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The following letter appeared in the Globe and Mail

Failed Reactor Strategy

Director, Atmosphere and Energy, Sierra Club of Canada

Tuesday, Jan 25, 2005
Globe and Mail

Ottawa -- Dale Coffin of Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. claims that his employer can sell its new "lower-cost" 1,200-megawatt advanced Candu reactor internationally (Defending Candu -- letter, Jan. 21).

We've heard this before. Every few years, AECL asks the federal government for millions of dollars to design some new "market ready" reactor that will resuscitate Canada's moribund nuclear industry.

In the 1980s and 1990s, Canadian taxpayers doled out hundreds of millions of dollars for AECL to design the Candu-3, Candu-9 and the Slowpoke Energy System. With no buyers, none got off the drawing board.

Lately, AECL has been promising that its new "cheaper" and more "advanced" 700-megawatt reactor would be a big seller in the United States. With no memory of past failures, the federal government gave AECL at least $82-million for its design. Last week, the only potential customer said "no Candu."

Undeterred, AECL is now confident that it can spend more taxpayer money to design yet another reactor that no one will buy.

Enough is enough. AECL has had its chance to make nuclear power a viable energy option. It failed. It's time for the federal government to invest in cleaner, cheaper energy options that work -- renewables and energy efficiency.


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