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[cdn-nucl-l] $100-million a year in public funding for CANDU questioned
National Post January 16/2002
$100-million a year in public funding for CANDU questioned by
Nuclear reactor program under review
OTTAWA · Herb Dhaliwal, the federal Minister of
said yesterday a review is underway to determine
taxpayers should keep subsidizing the CANDU
reactor sales program to
the tune of $100-million a year. Mr. Dhaliwal,
only hours after taking
over the portfolio, said a report will soon be
presented to Cabinet to
determine whether there are sufficient prospects
for future sales of the
Canada has been a world leader in developing the
reactor, he said, but Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd.
(AECL) has not
made a sale since two reactors were purchased by
China in 1996. So a
long-term review of the program will determine
whether there is reason
to terminate taxpayer subsidies, Mr. Dhaliwal, who
Goodale in the portfolio, said in an interview.
"That's one of the options
we need to look at. "That's what the review's all
about - to say, 'What is
the future of our CANDU reactor and atomic
energy?' Because if we're
not making any sales and there's no potential,
should we continue to
invest in those areas or not?"
There are CANDU reactors in operation in Ontario,
Quebec and New
Brunswick, and overseas sales have been made to
countries such as
China and South Korea. AECL, a 40-year-old Crown
employs 3,500 in Canada and around the world,
calls itself the third-
largest global supplier of nuclear energy systems.
The company has
received taxpayer subsidies totalling at least
$5-billion over its lifespan.
Officials at AECL refused to comment.