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Re: [cdn-nucl-l] Foreplay to privatization? It's time to get real! When will we?
I am not surprised. One very positive thing to come out of this
recent mess is that the notion of balancing risk and benefit is front and
centre and, most importantly, is accepted by the public and
government. Let's take the gain and lock it in. It provides a
new higher ground from which to present our case. Maybe, just
maybe, we can now have a saner discussion on low dose effects.
At 08:29 PM 04/02/2008, Jerry Cuttler wrote:
There is a very positive
story about CANDU, but it is not being publicized by the anti-nuclear
media. They prefer a good negative story, and now they have one
about the MAPLE reactors.
There is a very good positive
story about Canada supplying radioisotopes and the NRU reactor performing
so well for 50 years, but the negative story about an unreal safety issue
gets the big publicity.
As Ted Rockwell pointed out
in his December 2004 Nuclear News article, "The Realism Project:
It's time to get real," until that happens, the status quo will
prevail. ( See also:
So why are we surprised?
- ----- Original Message -----
- From: Bill Garland
- Sent: Monday, February 04, 2008 12:43 PM
- Subject: [cdn-nucl-l] Foreplay to privatization?
- After reading the news article below I can't help but think that just
like Harris and the breakup of Ontario Hydro, this whole NRU / MAPLE /
AECL / CNSC isotope issue is the setup for the sting. If you make
the industry look badly managed and full of problems then it is easier to
sell the idea of privatization to the public and garner votes by
appearing to save the day. I am not a fan of private companies
controlling base infrastructure like education, health care,
transportation and the like but I do like the efficiencies of business
based models compared to government based models. Maybe the French
model mentioned below is a possible path forward.
- The London Free Press
- Ottawa blasted on nuclear business
- Sat 02 Feb 2008
- Page: A3
- Section: News
- Byline: BY PETER ZIMONJIC, NATIONAL BUREAU
- Dateline: OTTAWA
- The former chairperson of Atomic Energy of Canada
- says he told the government before his resignation in
- December that it was time for the private sector to
- steer the course of Canada's nuclear business.
- Mike Burns says the Crown corporation that he used
- to oversee is losing money in the isotope business
- and is having problems bringing the new Maple
- reactors online. He says the solution lies with private
- "Nobody is happy. Government is not happy about
- putting the money in, Canadians aren't happy about
- having to pay. We've got out of the airline business,
- we've got out of the petroleum business . . . That's
- what we should be focusing on," Burns told Sun
- On Nov. 29, Gary Lunn, the Minister of Natural
- Resources, which is responsible for Atomic Energy,
- announced that his department was conducting a
- review to look at the ongoing problems there.
- The first of those problems has been the development
- of the Maple 1 and 2 reactors at the Chalk River
- nuclear site, which were supposed to be online and
- producing medical isotopes by 2000.
- But eight years and $500 million later, they're still
- not running and, sources tell Sun Media, will likely
- never run, forcing Canadians to rely on a reactor built
- in 1957 to supply an estimated 65 per cent of the
- world's isotopes used in medical scans for cancer and
- heart disease.
- The second major problem has been the failure of
- Atomic Energy to complete its advanced CANDU
- reactor, a smaller, more powerful and cheaper reactor
- than the CANDU. It has never been licensed, is over
- budget and is not available for sale.
- Burns says currently Atomic Enery has to keep
- "going back to government for more money, more of
- this, more of that. It is a structure that's proven it
- doesn't work anymore."
- Burns, who resigned as chairperson on Dec 31, said
- that as long as Atomic Energy remains a Crown
- corporation it will never be able to get the funding it
- "Isotopes are a little business in which we lose a lot
- of money," said Burns.
- "(Atomic Energy) needs more private sector content
- in the company to make it work," he said, explaining
- that Crown corporations cannot borrow money to
- Burns said an ideal solution would be to follow the
- model of the French nuclear company Areva which is
- a publicly traded company in which the French
- government owns 90 per cent of the shares but the
- corporation is free to borrow funds against future
- Omar Alghabra, the Liberal Natural Resources critic,
- said a public-private partnership was a possible
- solution to the atomic crisis.
- "There are certainly good arguments for privatization
- but a decision like that should not be taken lightly,"
- he said.
- "All of the options are on the table," said Louise
- Girouard, spokeswoman for Lunn, adding: "Mike
- Burns' suggestions would certainly be part of what
- the team would be looking at" in its review of AECL.
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