, it’s not about ideas, like we need to the world is so hyperpolarize Robert, I mean, you know, social media has just created such a toxic landscape. And I think podcast long form podcasts cut through the bullshit on that, because you really get to know someone, you know, you know, as your host, for instance, you get to get a sense of their values. And that, you know, I think, has tremendous benefits. I mean, I was just at the Canadian Nuclear Association Conference. And there’s a decent number of people there that came up to me and said, Hey, I love your podcast, I love what you’re doing. And that’s interesting, because, you know, there’s some tension between me and the Canadian nuclear sector, certainly parts of it, because, you know, I’m here advocating for the very common sense thing, which is the refurbishment of, you know, for more of our Canada units at the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station. And for whatever reason, like I was saying that the industry has become so conservative and what their asks Are that they’ve said, Well, that’s impossible, you know, sprinkle some crumbs on on SMRs without realizing that, you know, my advocacy out here for Pickering and new build can do gets them more goods here. It’s good for the whole sector. And I mean, I’m happy to talk about the insanity of shutting down Pickering. But, you know, I did want to come back to the Canadian situation and really emphasize that you know, that this is a battle to be won, we’re starting to win it. But we have a long way to go things things are not as rosy as they might seem from, you know, the destitute. scenario that you’re facing with nuclear in the United States.
Robert Bryce 30:04
Destitute covers it pretty well. I think that’s about the right word. I mean, you know, when you when I see what’s happening at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, they pour out the Oklo permit application in January, just a few weeks after the Chinese started operating commercial OPERS operation of a high temperature gas reactor in Shandong, the cutting edge of the cutting edge in China. And we just were just standing here with our teeth in our mouth, we can’t get anywhere. But tell me about the the status of the Green Energy Act. I know that this was something it was under the former Premier McGuinty right that this was passed. And then she was thrown out. I mean, they became a rump party, right when in Ontario, but what’s the status of the Green Energy Act in Ontario now?
Chris Keefer 30:46
Yeah, so two premiers Dalton McGuinty and then his successor? And for God’s sakes, I’m blanking on her name right now. It’ll come back to me. But anyway, yeah, I mean, so this was, you know, I joke and say that Ontario is the France of North America. Of course, Quebec has the ties with the French and French language province, but from an energy perspective, you know, for instance, about 75% nuclear energy in Ontario 62%. And for whatever reason, and we made this terrible choice in 2009, not to refurbish the picture in units to let 3200 megawatts go offline. Luckily, we’ve had life extension after life extension without a full refurbishment, and that’s going to come to an end in 2025. I mean, it won’t, because we’re going to be successful. We’re going to get the thing refurbished. But the Green Energy Act, yeah, I mean, it was basically long term locked in contracts, guaranteeing a certain price point for renewables developers, you know, there was Rosie Amory Levin’s actually came up to Ontario and advocated for this. So we have, you know, his, his footprints on this as well. But, you know, I’ll give you some examples. You know, behind the meter solar was given 80 cents per kilowatt hour. You know, this, we get hydro for about five or six cents, you know, we get nuclear for eight or nine cents, right? Wind is getting at boats 18 cents per kilowatt hour, utility solar, 49 cents per kilowatt hour. And get this Robert, they get paid for every kilowatt they produce, regardless if we need it or not. And we have something we have something called the lake effects here. So wind in particular, we have a five or 6000 megawatts of wind produces radically out of phase with demand. So it goes nuts in the fall in the spring when we least need electricity. We heat mostly with gas. So winter demand isn’t that high. But summer is insane. Right? Our baseload needs about 10 gigawatts, we jumped at 26 gigawatts in the summer, when we have these heat waves. And you know, these are these muggy, humid, like they kill people kind of heat waves, right? Not 100% humidity, but you get wet bulb temperatures that are pretty high. And you know, wind is almost entirely absent like two 3% capacity factor during these these critical times. And so get this though. So the subsidies that we’re paying for these contracts, we will have overpaid $38.7 billion on these contracts, which despite the Green Energy Act being cancelled by the government, they threw out the liberals who put this in place, and were thrown out decisively went from the majority party to losing official party status, like down to six seats or something like that from over 100. You know, that there was this decision, and it’s this path dependency that’s led us to a almost a $40 billion expenditure on this crap. When we could have spent 10 billion on Pickering. We’re losing that. And that has massive climate implications. The closure of that nuclear station is going to eliminate all of the emission reductions that we’ve accomplished as a country since 2005. It’s going to add the 8 million 8 million transatlantic flights
Robert Bryce 33:52
it’s just incredible. It truly is incredible, that this this short sightedness and that is the same the same as it play here in the US with the closure of you know Palisades closure of Indian Point looming closure of Diablo Canyon being cheered on by the NGO industrial complex, as you said that the Green Energy Act was cancelled by or it was thrown out by your incoming Premier Pro Ford. I’ve forgotten his first name. Yeah, yeah. Doug Ford. Doug Ford. Right. So, but let’s talk a little bit about this recent piece, and I know you haven’t read it. I’ve been reading over it. But this was a remarkable piece of Jacobin magazine. It was called in praise of the Tennessee Valley Authority. It was written by Fred Stafford and Matt Huber. And it touches on some of these things that you’re we’ve been talking about here and there’s just a great line in here. And it says the though the environmental left may not want to accept it. The smallest beautiful approach of decentralized energy provides ideological cover for a ruthless form of renewable energy capitalism. And even worse, it threatens our fight to halt climate change in its tracks. decentralized energy replaces a high wage industrial union economy with a rentier one with rental economy only flowing to the property, property class through net meter solar rooftop solar, I have rooftop solar, the homeowners become an energized petty bourgeoisie. And they’re looking to collect rents for their solar property from less property, less virtuous workers. We have the common electrical grid. You know, it’s our discussions, you know, Emmitt Penny and I admire his work. But there’s a sensibility about that, what they’re talking about this from two avowed Marxist, Stafford and Huber saying they identify as Marxism. But identifying the grid is this idea of the common good. And that’s resonates with me a lot. And it takes me back to the New Deal here in the US, where you had a few few legislators saying we need to support the grid, because this is the common good. And that seems to have been completely lost. Now in this, this smallest, beautiful, decentralized energy and ruthless capitalism, which I’ve documented over and over these big, you know, big wind companies going in and just crushing these small communities suing them suing individuals suing Esther Reitman in Canada with a slap suit. I mean, it’s it’s an intimidation culture is what I see over and over again. I mean, what do you what’s your reaction to that Jacobin piece? Or what do you know, this idea around the grid and a different different concept of the grid? I guess, is the is the question.
Chris Keefer 36:12
Let me ask you a random question. Robert. Are you familiar with the Indian case system at all? Then rigid class system? In India, right? The system? Yeah. Or your last name determines your social destiny. So the Brahmins are sort of the priestly class, they’re very highly esteemed very elite. And there’s a political scientist, I think it’s Thomas Piketty, I could be getting that wrong, who came up with this idea of the Brahmin left? Right. And essentially, you know, this is what’s just astounding to me. You mentioned these Marxist thinkers, right, there’s this tiny fringe on the on the left, I’ll call it sort of more of an old left that really clings to those values, right of, you know, have something like the TVA of public ownership, you know, of real issues that are of importance to working people affordability, you know, affordable energy. And we have, you know that that’s a vanishingly small sliver of of the existing left right now, right, what we have now is a Brahmin left. And it’s interesting, because, you know, the left has abandoned the working class. It’s now a party of the elites, the urban elites who are completely divorced from industry, completely enforced divorce from the workplace, they have no engineering discipline, their edge energy policies are complete pie in the sky fantasies. Right. And, and those are the people who vote for left parties now. And what’s interesting is, you know, in Canada, like think like with, with Trump, for instance, the right wing is is the Populist Party now, because they talk about whether it’s genuine or not, they talk about issues of affordability, things that actually matter to working class people. So I mean, we have a real real crisis of the left, and who’s there to champion that vision, which I agree with you, I think, is the most efficient way to build out affordable, affordable energy system, which should be of interest to the entire political spectrum, because, you know, cheap, abundant, reliable, affordable energy is the basis it’s the you know, as Isaac or says, It’s the secret ingredient in everything, right, if you want prosperity, and ultimately, if you want climate action, that’s that’s the precursor, and we’re coming out of you know, what I call the Amory Lovins decades, about 50 years where we’ve had stagnation or zero growth on the grid. And, you know, the what the climate hawks will tell you is, you know, for net zero, we need to electrify everything. I know, you had a real bad experience with that in Texas, last February, Robert. You know, if we’re going to electrify everything, it better be goddamn ultra reliable electricity, which means it’s basically got to be mostly nuclear. And and we have a shit ton of it’s a build, and our policymakers are intellectuals are intelligent Sensia have no experience with that golden age of growing our grid, you know, right from, you know, the pearl station and Edison in 1880s, up until the 1970s. And, you know,
Robert Bryce 38:53
and they have this fantasy that, oh, we’re just gonna make this massive expansion of the grid right now. And Bill McKibben is saying, oh, yeah, we’ll just double or triple the amount of electricity we’re producing. Really,
Chris Keefer 39:02
those, those ideologues have crippled the electrify everything agenda with it, because he can’t
Robert Bryce 39:07
do it can’t be done. It can’t be done, given the grid that we have their ideas around renewables, or we’re gonna have to build all this in additional transmission. It’s not going to happen. And yet this is the I mean, this is the accepted wisdom and it is not, there is not the other part of the Clerici, as Joel Kotkin calls them. Is your your idea about the Brahmin left in the NGO, the industrial complex? Well, it’s complemented by a media class that has no none of the things you just talked about no engineering, discipline, no understanding of history in terms of the grid or where it came from. And so it’s a global kind of just a repeat, repeat continual repeat of the same what I would think are called just big lies around this idea of the energy transition. But yeah, this this idea of electrify everything, it’s going into your point, I think we have to make sure we have the nuclear capacity first that can can electrify We think before we make that leap, and yet instead it’s a we’re gonna close all this stuff and do it all with renewables. It’s just, it’s a recipe for disaster. And we’re seeing that now with the declining reliability of the grid in the US.
Chris Keefer 40:12
I got a great line for you, Robert. I just shared with it right now. Speaking of this decentralized, smallest beautiful fantasy, which you just said, it can’t be done, well, it can’t be done, but it can be modeled, Robert, it can be modeled. And of course, we should, we should, you know, ignore, you know, lived experience, we should ignore the whole political and financial, you know, milieu of of the actual demonstrated build out of our grid, you know, the glory days of the 60s and 70s, right, where we were adding 5% capacity, but we need to replicate that. And we have a lot of historical lessons to learn. But as I was saying, we have the last decades of Amory Levin’s and we have no no experience in terms of our policymakers in intelligencia. With with that, that experience, and that’s what we need to go back and study and I was honored to have Edgardo Sepulveda on, you know, who’s my sort of consultant, energy economist. And we really explored that in a recent episode looking at well, what were those preconditions? Right. And we’ve got serious work to do, especially if we’re going to do with nuclear. And again, that’s where there’s this Canadian advantage, because we have this ramped up supply chain ramp up workforce, you know, it’s still it’s the West, right? So it’s still a little bit precarious. But yeah, we’re miles ahead of the US. And, you know, this is a you know, as a sort of lifelong, progressive, you know, anti imperialist. I’ve sort of in my youth that had this naive idea of sort of, oh, fuck, let it burn, let it degenerate, you know, what’s the US Empire like it’s inflicting in all these unnecessary wars of aggression around the world, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. But you know, it’s interesting, having a kid living in the West and thinking, fuck, I don’t want to see the West decline. I want my kid to grow up in a healthy society in a healthier economy. And I have a huge preoccupation with the way in which we’re offshoring, heavy industry offshoring, we’d had sort of deindustrialization, 1.0 with a sort of neoliberal globalization, economic revolution, and now we’re having deindustrialization, 2.0 Because our energy prices are completely out of control. And we can’t compete with places like China and Vietnam that use coal and have shitty environmental regulations and horrible labor laws and forced weaker labor. So, you know, we have to really wake up our policymakers. And I’m very happy that Canada still has, you know, that supply chain and those, you know, quality, just transition jobs, that, you know, the green left talks about, you know, theoretically, but completely ignores. And, you know, we accomplished a just transition in Ontario, and it’s something I’m very proud of.
Robert Bryce 42:38
So let me ask you about Ontario Power Generation, because it was in March, that Ohio, Ontario Power Generation announced that they had, it would work with GE Hitachi, on the SMR at the Darlington site. So tell me about that. If you can bring us up. Do you know, do you follow that fairly closely? What’s what is that? What is the reactor that they’re planning on using there? Do you know that and can you give us any particulars on that?
Chris Keefer 43:02
Yeah, I mean, so it’s, it’s, you know, boiling water reactor, this is kind of the the oldest technology in the block. They were technologically conservative, obviously, I think it’s the I mean, it’s x, it’s the 10th iteration of this technology, it’s really been mastered, it’s a it’s an elegant and beautiful design. It’s over engineered in terms of safety. You know, it’s got, you know, condensers, which will allow, I think, up to 12 days of passive cooling of, of the plants. I mean, so it really, it’s it’s old technology, but it’s been been refined, and probably overly safety. It’s a 300 megawatt reactor. So, you know, we’re taking a one step forwards for 10 step backwards, losing 3200 megawatts with closing, Pickering. But I’m, you know, I’m not a word about both guy when it comes to nuclear and renewables. I think they actually don’t coexist very well. And you know, renewables basically mean, you need a full backup system, and they’re just, you know, an extravagant add on, that’s quite expensive. But with nuclear, yes, we need the large stuff. And we do need this, we do need these SMRs. And, you know, again, Canada’s a first mover in the west on SMR, as you mentioned, China is you know, they hooked up a 200 megawatt reactor in Pakistan a little while ago. You know, they’re about to really, I think, jumping to the lead as Russia loses its export market and is sanctioned. And Rosa Tom takes a nosedive. But in the West, Canada’s leading the way, with SMR technology, we have a plan to build a bunch more. I think it’s very dangerous to put all of our eggs in the SMR basket, because, you know, we’re not going to overcome economies of scale on our first build of a first of a kind 300 megawatt reactor. Sure, you know, what we know about modular building and there’s exciting stuff like steel bricks, you know, really trying to modularize this trying to be efficient with construction. It’s gonna be a lot of lessons to be learned there. I mean, I wish them all the success in the world. I understand from some inside sources that they’re doing an absolutely bang up job developing and preparing for this. But it is likely that it’s going to go a little over cost and over budget. I mean, I hope I’m wrong on that. And if we put all of our eggs in that basket, there could be blowback from it. But there’s enormous opportunity here, because there’s interest around the world, particularly in the West in Europe, for SMRs. And particularly for smaller countries like Estonia, and even some bigger countries like like Poland. And as a first mover, we have the opportunity to capture even though it’s us technology and enriched fuel, which we don’t do, we will be cut out of the fuel fabrication, unless we really get our shit together on that. We will be making the reactor pressure vessel at least for this one here in Canada, I was amazed that we have heavy forging capacity to do that, you know, in a town I grew up next to in Cambridge, Ontario, but you know, we’re going to be doing that and we have a we have an opportunity to capture some of that supply chain, you know, really support Europe, in getting off of Russian fuel, you know, getting their energy dependence back. So, you know, it’s something I’ve become more more bullish on. But yeah, that’s that’s yet another sort of Canadian advantage. It feels nice to be able to say some good things about about my country and what we’re doing.
Robert Bryce 45:58
Well, you know, I’m glad to hear it and rather envious, to be honest with you, because I just feel, you know, like I said, the US we’re just stuck here. And we’ve got an administration that has no, no apparent interest in preserving our existing reactors or developing new ones. And I say that with no joy whatsoever. But if the clearly not paying attention to what’s happening in Europe and the need for for greater energy security, and I think it’s the only go back to the the part about the Canadian government involvement here. One of the things that’s key here, as well as that you have part of your pensions are in government pensions are investors in Bruce Power, right. So you have a you have government invested in the nuclear sector as well. So that’s another just one other quick facet of this, if you don’t mind, just touch on that briefly, because I think we talked about in the last time you were on the show, but that’s another reason why you’ve got a I think, a more sympathetic ear. Is that fair to say in government that you have government investment in your nuclear sector?
Chris Keefer 46:57
Well, I mean, we it’s the Omers, which is a municipal workers union. And I mean, patient capital is what works beautifully with nuclear, you know, if you want to secure long term payback for your members and secure their retirement, this is the way to go. And they own I think 43% of the world’s largest operating nuclear plant, not only them, but the power Workers Union, I believe owns a 3% stake as well. So I mean, this is just a beautiful model in the model, the left should really be getting behind. You know,
Robert Bryce 47:23
just to be clear, if I’m interrupting here, but so the the you said the Ohio power Workers Union, they own 43% of Bruce, which
Chris Keefer 47:30
not the Ohio, but they’re called Power Workers Union,
Robert Bryce 47:34
the power I’m sorry, if I said, so the power Workers Union, their pension owns 43% of Bruce, which owns, which owns picker,
Chris Keefer 47:41
so so so there’s a municipal workers union that owns 43%, but the Ocala Workers Union itself owns I think two or 3%. Okay. Okay, facility. Yeah. You know, one last thing I kind of want to get in here. Sure. Before, before we close, you know, in terms of climate in Canada, you know, the oil sands are kind of this bet and war of climate, you know, when we released our emissions reduction plan, the federal government did recently, you know, oil and gas is 25% of our emissions, transportations 25% of our emissions, those are the big chunks, electricity is only like, 8%, you know, we have so much hydro, we’re doing pretty well. Right. You know, and the oil sands, you know, have this this terrible reputation. And I mean, they are, it’s very carbon intensive, we need to do steam injection to liberate the bitumen to get it out. But we also have, I don’t know what the opposite of a bet more is. But we have a Canadian uranium, which is a really extraordinary. And, you know, again, here’s an example of the industry really not doing a very good job advocating herself. There’s a lot of bullshit offset stuff happening in the world, right? Like, I’m going to set aside this forest. It burns down anyway, because it’s been poorly managed or climate change. Well, there goes the carbon, right, but I got some dollars off it, I helped polluting industry in the West. Well, the Canadian uranium sector, I just did the back of the envelope calculations on this, you know, globally, nuclear displaces 1/25 of all of humanity’s annual GHG emissions to two Giga tons. 50 is the number to remember 50, we put it every year, we offset two Giga tons by not burning fossil fuels and doing nuclear instead, Canada is the third largest uranium exporter. You know, the last numbers I have is about 13% That made jump with the instability in Kazakhstan. And, you know, Russia makes a lot of fuel. So we could really do more than that. But we offset fully 1/3 of our national annual emissions in Canada, with our uranium sector in terms of the way that uranium is used domestically and internationally. And again, we have the richest or grades in the world up to the global average is 1% or grade. We have a mine in Saskatchewan that’s got a 20%. Org rate. So the environment the environmental impact is absolutely minimal. And we’re using you know, it’s the best regulated mining sector in the world not only like Canadian level mining regulations, which are so different from those in the developed world but also there’s separate nuclear, you know, Canadian Nuclear say FDA Commission regulation. So this is a airtight regulated sector with radon levels in the mind, way lower than your basement. And, you know, but this is not being sold. So, you know, I mentioned that there’s this kind of schizophrenic contradiction in the in the government’s talk about nuclear we had a former Minister of natural resources, he was super bullish. But when our prime minister has asked about nuclear, you know, at COP 26, he says, Oh, we’re doing when we’re doing solar, you know, decarbonization could be difficult. So we have to have a lot of options on the table and kind of maybe sort of should maybe, possibly do nuclear. And, you know, what I say to liberal lawmakers is like, you know, your, your Prime Minister needs to get out there and brag, you know, the, the coal phase in Ontario, we had a 25% Coal grid, we replaced that with nuclear it was it was North America’s greatest greenhouse gas reduction. You know, we offset 1/3 of our national emissions with our uranium sector. You know, we produce 50% of the world’s cobalt 60, which sterilizes 40% of the world’s single use medical devices, we save Fuck, I mean, hundreds of 1000s Maybe millions of lives by providing that sterility to modern health care, like, people don’t don’t get the I mean, the fundamental role that nuclear plays, but particularly Canada, Canada’s nuclear in our beautiful Canada reactor, which not only has such a great success record at decarbonisation, and cleaning up our air, reducing smog days in my city from 53 to zero, by phasing out coal. But also this this medical isotopes success story, which is a unique feature of Canada reactors. So, you know, I’m very optimistic about Canada, I think, I think we’re going to win, I think we’re going to be refurbishing Pickering, I think we’re going to build a bunch of new candies, you know, to double our electric grid, to electrify everything, we need to build the equivalent of 96, large CANDU reactors, it would be the equivalent of something like 50 Hoover Dams. So there’s an enormous amount of infrastructure that’s got to get built, you know, bonds built this country, they built your country to they built the infrastructure that makes us a modern, you know, advanced economy. Bonds need to include nuclear, I think that’s a real important mechanism. You know, government needs to be involved. It can be private capital that’s being borrowed. And
Robert Bryce 52:08
let me interrupt there, but you’re those bonds, you’re talking about that it’s critical, that nuclear be included, included under this green bond definition that the Canadian government is now working through, and that’s that’s part of the conflict now are the issues you’re working through right now? Is that correct?
Chris Keefer 52:22
Absolutely. And, you know, you know, in my discussions with high level, government figures in the caucus in the cabinet, they were saying, who kind of are bad, this was the first iteration, you know, this was a Guilbeau move. From what I understand, you know, he was his, his office was the most responsible for, you know, excluding nuclear and listing it as a sin stock. But they were really saying, like, is there some other mechanism that we can show our support for nuclear, and we do have this Canadian infrastructure bank, that’s about $100 billion, and the budget included nuclear, in the mandate of that bank, and they sprinkled about $120 million on SMR regulation and development. So we are seeing a positive step. I think it’s, you know, the, the drips of water before the flood. You know, just as we’ve seen the impossible happen in Europe with again, Boris Johnson, you know, going from well, maybe we’ll do sighs we’ll see, we’re not sure to committing to, you know, a nuclear reactor every year. You know, they’ve they’ve formed a Conservative government has formed a Crown Corporation or a an investment vehicle to streamline the building of nuclear in the UK, right to speed up regulatory processes citing to coordinate private capital to get these plants built, they’ve got the regulated asset base now to de risk capital, get it cheap. So we’re seeing, you know, if the rubber meets the road, if you have an energy crisis, if fossil fuels are really expensive, you find a way. And there is a way and we’ve seen it over and over again around the world in response to the OPEC crisis in the 70s. We saw France build 54 reactors in something like 15 years. And I’m optimistic we’re going to see it again. The only problem is, is that the West de industrialized, you know, we globalized, we have a lot of work to do. You know, it’s a real wake up call, I think for policymakers to abandon those Amory Levin’s decades to have a industrial policy. It’s a tremendous challenge. But I remain, you always ask what what gives me hope. So I’m going to preempt that question to gives you what gives you hope, that that the best ideas will rise to the top and despite being you know, under resourced, I mean, I haven’t I suck at orders of magnitude, but you know, at least 1000 to one, maybe 10,000, the one, that our ideas are so strong and so compelling. And we’re developing a nuclear advocacy community that’s so articulate, that despite those odds, we’re going to convince policymakers and also just the facts on the ground are going to convince policymakers because the only thing as good or better than fossil fuels thermodynamically as nuclear, you know, we’ve had this this wasted decade of historically cheap energy, historically cheap capital. Easily times climate change concerns can blossom in easy times. And we’ve wasted it, you know, on on renewables heavy build out, which has not delivered on deep decarbonisation, maybe modestly spirits and fossil fuels here or there. It’s energy infrastructure that last 20 or 30 years and then needs to be ripped down and rebuilt. It destroys landscapes, it destroys wildlife, it kills eagles, it kills, you know, I know birds are dirty, Robert. But I mean it, you know, fundamentally, it’s, it’s been an enormous and enormous waste, and a distraction from from, you know, the thermodynamic ly viable replacement of fossil fuels. You know, that zero is not a decade’s process. If you follow what’s left smell, if you study energy transition, I mean, this is probably centuries. But I mean, I’m a climate Hawk, let’s let’s, let’s get to work. And we can do good things for the climate, we can do great things for, you know, economic prosperity, for energy security for our societies, for our children, and it’s vital. And that’s what you know, bizarrely drives me to do this all as a volunteer for free. I’m a weird guy, Robert, but you know, here I am, and I’ll carry the fight forward.
Robert Bryce 56:08
Well, I think that’s a good way to stop right there. I think you’ve, you’ve hit the coda there. Just note Perfect. Well, that’s great, Chris, you know, I’ve watched you develop this for a long time and the growth of your podcast, congratulations on all of it. And, you know, keep it up. I think it’s great what you’re doing and, you know, keep keep it keep at it.
Chris Keefer 56:28
Well, I mean, you’re a huge mentor of mine, Robert, and, you know, the fact that I can preempt your questions means that I, you know, I listen to just about every episode you put out. So thank you for what you do, as well. And it’s just, it’s beautiful, being part of this budding ecosystem and this, you know, warriors in this battle of ideas together. So, you know, thank you for what you do as well.
Robert Bryce 56:45
Well, that’s very kind. Thanks. So to all of you in podcast land. This has been wasted as the tappet brothers used to say you wasted a perfectly good hour here with this podcast. But I’m glad you did. It. Thanks to my guest, Chris Keefer. He is the director of Canadians for nuclear energy. You can find out more about his work at C four. That’s the numeral for C for n e.ca. Chris, thanks again for being on the power hungry podcast.
Chris Keefer 57:13
My absolute pleasure, Robert, thanks for having me back.
Robert Bryce 57:15
And thanks to all of you in podcast land. See you next time on right here on this podcast channel. See you