Jerry, Rod, Ed,
Canada is to host ITER, $300 million has been dedicated from Ontario's
Innovation program. OPG will contribute the land next to Darlington valued
at $650 million in return for sale of ~15 kg of tritium and sale
of electricity over the 20 year operating lifetime. Canada's former
CFFTP/TdeV fusion program lasted for 20 years with a total investment of $90
million including decommissioning of the TdeV (see http://collection.nlc-bnc.ca/100/201/301/hansard-e/35-2/066_96-06-20/066AP1E.html)
and was cancelled in 1997, leaving no fusion program in Canada since, and making
us the only G8 nation not supporting fusion R&D
2001-2002, Canadian government expenditures on R&D totaled $7.4 billion
including over $370 million a year toward environmental technologies for
climate change, energy efficiency, and renewables, $40 million a year for the
TRIUMF particle physics laboratory, and $5 million a year toward CERN's LHC
2001-2002, AECL spent 13% of its research budget, $21.1 million on R&D for
the ACR as part of $161.9 million spent on research (representing 32.7% of total
revenue, including $136.3 million in federal funding for research activities)
for reactors as part of the nuclear renaissance expected to create demand for
many new plants over the next 30 years (see http://www.aecl.ca/images/up-2001-02_AR_Eng.pdf,
My own estimate would be that Iter Canada will request
something on the order of $20 - $40 million per year of federal funding
to contribute to siting of ITER in Canada. This would be a fraction
of every other nation involved in fusion R&D (including Europe and Japan
each at about $300 million per year, the US at $275 million per year, South
Korea - $75 million per year and building a $1 billion superconducting tokamak
facility KSTAR, even China at $20 million per year and also building a
superconducting tokamak HT-7U, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Australia, even Iran -
all have programs in fusion R&D). Is it a wonder that ITER
participants would question Canada's commitment to fusion and ITER when we
contribute essentially zero right here at
The real question is when the rest of the
industrialized world sees the advantages and merits of investing in fusion
research, why don't we?
Also, why assume that fission and fusion programs have
to compete at all? If anything, given the great deal of overlap between
research areas (materials response to nuclear particles and high
temperatures, thermalhydraulics, nuclear heating and decay, radiation, health,
etc.), fission and fusion should compliment each other. In fact, all you
have to do is take a look through an issue of the Journal of Nuclear Materials
to see just how great this overlap is. As for fission/fusion funding
throughout the world, see an excellent summary by the World Energy Council
[mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org.McMaster.CA] On Behalf Of Jerry
Sent: Sunday, December 29, 2002 9:18 PM
Subject: [cdn-nucl-l] Iter fusion reactor bid
needs more funds?
This is a new development. We always
assumed that we could just offer the site and not pick up a huge tab
for the construction.
The attractiveness of the site was suppose to be
our stake. Now, it seems, that is not enough.
Would additional government funding for
Iter would compete with funding for developing
Building the $12 billion project in Canada would
yield economic payback, but the same argument is made for the competing
Darlington was suppose to be the most
attractive site. If it is, then we shouldn't have to contribute very
What do you think?
|Dec. 28, 2002. 01:00 AM|
Fusion reactor bid needs funds, official says|
sought from Ottawa and Ontario Darlington plan suffers
OTTAWA—Canada's bid to build a $12 billion nuclear
fusion reactor east of Toronto is doomed unless the federal government
puts up several hundred million dollars in support, says the head of the
Murray Stewart said the federal government would have to commit
substantial support before April for Canada's bid to have a chance
against competing reactor sites from Europe and Japan.
The public-private bid team is also asking Ontario to increase
its promised $300 million stake in the International Thermonuclear
Experimental Reactor (ITER), Stewart said an interview yesterday.
But exact amounts were still being negotiated, he said.
These developments mark a major setback from earlier reports that
a proposed reactor site next door to the Darlington nuclear power
station had a lead in the international competition.
Darlington produces 20 per cent of Ontario's electricity.
Stewart, head of ITER Canada Host Inc., said the Darlington
proposal lost ground as countries like France, Spain and Japan came
forward with substantial financial backing from their national
As well, the scrapping of all fusion research in Canada in 1999
hurt the country's chances.
"In the minds of the others it's not logical to put the ITER
project in one of the few countries in the world that doesn't support
fusion research," said Stewart.
The federal backing being requested would be at least as large as
the current Ontario support, Stewart acknowledged. Ottawa would also
need to pledge renewed funding for fusion research by Canadian
The 13-storey reactor would try to produce the same nuclear
fusion that occurs naturally in the sun and other stars.
The fusing together of isotopes of hydrogen, such as tritium, is
the opposite of nuclear fission, the atom-splitting technique that's
behind conventional nuclear power stations like Darlington.
As an experiment, the reactor would generate only a trickle of
electricity by using the super-conducting magnets that squeeze ionized
gases to reach temperatures of 100 million degrees C.
But a full-scale fusion reactor has long been touted by
scientists as a cheap and environmentally friendly source of
This view got a boost earlier this month when an independent
panel of experts at the National Academies in Washington urged the U.S.
to rejoin the international negotiations to select an ITER site.
The United States pulled out in 1998 over congressional concerns
about the costs of the experiment, then substantially higher.
But now the United States needs to play an active role in ITER as
part of an expanded fusion program, said the American experts.
Construction of the complex facility is projected to take at
least 10 years at a cost of $6 billion-$7 billion divided among the ITER
partners — currently Canada, Japan, the European Community and Russia.
Operating costs are estimated at $400 million annually over a
lifespan of 20 years.
Canada's share of between $1.1 billion and $1.2 billion would
come from constructing buildings at Darlington, supplying vast amounts
of electricity needed by the magnets, and tritium worth between $500
million and $700 million, Stewart said.
He said federal funds wouldn't need to flow before 2005 because
of the time required to work out and ratify the international
cost-sharing after a site is selected, supposedly by mid-2003.