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Old Posted Jun 17, 2008, 7:50 PM
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Bruce Power launches Saskatchewan 2020 Initiative - Nuclear?

Quote:
Originally Posted by zachjeffries View Post
Just stumbled upon Bruce Power's news release regarding nuclear generation planning in Saskatchewan: http://www.brucepower.com/pageconten...11&dtuid=83768

The report at the end of the year and the subsequent public debate should be interesting!
BRUCE POWER LAUNCHES SASKATCHEWAN 2020 INITIATIVE

SASKATOON – JUNE 17, 2008 – Bruce Power will study the potential of bringing nuclear energy to the province as part of a wider look at clean energy technologies.

The Saskatchewan 2020 initiative, unveiled today in Saskatoon by Bruce Power President and CEO Duncan Hawthorne, is intended to give provincial leaders detailed information and options as they consider their electricity supply needs for the next generation. Hawthorne was joined by the Honourable Lyle Stewart, Minister of Enterprise and Innovation, and the Honourable Ken Cheveldayoff, Minister of Crown Corporations.

"Saskatchewan needs clean, affordable and reliable power to meet the future needs of a growing province. We would like to welcome Bruce Power to our province and look forward to the results of the Saskatchewan 2020 feasibility study, which we hope will lead to the creation of a nuclear option for our province," Stewart said.

Bruce Power plans to liaise with SaskPower to evaluate electricity demand projections for the province and examine what transmission upgrades or enhancements would be required to accommodate new nuclear units. “Our government is establishing a climate so companies like Bruce Power can come to our province and compete to provide the next generation of clean electricity,” Cheveldayoff said.

Hawthorne praised the government for their support and foresight, saying Saskatchewan has the opportunity to become a leader in developing clean energy options over the next decade and attracting significant private investment to the province.

“The reality of climate change is upon us and the government clearly understands the need to consider all options if we are to tackle one of society’s most pressing issues,” Hawthorne said. “I believe nuclear energy, when properly integrated with technologies such as hydrogen, would be a worthy addition to Saskatchewan’s energy mix and look forward to exploring the potential further.”

As part of its Saskatchewan 2020 program, Bruce Power will consider:

* How best to integrate nuclear energy, which produces no greenhouse gases when it produces electricity, with hydrogen, wind, solar and clean coal technologies to give Saskatchewan a diverse and secure supply of clean energy for 2020 and beyond.
* The economic impacts, public attitudes and level of support for adding nuclear energy to the province’s current electricity supply mix.
* Potential locations that would be suitable to host a new generating station and the provincial transmission requirements needed for new nuclear and other clean energy sources.

Bruce Power intends to begin its analysis this summer and issue a report by the end of the year. The Saskatchewan 2020 program aligns with work Bruce Power is already conducting in Alberta and Ontario as it considers building new reactors in the Peace Country north of Edmonton and at its current Ontario location approximately 250 kilometres northwest of Toronto. Canada’s only private nuclear generating company, Bruce Power operates six reactor units and is in the process of restarting two more at its Bruce A generating station.

Earlier this year, Bruce Power Alberta filed an application with the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission for approval to prepare a site that could generate 4,000 megawatts of electricity from two to four reactors near Peace River, Alta.

About Bruce Power
Bruce Power is a partnership among Cameco Corporation, TransCanada Corporation, BPC Generation Infrastructure Trust, a trust established by the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System, the Power Workers’ Union and The Society of Energy Professionals.

For further information, please contact:

Steve Cannon 519-361-6559 steve.cannon@brucepower.com

24-hour Duty Media Officer 519-361-6161

Bruce Power launches Saskatchewan 2020 initiative

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Last edited by Ruckus; Jun 17, 2008 at 8:59 PM.
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Old Posted Jun 17, 2008, 8:01 PM
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Past commentary...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boris2k7 View Post
The fight is on! Ding ding ding!!!

Quote:
Alberta faces fight for reactor
Saskatchewan in talks over nuclear plant
Jon Harding, Calgary Herald
Published: Wednesday, May 07, 2008


Alberta and Saskatchewan are competing to house Western Canada's first commercial nuclear power plant, Saskatchewan's Natural Resources Minister Bill Boyd confirmed Tuesday.

The energy point man for the recently elected and decidedly pro-business Saskatchewan Party said his government has held "early" talks with Bruce Power LP, the private nuclear operator from western Ontario, which laid out plans in March for a $10-billion-plus nuclear complex near Peace River, in Alberta's northwest Peace Country, operating by 2017.

"We have had early, very preliminary discussions with Bruce Power about the potential in Saskatchewan," Boyd said in an interview in Calgary, where he was speaking at a conference for energy regulators.

"(Bruce Power) has indicated to us, as well, that the site selection might be more appropriate in our province, so we are interested in that and are looking at it."

Bruce Power is about to embark on an environmental assessment related to the Alberta location, a process that could take up to three years. As well, the Alberta government, which for years was loathe to allow Canada's nuclear energy industry into the province, recently struck a panel to help form a formal Alberta policy on whether to allow nuclear power.

Bruce Power was forthright in presentations throughout the Peace Country that other site options might be considered.

Still, until the idea that Saskatchewan might offer a superior location for a plant was floated two weeks ago by Bruce Power's majority owner, TransCanada Corp., it was not known that Saskatchewan was in Bruce Power's sights.

Boyd said the province, which produces a third of the world's nuclear fuel -- uranium -- would welcome the massive investment.

Saskatchewan-based Cameco Corp., the world's largest producer of uranium, is a minority owner of Bruce Power.

"We are comfortable with the science and we certainly believe it is something we want to take a look at at," Boyd said. "We have approximately one-third of the known uranium reserves in the world, so it certainly makes sense for us to take a look at the next stages of development, upgrading, refining and through to generation, and that certainly is what we are prepared to do.

"There is a huge emerging market for electricity supply going forward both in Saskatchewan and Alberta and certainly to the south of us in the United States."

Longtime anti-nuclear advocate Dave Weir of Regina, a director with the Regina Citizens for a Nuclear Free Society, said the Saskatchewan Party "doesn't have a hope" of luring Bruce Power due to significant public sentiment in Saskatchewan that remains firmly aligned against having a nuclear plant.

"There is a really, really strong and latent anti-nuclear sentiment in the province," Weir said.

"Now that the New Democratic Party is no longer the government, NDPers will feel free to express themselves, whereas they felt muzzled before because the provincial government was promoting and defending the uranium industry."

Saskatchewan repelled a push in the early 1990s for small nuclear reactors and for a uranium refinery near Saskatoon.

Boyd denied Saskatchewan was actually competing with Alberta for one project and instead said the neighbouring provinces, which will both require new power generation facilities in coming years to keep pace with demand, could pursue one project, located in Saskatchewan, that might be "complementary to both jurisdictions." He refused to elaborate.

Kincardine, Ont.-based Bruce Power said in March it has applied to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission to prepare a 390-hectare site on Lac Cardinal, 30 kilometres west of Peace River. It said the Peace River facility would produce up to 4,000 megawatts of power from four reactors, among the largest operating nuclear generating stations in the world.

Duncan Hawthorne, president and chief executive of Bruce Power and its subsidiary, Bruce Power Alberta Inc., cautioned to not view Bruce Power's interest in Saskatchewan as an "either/or scenario."

"As we understand this market better, we see a significant potential in Western Canada," Hawthorne said. "You can't look in Western Canada without looking at the flows of rivers, the flows of transmission lines and generally the climate for power. It takes you into a situation where you look beyond the Alberta border and see Saskatchewan as a possibility.

"At the same time, the premier of Saskatchewan (Brad Wall) has been pretty bullish on the growth potential he sees for Saskatchewan development."

At 4,400 MW, the proposed Peace River nuclear complex would churn out as much power as all of the current installed capacity in Saskatchewan.

Hawthorne said there needs to be a "meeting of the minds" between Wall and Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach on the issue of power.

He also would not elaborate on Boyd's "complementary" vision.

"I think the logic we would have is there is demand growth in Saskatchewan, but not as pronounced as Alberta, and to that extent I would say, without any more detail, the complement would be around the possibility you could build in Saskatchewan and supply to Alberta," Hawthorne said.

Bruce Power gained its foothold in Alberta by buying Energy Alberta last year. The private Calgary company had started the project planning process and owned an exclusivity agreement with Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. (AEC) to deploy AEC's CANDU technology in Alberta.

jharding@theherald.canwest.com


© The Calgary Herald 2008

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mid1 View Post
I'd say the Saskatchewan government might have the edge here since they have a large supply of Uranium and more or less a small industry. I've always been more surprised why they haven't gone further in building a reactor and processing facilities, in fact they could be one of the leaders in that in the world.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SASKFTW View Post

Alberta or Saskatchewan?

There are several benefits associated with the building of a nuclear reactor near existing operational oil sands sites, however, I don't fully understand how a reactor in Saskatchewan would benefit the Alberta oil sands operators, and indeed the owners of the power plant (e.g. Bruce Power). One point in particular, the supply of steam from the power plant was said to have measurable benefits for oil sands operators. Judging by a map, the distance from a Saskatchewan power plant to the Alberta oil sands may negatively affect the ability to provide steam for oil sands processing (e.g. hot steam can only travel so far). Perhaps steam is not a huge concern in the overall scheme, but it is certainly something to consider.

Northern Development
It is a well known fact that Saskatchewan has a well developed uranium mining industry, as a result, support for processing and nuclear power generation have increased over the years as new technology developed, realization of economic benefits, and recognition from broader international interests intensify. As an industry leader, Cameco has established great working relationships with northern communities (comprised primarily of aboriginal ancestry) and likely understands the potential for employment just as much as the government does.

The Future
On a more positive note (or negative), it is safe to assume government and industry representatives are looking towards future opportunities and conflict. Building a nuclear plant in Saskatchewan may in fact solidify support for development of Saskatchewan's oil sands, in addition to Alberta's oil sands. Under current conditions, Alberta receives much of the criticism from environmental groups and Canadians alike. Development within other jurisdictions may relieve provincial governments and the respective industries as the criticism could be directed towards a broader audience/area, normalizing the issues (e.g. Alberta and Saskatchewan = Western Canada?).

Conclusion
Building the first nuclear plant in Western Canada is as much an economic and environmental issue, as it is a political one. The question is, which province is best equipped or most receptive to such an averse undertaking?



Source


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Source - Oilsands Quest discovery


Source - Oilsands Quest discovery


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Quote:
Originally Posted by SASKFTW View Post
Lake Diefenbaker area preferred for nuclear plant: report
Consultant's report, prepared in February 2007, says power plant could go near Elbow: report
TheStarPhoenix.com
Published: Wednesday, May 7, 2008

An area near Lake Diefenbaker is SaskPower's preferred site for a nuclear power plant, according to a media report on Wednesday.

CBC News reported that the information is part of a consultant's report by Stantec Consulting Ltd. According to CBC, the consultant's report - prepared in February 2007 - says a power plant at Elbow, which is located near Lake Diefenbaker, would be preferable to other sites.

"Potentially, the Lake Diefenbaker region could be the site of a Candu 6 plant configured with two steam turbine generators instead of the standard 750-megawatt, single-steam turbine unit," the report said, according to CBC. "Plant output from this option would be split equally between Saskatchewan and Alberta."


An area near Lake Diefenbaker is SaskPower's preferred site for a nuclear power plant, according to a leaked report.

Noted in the report is the area's large water supply, necessary for generating nuclear power.

CBC says the report also cautions that approximately 40 per cent of Saskatchewan people get their drinking water from the Lake Diefenbaker watershed.

CBC says the Lac La Loche area was also considered.

The report doesn't recommend whether or not SaskPower should proceed with a nuclear plant. It does suggest more studies before any location would be chosen.

The report was commissioned by the previous NDP administration.

Source


Lake Diefenbaker region preferred site for nuclear plant: SaskPower report
Last Updated: Wednesday, May 7, 2008 | 11:51 AM CT Comments20 Recommend 13
CBC News

SaskPower's preferred location for a nuclear power plant is near Lake Diefenbaker in central Saskatchewan, CBC News has learned.

The information is contained in a consultant's report prepared by Stantec Consulting Ltd. for the Crown utility last year.

CBC News has obtained a copy of the report, which was written in February 2007. The report says a power plant at Elbow, near Lake Diefenbaker, would be preferable to other potential sites.

"Potentially, the Lake Diefenbaker region could be the site of a Candu 6 plant configured with two steam turbine generators instead of the standard 750-megawatt, single-steam turbine unit," the report said. "Plant output from this option would be split equally between Saskatchewan and Alberta."

The report cites the area's large water supply, which is needed for generating nuclear power.

It also mentions that the site would be near populated areas, reducing the need to transmit power over long distances.
More study needed, report says

However, the report also cautions that roughly 40 per cent of Saskatchewan people get their drinking water from the Lake Diefenbaker watershed.

The Lac La Loche area was also considered in the report, because it's near a potential oilsands development in northwestern Saskatchewan. The proposal was for a cogeneration plant that would produce electricity and steam, with the assumption that the electrical output would be half that of a CANDU 6.

The study looked at environmental and cost factors, cooling-water requirements, exclusion zones, seismology, transmission systems, weather and geotechnical conditions.

Ultimately, the Lac La Loche area was not seen as the best choice.

The report recommends a further, more detailed study on Lake Diefenbaker before any final decision is made on the location of a power plant. It doesn't make any recommendations about whether or not SaskPower should proceed with a nuclear plant.

The report was commissioned by the previous NDP administration.

Before he was elected premier, Brad Wall promised to make the report public, but the government has not yet done so.

On Wednesday, a government spokesperson confirmed the authenticity of the report. However, the government had decided not to make it public, the spokesperson said.

SaskPower - Preliminary Siting of a Nuclear Power Plant (PDF)

Source

The green arrow is Elbow, SK.



The green arrow is Lac La Loche, SK.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SASKFTW View Post
I would say there is growing support, especially in comparison to the opposition during the 1980s to develop a processing facility and reactor north of Saskatoon.

Here is an article outlining recent polling...

Nuclear plant supported: poll
Less than 10 per cent strongly oppose plan
Cassandra Kyle, The StarPhoenix
Published: Saturday, February 16, 2008

Two-thirds of respondents to a poll, or 66.3 per cent, support the development of a nuclear power plant within the province.

And nearly the same proportion of respondents, 66.4 per cent, support the development of a nuclear refinery in Saskatchewan, according to data from an Insightrix Research Inc. poll conducted in early February.

Only 8.5 per cent of the 801 random Saskatchewan respondents polled strongly oppose any refinement, while just under 12 per cent strongly oppose a nuclear energy facility. Insightrix's data is considered accurate within plus or minus 3.4 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

But when respondents were asked whether they would support a nuclear plant in or near their community, nearly half, 44.3 per cent, said they would oppose nuclear development near their homes. Support for a nearby plant fell to 38.5 per cent, while the remaining 17.2 per cent of respondents are unsure or have no position.

Support fell further still when it came to the development of a nuclear waste facility in the Canadian Shield. Almost 48 per cent of respondents oppose any such plan for a waste facility, while 43.6 per cent would support the idea. Nearly 35 per cent of people who would support the development of a refinery oppose nuclear waste storage in the Canadian Shield.

Lang McGilp, Insightrix's vice-president of research services, said the poll results are generally positive and show Saskatchewanians have a strong appetite for the development of nuclear energy in the province. The company conducted the survey on its own behalf as part of its Saskatchewan On Topic campaign, McGilp explained.

Public opinion on nuclear development, however, is subject to frequent change, said Jim Harding, a retired University of Regina professor and author of Canada's Deadly Secret: Saskatchewan Uranium and the Global Nuclear System. When the Canadian Nuclear Association presents a strong marketing campaign, he said, public opinion favours nuclear development. When anti-nuclear energy groups spread messages, opinion often changes to favour renewable energy sources.

"In Saskatchewan, because of the perceived economic benefits, you are going to have a higher percentage (of people who favour nuclear development), and until people are educated about alternatives and understand the environmental damage, I don't think that's going to change," Harding said.

Just under 45 per cent of respondents believe nuclear power is less damaging on the environment than fossil-fuel methods of generating electricity, according to the poll, while 23.9 per cent believe nuclear power is more damaging to the environment than oil and gas. People with higher levels of education, Insightrix's report states, are more likely to believe nuclear power is less damaging on the environment.

"I have no doubt public opinion will start to shift once the alternatives are understood," Harding said.

Additional results from the poll show support for both the refinery and power plant initiatives is weaker among people of aboriginal ancestry than those of other backgrounds. Men are more likely to support the ideas than women, support increases with household income and support is strongest among those who claim to have right-leaning political views than left-leaning opinions.

Earlier this week, Edmonton-based Triple Five Energy announced plans to develop uranium, oil and gas deposits on First Nations land in Saskatchewan. The company said it would like to build a refinery in the province in the next three to four years.

Insightrix's poll was completed before Triple Five's announcement on Feb. 13.

ckyle@sp.canwest.com

Source
Quote:
Originally Posted by SASKFTW View Post
I hope you Alberta forumers don't mind me posting these Saskatchewan articles in the Alberta forum, it is obvious the issue of nuclear power generation is of importance to both of our provinces.

From initial reports, I'm quite comfortable with a nuclear plant going near Lake Diefenbaker, although further study and discussion of the ecological impacts are necessary before more detailed conceptual plans are pursued.

No nuclear reactor plans at Lake Diefenbaker set in stone: Sask. Party
Denial came on the day a 2007 SaskPower report surfaced naming a site near Elbow as the preferred location
James Wood, TheStarPhoenix.com, with SNN files from Angela Hall
Published: Wednesday, May 7, 2008

REGINA - The Saskatchewan Party government denied Wednesday the Lake Diefenbaker area has been picked as the home of any future nuclear reactor in the province.

The denial came on the day a 2007 SaskPower report surfaced naming a site near Elbow as the preferred location.

The document, prepared under the previous NDP government, was leaked to the CBC after Sask. Party Energy and Resources Minister Bill Boyd said in Calgary Tuesday the government would welcome development from the private-sector nuclear company, Bruce Power LP, which has recently expressed interest in Saskatchewan.

But Crown Corporations Minister Ken Cheveldayoff said Wednesday the SaskPower document prepared under the NDP was of limited relevance because it was based on the idea of the Crown corporation building and operating a nuclear plant, which the government has ruled out.

"It underscores some of the needs of a reactor and some of the places it would make sense in Saskatchewan. But on further examination it's a very preliminary study and I'm told before a reactor would be contemplated an extensive study would have to be done," Cheveldayoff told reporters.

He said there are numerous other potential sites for a nuclear plant in the province besides those mentioned in the report.

The 2007 report, which was prepared by Stantec Consulting, looked at potential candidates for a nuclear power plant either around Lake Diefenbaker or near Lac La Roche.

A site on the eastern shore of the Lake Diefenbaker was said to be the "preferred site," with the document noting it is easily accessible from Regina and Saskatoon and is near communities such as Elbow and Outlook, which would be helpful for potential employees.

However, the report also noted the lake - a "multipurpose reservoir" - provides domestic water for about 40 per cent of Saskatchewan, including water drawn from the South Saskatchewan River downstream of the reservoir.

The report said the agricultural land in the area will "likely have no influence on the potential plant development and operation."

"The recreational areas, however, may be a potential constraint as these locations have campsites and the locations could be difficult to evacuate should that be required during an emergency event."

Elbow Mayor David Cross said he had been unaware of the SaskPower report and the fact his region had been named as a potential site for a nuclear plant.

"We would be interested in economic development here just like most places in Saskatchewan," Cross said.

But the area also relies heavily on tourism and wouldn't want to jeopardize that either, he said.

"There's a balance to be had here," he said.

"If the water from such a nuclear plant were going to warm the lake water to the extent where we had algae blooms or it was detrimental the fish stock or whatever else, I think that would generate concern for the community, too."

Cross said it's his personal opinion that there is "nothing innately scary" about the idea of nuclear power but understands a number of concerns about the technology would have to be addressed if it were to ever move forward in the area.

NDP Deputy Leader Pat Atkinson said she had never viewed the SaskPower document, but knew that the NDP ruled out proceeding with the idea of a nuclear plant because it did not make economic sense.

But Atkinson said that since the Sask. Party has acknowledged it talked with Bruce Power about a nuclear plant, the government is obligated to make public which sites in Saskatchewan are being considered. She called Lake Diefenbaker a "very problematic" potential location given its importance as a water source.

However, Boyd told reporters at the legislature that Bruce Power expressed only general interest in Saskatchewan -- not in any specific site -- in the recent meeting he had with company president Duncan Hawthorne.

Hawthorne also told The StarPhoenix Wednesday the company is not eyeing a particular site.

Peter Prebble, manger of energy and water policy with the Saskatchewan Environmental Society, said the province should rule out the nuclear route altogether and focus instead on large-scale energy conservation efforts and on more renewable energy such as wind power.

Prebble, a former NDP MLA who did not run in the last election, said Lake Diefenbaker as a possible location raises particular concerns given the amount of people who rely on it as a source of drinking water.

"I think the risk of a serious accident is very low. But if it does happen the consequences are crippling," said Prebble, adding there are also day-to-day concerns about the impact on water.

He said a reactor would also "put Saskatchewan on the map as a potential high-level radioactive waste repository site."

Cheveldayoff said the SaskPower document had not been publicly released by the Sask. Party - which has repeatedly promised to make public all government work on the province's nuclear potential - because a confidentiality agreement had been signed under the previous NDP government.

The $60,000 report was partially funded by federal Crown corporation Atomic Energy Canada Ltd.

Source
Quote:
Originally Posted by SASKFTW View Post
Expert favours Alberta over Sask. for reactor
James Wood, Saskatchewan News Network
Published: Friday, May 09, 2008

Alberta is likely still the best bet for western Canada's first nuclear reactor even as a private nuclear operator eyes Saskatchewan and its western neighbour as potential locations, says a University of Alberta professor.

Bruce Power LP has been moving forward with plans for a 4,000-megawatt nuclear plant near Peace River, Alberta but recently indicated that Saskatchewan may be a better location.

Andrew Leach, professor of energy and resource economics at the U of A's business school, said the massive oilsands projects in northern Alberta are likely key to nuclear development in the province.

"In some ways, the oilsands provide exactly the right situation for nuclear power to be very lucrative. It's long-run, guaranteed demand for electricity almost year-round. That's exactly the environment you would look for if you were trying to site a nuclear power plant," he said in an interview this week.

Alberta and Saskatchewan's very different electrical markets each have advantages and disadvantages for a potential nuclear operation.

The ability to sign contracts with industry such as the oilsands projects in Alberta's deregulated market is likely an advantage, said Leach.

Saskatchewan's provincially-owned electrical utility SaskPower would be the buyer of power generated by a nuclear reactor.

But the provincial government has potentially much more flexibility in terms of providing incentives for Bruce Power or another company, said Leach.

"There certainly is a greater ability to do that, I would suggest, because the Alberta government explicitly can't be in the business of subsidizing the construction of a power plant," he said.

However, Bruce Power chief executive officer Duncan Hawthorne told the StarPhoenix this week the company is not looking for government handouts for its project.

Hawthorne cited Saskatchewan's much greater water supply as one reason the province may be attractive.

TransCanada Corp. is the majority owner of Bruce Power and company CEO Hal Kvisle noted lower costs in Saskatchewan as a potential reason for moving the proposed reactor

The construction costs associated with nuclear power are massive in any case -- as are the potential environmental problems.

But Leach thinks governments are very serious about pursuing the nuclear option and the reason is climate change.

Alberta and Saskatchewan are the two biggest greenhouse gas emitters in Canada and nuclear power, which has minimal emissions when operating, is seen as something of a magic bullet.

Saskatchewan has promised to stabilize greenhouse gas emissions by 2010 and reduce them by 32 per cent by 2020.

"I think it's driving everything. To my eyes, it's the only reason ... we're talking about building a nuclear power plant on top of a pile of coal, essentially," said Leach.

Source
Quote:
Originally Posted by SASKFTW View Post
Cameco President Says Sask Not Quite Ready For Nuclear Plant

By Brynn Harris
Updated May 16, 2008 - 6:13am

The President of a prominent Saskatchewan uranium mining company does not think the province is ready for a nuclear power plant.

Recently, a leaked SaskPower report named Lake Diefenbaker as an ideal spot for one.

Cameco President and CEO, Jerry Grandey, says Saskatchewan does not have enough people to support the electrical output of a nuclear power plant.

"Saskatchewan with a million people is just a little bit small, because one reactor can service about one million people. Generally you want to have two, because you have to shut down one to reload the fuel and to do maintenance, and if you don't have the second one, then you're going to be without lights for awhile, and that's not a desirable thing," Grandey said.

Grandey says when coal power plants shut down, and a nuclear plant is needed, a partnership with another jurisdiction, like Alberta, or the United States, would be the best scenario.

Source
Quote:
'Saskatchewan' 2020 nuclear feasibility study unveiled
Provincial government should know by end of year whether project goes ahead
TheStarPhoenix.com
Published: Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Ontario-based Bruce Power LP has announced a feasibility study to determine the viability of a nuclear power plant in Saskatchewan, unveiling the Saskatchewan 2020 initiative.

Duncan Hawthorne, president and Chief Executive Officer of Bruce Power LP, was in Saskatoon Tuesday for the announcement, along with Minister of Enterprise and Innovation Lyle Stewart and Minister of Crown Corporations Ken Cheveldayoff.

Stewart said various potential sites will be considered.

"If Bruce gives this project the green light at the end of this very preliminary study, then we'll have to get engaged and I can assure you that Saskatchewan's standards will be stringent . . . we will protect our environment and our public," Stewart said.

"Certainly the overall findings will be made known to the public and we'll be responsible for making sure that happens."

Stewart estimated it would take at least a decade before a plant, if plans were to proceed, could be up and operating.

Hawthorne spoke highly of the Saskatchewan government, saying the province could become a leader in developing clean energy over the next decade and attracting significant private investment.

"The reality of climate change is upon us and the government clearly understands the need to consider all options if we are to tackle one of society's most pressing issues," he said.

As part of the Saskatchewan 2020 initiative, Bruce Power will consider how best to integrate nuclear energy with hydrogen, wind, solar and clean-coal technologies; economic impact and public support; and potential locations. Bruce Power plans on beginning its analysis this summer and issue a report by the end of the year.

Government officials denied a Globe and Mail report saying that Premier Brad Wall was poised to unveil plans Tuesday for a nuclear plant, and that Lloydminster would be the likely location.

Hawthorne also denied the report, saying a site has definitely not been pinpointed. Geological and environmental studies will have to be conducted, and any site must have a "credible" water source nearby.

Wall has been promoting further development of the uranium industry, including refining and nuclear power, since being elected to government late last year. But the government has recently said it would not be interested in SaskPower itself owning and operating a nuclear power plant.

Stewart said he thinks there is more of an appetite for nuclear power generation than there has been in the past.

People are realizing there needs to be alternatives to generating electricity with coal due to the greenhouse gas emissions it creates, Stewart said.

Bruce Power has already been considering a 4,000 megawatt plant near Peace River, Alta.

"I get the impression from Bruce that it's not an either-or situation," Stewart said, a statement confirmed Tuesday by Hawthorne.

A 2007 SaskPower report, leaked last month to the CBC, revealed the Crown corporation had, under the previous NDP government, looked at potential specific sites for a nuclear reactor, with a location midway between Gardiner Dam at Lake Diefenbaker and the community of Elbow ranked as best.

The Saskatchewan Party government has downplayed the usefulness of the report.

Alberta and Saskatchewan are the two biggest greenhouse gas emitters in Canada and nuclear power, which has minimal emissions when operating, is seen as something of a magic bullet. Saskatchewan has promised to stabilize greenhouse gas emissions by 2010 and reduce them by 32 per cent by 2020.

Cameco owns 31.6 per cent of Bruce Power, which has a generating plant located 250 kilometres northwest of Toronto. According to its website, the company's "2,300-acre site houses the Bruce A and B generating stations, which each hold four CANDU reactors. Six of those units are currently operational and combine to produce more than 4,700 megawatts, which is enough to power every fifth hospital, home and school in Ontario. We are also in the process of restarting the remaining two units at Bruce A, which will provide another 1,500 megawatts of emission-free electricity."


© The StarPhoenix 2008

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Last edited by Ruckus; Jun 19, 2008 at 3:46 AM.
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Old Posted Jun 18, 2008, 3:22 PM
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I for one find this to be the most rediculous possibility for alternative energy. Nuclear power is not a proven safe power and the long term environmental consequences are outrageous! Here's a quick list of some of the issues regarding nuclear power; mines created to extract uranium, uranium refinement plants, transportation pollution from the uranium, nuclear waste from the plant, possible meltdown and the list could go on! We have access to basically every form of renewable resource there is and we are still wanting to use some finite alternative. If this goes through I may end up leaving to a province that realizes the truths of nuclear power and would never consider it as a viable alternative.

With that said, I really feel the answer to sustaining our energy source is through innovative construction technology using renewable resources, example; building wind turbines on the sides of buildings or between floors, substituting some glass windows for solar panels. Finally why not put in a biomass productino area in the basement to harness any waste. This is the answer, NOT NUCLEAR POWER!!!!
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Old Posted Jun 18, 2008, 6:23 PM
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i completely agree with you Kgc087, there are also much better alternatives than nuclear, i think the government should look into other power sources that nuclear, mabey solar or wind, if saskatchewan wants to be a progressive province we have to look for a renewable yet environmently friendly source of power. I like the Maglev idea which would fit perfectly on diephenbaker which is one of canadas windier spots.



here is a little article on it
MagLev’s wind turbine concept, is no longer just that. It has entered production, possibly being the most revolutionary for wind energy.

Currently the largest wind turbines in the world only produce 5 megawatts of power, but this massive wind turbine is expected to generate one full gigawatt of clean power - enough energy to supply to 750,000 homes. MagLev Wind Turbine Technologies, an Arizona-based company, claims that it will deliver clean power for less than one cent per kilowatt hour and create energy even at low speeds of 3mph.

Amazingly, this wind technology boosts generation capacity by as much as 20% over traditional wind turbines and decreasing operational costs by 50%.

It’s estimated the colossal structure would occupy 100 acres and be several hundred meters high. Although the building will be expensive to build ($53 million), the cost savings of building one huge turbine reduces the cost of construction and maintenance for investors to recoup loses within a year.


we may be the uranium capital but it doesn't mean we have to use it
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Old Posted Jun 18, 2008, 7:44 PM
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Nuclear power is not a proven safe power
I'm not saying whether we should have a nuclear plant or not, but to claim that it is not a proven, safe power source is kind of ridiculous when there are over 400 plants all over the world (including in Canada and the US) and they are responsible for generating a higher percentage of the world's power than both oil and gas (not combined); approx. 15%. The waste is an issue just because it has to sit there for millions of years, but what's worse: breathing in polluted air from coal plants or somehow actually getting in contact with the waste that's buried in the ground? Placing a plant at Lake Diefenbaker is a little worrysome due to how much of the province depends on it for their water, but I'd have to research locations of other plants in relation to large bodies of sources of drinking water to make a solid judgement one way or the other.

I don't think that "possible meltdowns" is really a valid argument at this point either. There has been 1 occurance of a major meltdown causing serious, long lasting deaths that occurred occurred over 20 years ago in Soviet Russia where proper (well, lets say more current) safety/backup measures weren't in place. There have been other "close calls" (i.e. Three Mile Island where no one actually died and safety measures kicked in to prevent another Chernobyl), but in reality there are a lot more things in life that have a MUCH greater chance of killing or harming you than a possible nuclear reactor meltdown. Granted, solar and wind power provide pretty much 0 chance of death, unless a giant turbine were to fall on a person admiring how massive it was below

The issue that I always hear come up when talking about using solar and wind power as our main power source is that we always need to have a backup system to supply the same amount of power incase they go down (wind stops blowing, sun doesn't shine?), but that seems to be the case with the reactors as well when maintenance and whatnot needs to be done, as stated in one of the articles above. Anyone have more info on this? I'm assuming our current system can handle dropouts of one or more section of the grid?

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Old Posted Jun 18, 2008, 8:47 PM
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Alternative energy has not been ruled out, I suspect much of the nuclear discussion has more to do with powering the oil sands development; expecting electricity demand growth for several decades.

Solar and wind are both becoming cheaper and more reliable technology for power production, however, I'm not convinced Saskatchewan can rely on renewable sources alone, especially solar during our winter months.

The power of wind is already being harnessed in the southern regions of our province...


Source

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Base Load Fallacy


[...]

Wind power as base-load


To replace the electricity generated by a 1000 megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station, with annual average power output of about 850 MW, a group of wind farms with capacity (rated power) of about 2600 MW, located in windy sites, is required. The higher wind capacity allows for the variations in wind power and is taken into account in the economics of wind power.

Although this substitution involves a large number of wind turbines (for example, 1300 turbines, each rated at 2 MW), the area of land actually occupied by the wind turbines and access roads is only 5–19 square km, depending upon wind speed. Farming continues between the wind turbines. For comparison, the coal-fired power station and its open-cut coal-mine occupy typically 50–100 square km.

Although a single wind turbine is indeed intermittent, this is not generally true of a system of several wind farms, separated by several hundred kilometres and experiencing different wind regimes. The total output of such a system generally varies smoothly and only rarely experiences a situation where there is no wind at any site. As a result, this system can be made as reliable as a conventional base-load power station by adding a small amount of peak-load plant (say, gas turbines) that is only operated when required.

Computer simulations and modelling show that the integration of wind power into an electricity grid changes the optimal mix of conventional base-load and peak-load power stations. Wind power replaces base-load with the same annual average power output. However, to maintain the reliability of the generating system at the same level as before the substitution, some additional peak-load plant may be needed. This back-up does not have to have the same capacity as the group of wind farms. For widely dispersed wind farms, the back-up capacity only has to be one-fifth to one-third of the wind capacity. In the special case when all the wind power is concentrated at a single site, the required back-up is about half the wind capacity. (Martin & Diesendorf 1982; Grubb 1988a & b; ILEX 2002; Carbon Trust & DTI 2004; Dale et al. 2004; UKERC 2006).

Furthermore, because the back-up is peak-load plant, it does not have to be run continuously while the wind is blowing. Instead the gas turbines can be switched on and off quickly when necessary. Since the gas turbine has low capital cost and low fuel use, it may be considered to be reliability insurance with a small premium.

Of course, if a national electricity grid is connected by transmission line to another country (for example, as Western Denmark is connected to Norway), it does not need to install any back-up for wind, because it purchases supplementary power from its neighbours when required and sells excess wind energy to its neighbours. In practice it makes little difference whether a generating system installs a little of its own back-up or purchases it from neighbours.

[...]
Source - Renewables CAN Provide Baseload
A new and informative paper on how energy efficiency and renewables can provide baseload without the climate change emissions of coal. - The Base Load Fallacy - Page 4


However, I'm not certain nor am I confident of reliance on wind power alone; intermittent power source...leads to importing of power if we don't have enough generating capacity in the province.

Solar has some potential, if only during the summer months and most likely based on a decentralized power grid (e.g. roof top solar panels and battery systems for individual homes and businesses).

For our immediate future, both non-renewable (nuclear/natural gas turbine/clean coal with carbon sequestration) and renewable (wind/solar/geothermal?) energy sources are available, capable of supplying electricity for our growing province. It will be interesting to see how Bruce Power sets up the process and how the government and public receive it...our options may work out better than expected.

A side comment: Saskatchewan already mines uranium for much of the world, and for positive perceptions of leadership, we should look to expand our influence in the world with processing and waste storage facilities. If any country/province should carry the burden it should be those who developed uranium mining...a little money, international influence and growth in our knowledge economy doesn't hurt either
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Old Posted Jun 18, 2008, 8:58 PM
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I like wind power and biomass as replacement supplies but I also am not that confident of running a province on this alone at this point in time. Has anyone looked up if there are any health issues caused by the noise generated by wind turbines.
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Old Posted Jun 18, 2008, 9:50 PM
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I haven't heard of any human health issues related to the noise caused by the turbines, but I have heard that cattle tend not to like them (if placed in grazing land and whatnot).

I'm not sure if this is the case anymore, but when the group of wind turbines by Gull Lake were first installed the company installing them had a contract with SaskPower to sell X number of MW of power per year generated by them. They met this target in around 6 months I believe it was and instead of continuing to generate power, they were turned off. Hopefully these new initiatives and ideas that come into place actually lead to a reduction in our dependance on the coal-fired plants rather than just bumping up extra power when we need it.
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Old Posted Jun 18, 2008, 10:13 PM
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I haven't heard of any human health issues related to the noise caused by the turbines, but I have heard that cattle tend not to like them (if placed in grazing land and whatnot).

I'm not sure if this is the case anymore, but when the group of wind turbines by Gull Lake were first installed the company installing them had a contract with SaskPower to sell X number of MW of power per year generated by them. They met this target in around 6 months I believe it was and instead of continuing to generate power, they were turned off. Hopefully these new initiatives and ideas that come into place actually lead to a reduction in our dependance on the coal-fired plants rather than just bumping up extra power when we need it.
Exactly, those 'agreements' apply to all forms of power production (e.g. nuclear).

The complexity of energy supply and demand and associated agreements between jurisdictions/industries within a specific network may be just as critical, if not more critical to power supply and distribution than the construction and placement of power plants within a specific network.

For Saskatchewan, SaskPower manages distribution and owns/operates much of our power supply (as well, I've read we sometimes import power from neighboring provinces and states during peak demand...standard practice some might say).

If the government approves of a Bruce Power proposal for a nuclear plant(s) which the government has no ownership in (except maybe transmission lines?), SaskPower would then be buying power from Bruce Power for X amount of dollars instead of importing the power from other provinces/states...do some fact checking, you might be surprised how the provincial power grid operates.
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Old Posted Jun 18, 2008, 10:14 PM
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I feel that Saskatchewan could definatley rely on wind, solar and biomass power as its main source or base power source. I feel that small amounts of energy from natural gas, coal and possible even a VERY VERY mini nuclear plant could supply for those times of extra need. We have the wind, we have the solar ability and anywhere can produce biomass since we all produce the necessary products to make it happen. As well that article regarding the "super" wind turbine just shows how there are economical alternative AND renewable energy sources. 5 of those turbines would probably more then enough to power all of Saskatchewan at a cost which would be cheaper then a nuclear power plant in the long run. I feel the population is really ignorant on these alternatives and feel that nuclear is the only viable alternative b/c it SEEMS secure.
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Old Posted Jun 18, 2008, 11:25 PM
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I would just also like to point out that the construction costs for a nuclear power plant are well into the billions while that "super" wind turbine prices out at 53 million and produces 1/4 of the energy you could still build 94 super turbines at the price of one nuclear power plant (approx 5 billion) which would produce 94 gigawatts of power! Imagine selling that to North America, clean, renewable wind energy
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Old Posted Jun 18, 2008, 11:35 PM
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As with everything, MagLev Wind turbines also have shortcomings...

joelpiecowye, for future posts, please quote your source (e.g. hyperlink the article homepage).

I assume you found the article from here: MagLev’s Wind Turbine Is Real


Quote:
Originally Posted by joelpiecowye View Post
i completely agree with you Kgc087, there are also much better alternatives than nuclear, i think the government should look into other power sources that nuclear, mabey solar or wind, if saskatchewan wants to be a progressive province we have to look for a renewable yet environmently friendly source of power. I like the Maglev idea which would fit perfectly on diephenbaker which is one of canadas windier spots.



here is a little article on it

MagLev’s wind turbine concept, is no longer just that. It has entered production, possibly being the most revolutionary for wind energy.

Currently the largest wind turbines in the world only produce 5 megawatts of power, but this massive wind turbine is expected to generate one full gigawatt of clean power - enough energy to supply to 750,000 homes. MagLev Wind Turbine Technologies, an Arizona-based company, claims that it will deliver clean power for less than one cent per kilowatt hour and create energy even at low speeds of 3mph.

Amazingly, this wind technology boosts generation capacity by as much as 20% over traditional wind turbines and decreasing operational costs by 50%.

It’s estimated the colossal structure would occupy 100 acres and be several hundred meters high. Although the building will be expensive to build ($53 million), the cost savings of building one huge turbine reduces the cost of construction and maintenance for investors to recoup loses within a year.


we may be the uranium capital but it doesn't mean we have to use it
This article suggests the wind turbine design incorporates permanent fixed magnets, utilizing the rare earth element 'Neodymium'...which China happens to have in abundance...but recent exploration at Hoidas Lake suggests Saskatchewan may also have a healthy supply of rare earths, including 'Neodymium'....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frictionless Windmills from China?
Jeremy Faludi
July 23, 2006 10:13 AM

[...]

The magnetic levitation that they use is between the rotating shaft and the fixed base of the machine, basically taking the place of ball bearings. Such magnetic bearings have been used for decades in smaller turbines and pumps by Ebara, Leybold, Seiko-Seiki, and others. (SKF has a nice FAQ on them.) However, they generally can't handle being bumped around much (the magnetic force isn't that strong), and they generally require actively controlled electromagnets (to keep the levitating magnets from crashing--play with some magnets for a minute or two and you'll see why). Making magnetic bearings beefy enough to handle the loads a wind turbine would put on them is hard, and would use prohibitive amounts of power just keeping the electromagnets running strongly enough. However, the Worldwatch article says the new Chinese device (invented by Guangzhou Energy Research Institute and Guangzhou Zhongke Hengyuan Energy Science & Technology Co.) uses "full-permanent" magnets, meaning there are no electromagnets, only cleverly placed permanent ones, so it should use no power. It sounds like they will be used on small turbines (perfect for home use), which would be similar in scale to the pumps and industrial turbines currently using magnetic bearings. But who knows, in a few years it might be possible to scale them up.

Unfortunately there's not a shred of additional technical information in the article, nor is there any to be found elsewhere online (if you have any, please leave a comment!), so we can only speculate what their solution was. A little research made me conclude (and this is also suggested by a couple highly knowledgeable Treehugger readers who left comments) that they're probably using Halbach arrays in a system like the Inductrack invented at Lawrence Livermore Labs several years ago. Any permanent magnet system would doubtless need lots of Neodymium ("rare earth") magnets, which may have questionable sustainability when mined in large amounts, but as it happens China is rich in that element--in fact, energy.buzz points out that China owns 90% of the world's market of rare earth magnets.

Whatever the specifics, magnetic bearings would indeed be a benefit, because they are well known to be much lower friction than physical bearings.

Xinhua News / Worldwatch claims:


The Maglev generator is expected to boost wind energy generating capacity by as much as 20 percent over traditional wind turbines. This would effectively cut the operational expenses of wind farms by up to half, keeping the overall cost of wind power under 0.4 yuan ($US 5 cents), according to Guokun Li, the chief scientific developer of the new technology. Further, the Maglev is able to utilize winds with starting speeds as low as 1.5 meters per second (m/s), and cut-in speeds of 3 m/s...


I hope this is true, but it sounds optimistic. The inefficiency of a normal windmill's drive train (which includes the gears, shafts, and bearings, everything that moves except the motor and the turbine blades) is not so terribly big at moderate and high wind speeds. According to a paper by California Wind Energy Collaborative at UC Davis, the average wind turbine's drive train is 87-89% efficient from peak wind speeds down to less than half peak wind speed. However, below roughly a third of peak wind speed, things go rapidly downhill, and by about a quarter of peak wind speed, efficiencies are wallowing sadly in the 30-40% range. The Dutch windmill manufacturer Harakosan advertises a wind turbine that has 93 - 94% drive train efficiency all the way from peak wind speed down to a quarter of peak speed.

Granted, a study by NREL found the main losses in a wind turbine's drive train is lubrication oil churning, particularly at low speed. Using magnetic bearings (if they work at low speeds) would eliminate the need for such lubrication, and so would remove the drive train's biggest inefficiency. This is where it starts to matter what the specifics of the invention are. If the bearings do use Halback arrays, they will still not work at very low speeds--the arrays require a bit of motion in order to start levitating, and until it gets up to speed the rotor would sit on ordinary physical bearings. (However, it might be possible to optimize them for low-speed operation since they would no longer be used at high speeds.)

NREL's study also said that motor efficiency outweighed drive train efficiency, so fancy maglev bearings won't do you any good if you don't also have the best motor you can buy.

In any case, this is an exciting development in wind turbine technology, and if it makes even half as much difference as Guokun Li says it will to the economics of wind farms, it will be a huge boon to the industry, and to clean power.
Source

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Old Posted Jun 18, 2008, 11:45 PM
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Originally Posted by kgc087 View Post
I would just also like to point out that the construction costs for a nuclear power plant are well into the billions while that "super" wind turbine prices out at 53 million and produces 1/4 of the energy you could still build 94 super turbines at the price of one nuclear power plant (approx 5 billion) which would produce 94 gigawatts of power! Imagine selling that to North America, clean, renewable wind energy
If only those figures were based on observable wind speeds over specific geographic areas during specific weather conditions...nuclear generates power regardless of geographic location or weather conditions.

You can't justifiably say 94 gigawatts with 94 super turbines...a very ridiculous claim.

Wind power based on a traditional design or a 'new' turbine design are not the end all, be all...a mix of energy is vital for security, predictability, and efficiency (e.g. Wind/Solar/Nuclear/Gas Turbine/Clean Coal/Geothermal/Biomass/Other).

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Old Posted Jun 19, 2008, 5:58 AM
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A little competition eh...

AECL eyes reactor build
Bruce Johnstone and Angela Hall, Saskatchewan News Network
Published: Wednesday, June 18, 2008

REGINA - The day after Bruce Power LP announced plans to study the potential for nuclear power in Saskatchewan, "Canada's nuclear energy company" made a pitch to build the province's first reactor.

"If Saskatchewan decides to adopt nuclear, it is very well-positioned and it has choices," said Hugh MacDiarmid, president and CEO of Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. (AECL). "It has both public and private options for development.

"AECL is pleased to work with either," MacDiarmid told a Regina & District Chamber of Commerce luncheon Wednesday. "We want to be part of Saskatchewan's nuclear future."

The fallout from Bruce Power's announcement of a feasibility study to be completed by the end of the year also reached the premier's office on Wednesday.

Premier Brad Wall says the government would be "foolish" not to explore the possibility of a privately operated nuclear power plant here.

But the premier pledged all public opinion on the issue will be heard and that the government would be more of regulator than an advocate in the debate.

"We're not going to proceed with this unless we can demonstrate, obviously, environmental sustainability, unless we can demonstrate public safety, and it has to be cost effective in terms of a power source," Wall said.

"When that feasibility study is complete, if the conclusion . . . is that this might make sense, then we can certainly continue to engage Saskatchewan people," Wall said, though he stopped short of saying there would be a referendum on the matter.

MacDiarmid, who joined the federal government-owned AECL in January after a 30-year career mainly in the transportation sector, firmly believes Saskatchewan has a nuclear future.

"The economics of nuclear power for this province are unquestionably solid," MacDiarmid said.

"You sit on a bonanza of uranium," he said, referring to the 350,000 tonnes of uranium reserves in Saskatchewan - one-quarter of the world's known supplies and equivalent to 18 billion barrels of oil.

"You have the potential of upgrading, even enriching, this natural resource," he said in reference to building a uranium refinery or enrichment facility.

And Saskatchewan could have a nuclear reactor in its future, depending on the Bruce Power study.

MacDiarmid said AECL is well-positioned to be the supplier of any nuclear power plant Bruce Power might want to build.

"We have two excellent products: the Enhanced Candu 6 and the new ACR-1000."

The Enhanced Candu 6 is a 740-megawatt unit that uses natural uranium fuel and heavy water for moderation and coolant, and is "well-suited to smaller grids, including possibly, Saskatchewan."

The ACR-1000 is 1,150-megawatt design that uses slightly enriched uranium and heavy water for moderation and light water for coolant. Moderation is the slowing down of neutrons to cause fission.

In MacDiarmid's mind, the case for nuclear is clear. "It's safe. It's environmentally sustainable. It's reliable. It's economical.

"Nuclear is the right choice for Saskatchewan."

Following his presentation, MacDiarmid said any nuclear power plant would take a minimum of 10 years to build, including five years for construction, and cost $4 billion to $5 billion.

During construction, between 3,600 and 4,000 jobs would be created, as well as 500 to 1,000 permanent full-time jobs, depending on the size of the plant.

But MacDiarmid said it's too early to say whether AECL would be building any nuclear reactors in the province.

"We recognize that it's premature to be talking about who the vendor will be. We recognize we're one candidate of several perhaps," he told reporters.

"The reason I wanted to be in the province was to show that AECL is very committed to being Canada's nuclear energy company."

John Hopkins, CEO of the Regina chamber, said MacDiarmid's message was well-received by the Regina business community. "I would say (support for a nuclear plant) would be well over the 50 per cent mark.

"I think there's a general consensus in the business community that we need to have this discussion in Saskatchewan and move on with it.

"We're the Saudi Arabia of uranium, yet we don't do anything to add value to it. There's a huge opportunity to look at that."

University of Regina political scientist Ken Rasmussen said public opinion on nuclear power has shifted to be more favourable in North America in recent years.

"I think there is an argument that is very convincing to a number of people and that is that this is very common technology in Europe," Rasmussen said. "I think that the safety concerns have been mitigated a bit, and the argument will be as well, for those people that are somewhat soft on it, that it doesn't produce as many CO2 gases."

But Rasmussen said there will be "hellish" not-in-my-backyard battles when it comes to discussion about where a plant could be located.

© The StarPhoenix 2008

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Old Posted Jun 20, 2008, 3:12 PM
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Areva expresses interest in Sask. nuclear potential
Angela Hall, Saskatchewan News Network; Regina Leader-Post
Published: Friday, June 20, 2008

REGINA -- Saskatchewan's recent nuclear buzz has another major industry player signalling its interest in supplying the province with a nuclear reactor.

Areva Canada president Armand Laferrere said the company's existing presence in Saskatchewan's uranium industry could make it a "perfect fit" as the province considers going nuclear.

"Lots of markets are opening up to nuclear, or thinking about it, and so it's a good time to be in this industry," said Laferrere, who made the comments in the wake of an announcement by Ontario-based Bruce Power LP that it will conduct a feasibility study into the potential for nuclear power in Saskatchewan.

Premier Brad Wall has been vocal recently in promoting further development of the province's uranium industry, including refining and nuclear power.

Laferrere said his company would be interested in bidding to become the one to build a nuclear power plant should the opportunity arise as a result of the feasibility study.

Areva has a number of reactors worldwide but none in Canada.

"It's very early days, but as things progress, at one point they will decide who to buy the nuclear plant from, and we're one of the global leaders in that field," Laferrere said.

The company conducts uranium mining and exploration in Saskatchewan through Areva Resources Canada.

"This is a province we've been working in for about 40 years now. We have 500 employees in the uranium mines, so it's one of Areva's biggest operations.

"Clearly it's a province that we know and that we like," Laferrere said.

A day earlier, Hugh MacDiarmid, president and CEO of Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd., was in Regina at a local chamber of commerce event, touting the company's interest in supplying a nuclear power plant if plans in Saskatchewan proceed.


© The StarPhoenix (Saskatoon) 2008

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Politicians must join nuclear debate

Murray Mandryk, Saskatchewan News Network; Regina Leader-Post
Published: Friday, June 20, 2008

If ever Saskatchewan needed an unbiased, third-party commission to help us sort through a divisive issue of major importance, it's on the adoption of nuclear power. Here's why.

On one side, you see the emergence of a pro-nuclear lobby, which sees a reactor as the best opportunity to take this province from its historic status as a social democratic, agrarian breadbasket that's barely capable of supporting a million people to something closer to the grand vision predicted for it 103 years ago.

On the other side, you see the well-established anti-nuclear lobby, which fears the extremely remote chance of a cataclysmic nuclear disaster as a risk not worth taking in a responsible, caring jurisdiction whose long-term energy needs can be satisfied with more gentle forms of energy, such as wind and solar power.

This is highly problematic for the vast majority of us in Saskatchewan, who already haven't adamantly expressed our firm views in a letter to the editor, a blog or a private or public radio talk show.

Actually, the best thing that could happen in this debate would be for those who've made up their minds to take a long, hard deep breath. That generally causes people to close their mouths for a moment, which might accidentally afford them a rare opportunity to hear what the other side has to say.

Obviously, we need a good debate on this issue. Alas, early indications in the wake of both the Bruce Power announcement and the AECL comments to the Regina Chamber of Commerce this week suggest that we aren't going to get it. In fact, we don't even have a forum at the moment to get this debate right.

Normally, such passion and divergence of opinion on an issue have made for great political debates in our legislature. Consider the medicare debate 45 years ago or the privatization debate 20 years ago.

But already signs are emerging that suggest the debate on whether to go down the nuclear path won't be happening in the legislature. In fact, all signs point to the likelihood that it won't be the politicians who will be driving this issue at all.

First, so politically explosive is the issue that both the Saskatchewan Party and the NDP seem to feel the need to step back.

The governing Saskatchewan Party isn't merely a quiet advocate of nuclear power but sees the development of a nuclear power plant as a huge component in its long-term growth agenda for Saskatchewan -- perhaps even Premier Brad Wall's legacy.

However, beside the fact that the government will have to be the regulator and would be perceived to be in a conflict of interest if it were an aggressive advocate for the plant, the Saskatchewan Party's braintrust is politically savvy enough to see the danger of being branded as the proponent.

No doubt, Saskatchewan Party officials will let their friends in such places as the oil sector, the chambers of commerce or the North Saskatoon Business Association (whose members would benefit from the boom in economic activity that a reactor would create) do their bidding.

But don't expect the NDP caucus to lead the charge against the reactor, either. Despite their natural penchant to oppose all things nuclear, the rudderless NDP fears being branded as another version of the Green Party that's perceived as opposing any growth initiative. The NDP instead will oppose a reactor on the bases of NIMBY, ultimately concluding that nobody's backyard in Saskatchewan is a good place for a reactor.

And while one usually might think it would be a good thing to exclude politicians from a debate, what it will do in this case instead is create a huge void -- a vacuum that will be filled by those with extreme views who don't have to subject themselves to the discipline of trying to get re-elected.

There's an inherent value in having a formal body that acts as an honest broker in this debate.

We need an unbiased analysis of such issues as how a nuclear plant might actually reduce the need to burn dirty coal, how concerned we should be about reports of higher leukemia rates near German nuclear power plants or whether adding 1,500 megawatts of generating capacity in Saskatchewan is needed or even smart.

The nuclear debate is too important to be left to those whose minds are made up already.

© The StarPhoenix (Saskatoon) 2008

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SaskPower must own nuclear reactor
David McGrane, The StarPhoenix
Published: Friday, June 20, 2008

Following is the viewpoint of the writer, assistant professor of political studies at St. Thomas More College at the University of Saskatchewan.

We are about to embark on an important debate about whether a nuclear power plant makes environmental and economic sense for Saskatchewan. If we decide on nuclear power, it should be SaskPower that owns and operates the plant, not a private company from Central Canada.

Saskatchewan has a long history of publicly owned utilities that dates back to the creation of a long-distance telephone service in 1908.

It's disturbing that, on the 100th anniversary of public enterprise in Saskatchewan, the government seems to be turning its back on our tradition of public utilities by supporting Bruce Power's feasibility study that could result in a privately owned nuclear plant in this province.

AECL president Hugh MacDiarmid made a welcome contribution Wednesday to the debate in Saskatchewan over developing nuclear power when he noted there are "both public and private options." I believe any nuclear reactor built in Saskatchewan should be bought by SaskPower, either from a private sector company or a publicly owned company such as AECL, and then operated by the public utility.

The Saskatchewan government in 1945 justified the establishment of SGI by arguing that, "90 per cent of insurance in the province is being written in Eastern Canada, so the profits are going back East." The situation is no different now.

Under the proposal Bruce Power made this week, it would own the nuclear reactor and any profits generated by sales of electricity would go directly to its owners based in Toronto or Calgary and to shareholders around the globe. Cameco does own 31.6 per cent of four reactors operated by Bruce Power, but the Saskatoon-based uranium company is publicly traded and its profits are distributed to shareholders around the world.

If SaskPower eventually begins to buy electricity from a Bruce Power-owned nuclear plant, most of the money paid by Saskatchewan consumers will be exported outside the province. The vast majority of the profits that Bruce Power will make from selling electricity to Alberta or the United States from its Saskatchewan plant will leave the province, too.

However, if SaskPower were to own the plant, the profits it makes from selling its electricity to Saskatchewan residents would be transferred to the provincial government to fund better social programs or reduce the price we pay for electricity.

It should be remembered that the provincial government took in $587 million (about 6.7 per cent of its revenue) from Crown corporations in fiscal 2006-07 and that our Crowns have used their robust finances in recent years to cut rates or give rebates to consumers.

Manitoba Hydro and Quebec Hydro are good examples of provincial governments earning significant amounts by selling electricity to other jurisdictions.

A publicly owned power plant could be an opportunity for our government to sell (debatably) green energy to the larger North American market and use the profits to improve the quality of life in Saskatchewan through better infrastructure, health care, education and economic development.

Public ownership of nuclear power presents a number of social and economic advantages over private ownership. A plant owned by SaskPower would add jobs to its head office in Regina instead Bruce Power's headquarters in Ontario. These new SaskPower jobs would provide well-paying managerial positions to retain the brightest Saskatchewan youth in the province.

SaskPower could also be relied upon to purchase local supplies and construction materials.

The utility also has an innovative program to hire underrepresented groups such as aboriginals, people with disabilities, visible minorities and women in non-traditional occupations. Further, unlike private sector companies, SaskPower falls under the government's pay equity framework. Bruce Power's website makes no mention of employment equity or pay equity programs.

Nuclear power generation is associated with certain environmental dangers. As a publicly owned utility, SaskPower can be more closely monitored and regulated by the province to ensure that the highest environmental and safety standards are met. Since it controls the entire electrical grid in the province, SaskPower can be trusted to accurately discern how nuclear fits with an environmentally friendly mix of energy conservation and wind, solar, natural gas, hydro-electric, and clean coal electrical generation.

Indeed, it is SaskPower that should be doing the feasibility study on whether Saskatchewan needs nuclear power. As a private company, Bruce Power's feasibility study will be to examine if it can make a return on its investment. As a Crown Corporation, SaskPower could be mandated by the government to examine if nuclear power is the best environmental choice and if it would bring about the lowest electricity rates for consumers.

© The StarPhoenix (Saskatoon) 2008

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  #16  
Old Posted Jun 20, 2008, 6:29 PM
Wyku Wyku is offline
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I think that last article makes a lot of sense. I guess the only thing I'd be worried about is the upfront cost of building a reactor and that we would have to pay for it if it were SaskPower building it.
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Old Posted Jun 20, 2008, 11:34 PM
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I think that last article makes a lot of sense. I guess the only thing I'd be worried about is the upfront cost of building a reactor and that we would have to pay for it if it were SaskPower building it.
I share your thoughts...I think either way (public or private ownership), we'll end up paying more for electricity to finance the construction. But with public ownership, we might end up a wealthier province if we were exporting power to other jurisdictions.

Our increasing resource revenues may allow us to pay cash upfront for a plant, not sure if that is a smart move though. On the bright side, we have Bruce Power, AECL, and AREVA all vying for market share in the west, stiff competition for big dollars

I am clueless when it comes to private-public ownership of utility companies. I'll try to find some time to read up on the topic and post up some of my thoughts.

Last edited by Ruckus; Jun 21, 2008 at 6:23 AM.
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Old Posted Jun 23, 2008, 4:26 AM
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Nukes in Saskatchewan.....Right On! Hopefully SaskPower will be the owner/developer even if the upfront cost are high, it will be worth it in the long run. Keep the benefits of Saskatchwan's resources in the hand's of it's people.

By the way, what is the proper term for a resident of Saskatchewan anyway (I've had this debate with several ex-pat's here in Alberta and have yet to get a straight answer)
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Old Posted Jun 23, 2008, 5:09 AM
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By the way, what is the proper term for a resident of Saskatchewan anyway (I've had this debate with several ex-pat's here in Alberta and have yet to get a straight answer)

A Gapper?? j/k


I am sure MB Hydro will be offering to sell additional power to SK Power if the need arises. New hydro dams are being constructed in northern MB over the next decade .. and contracts are being filled to sell that power... mostly to the US.
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Old Posted Jun 24, 2008, 8:15 PM
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Poor policy for gov't to own reactor
David Seymour, Special to The StarPhoenix
Published: Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Following is the viewpoint of the writer, Saskatchewan Policy Analyst for the Frontier Centre for Public Policy with offices in Winnipeg, Regina and Calgary.

In SaskPower must own nuclear reactor (SP, June 20), David McGrane made the case for the provincial investment in a major facility such as a nuclear reactor. That viewpoint item is a valuable contribution to the debate, because it shows what one needs to believe in order to support government ownership of such an asset.

The article argues that provincial ownership of a reactor would ensure that profits would stay in the province and that the facility would provide head office jobs vital for Saskatchewan's development.

Further, it assumes that governments are more likely to regulate their own activities in the service of environmental and social goals than they are to regulate private interests.

A closer examination of these arguments in favour of a Crown-owned reactor for these reasons implies some interesting beliefs.

The "profit remains in the province" argument runs that if the reactor is owned in Saskatchewan, any profits will stay here instead of leaking to outside investors. The important phrase here is "any profit," because in the normal run of things, profits are not guaranteed. A reactor would certainly yield revenue, but it won't necessarily be enough to cover the investment capital that must be sourced and repaid.

The capital must be diverted from other uses that also could be expected to generate some return. Therefore, whether the capital comes from taxpayers in Weyburn or traders on Wall Street, the investors will rightfully expect at least an average return. For the plant owner/operator to end up better off, the reactor would have to make a return that is above average, with the difference being their true economic profit.

So, the first thing one must believe is that people who work for government organizations generally pick above average investments.

Following that logic, government departments should start investing all over the globe and make even more money for the province.

Of course, there is no reason to think government agencies can consistently beat the market.

With the political constraints they face, they probably are at a disadvantage. However, if for argument's sake we assume they will break even on this investment, there are some other reasons why government ownership might serve the public good.

The argument for a Crown reactor also presumes that the presence of Crown head offices is required for the province to succeed economically. This reasoning runs along the lines that local ownership would create high profile executive positions; otherwise we will all be become "hewers of wood and drawers of water."

Putting aside the irritating inference for everyone who doesn't toil in a Crown Corporation office tower that they are making an inferior contribution to Saskatchewan's future, growth patterns within the province do not support this argument.

As the benefits of having Crown head offices go, Saskatoon and the rest of the province subsidize Regina. They pay Crown fees, but mostly miss out on the benefits of head offices.

If this sacrifice to the Queen city were paying off, we might expect to see the best economic growth occurring there. As it happens, all the indicators show that growth is brisker in Saskatoon. Even before the current provincial economic burst, Saskatoon was leading Regina in population and in population growth for some time.

We are now left with the "regulation" argument, which says that if the government owns the facility, it will be easier to achieve other goals such as greater use of renewable energy or equal opportunity employment. But regardless of whether the ownership is public or private, the government will have a regulatory role for prices, environmental impacts, labour laws, and anything else for which it can muster votes.

Regulation is about government acting on behalf of citizens to make companies do things they would not otherwise do. The regulation argument requires the belief that governments will regulate their own interests more eagerly than those of others. In practice, being the developer and the regulator at the same time creates a conflict of interest. If anything, we would expect the province to be a softer regulator of its own business interests than of private votes.

To illustrate, in 2002 a sewer and wastewater plant owned by the City of Winnipeg accidentally released 437 million litres of raw sewage into the Red River. After an awkward legal delay, the courts levied no penalty at all on the city.

It's a safe bet there would have been swift and harsh penalties had a private wastewater operator been responsible for the disaster. Similarly, there are very real environmental impact issues with waste storage from a nuclear plant. As owner and regulator of nuclear assets, the government would be conflicted in regulating itself.

The arguments for a government-owned reactor can be seductive, allowing SaskPower to kill many public policy birds with one big investment stone. Closer examination shows, though, that this proposition runs contrary to what we have observed about government, investment and economics.

It may well be SaskPower should build a reactor, but not the reasons examined here.

(www.fcpp.org)

© The StarPhoenix (Saskatoon) 2008

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Nuclear industry spins new mythology
Paul Hanley, The StarPhoenix
Published: Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The nuclear myth of the 1950s and '60s was atomic power would be "too cheap to meter." That didn't pan out, so the nuclear industry is spinning a new mythology, also designed to win popular support.

At a meeting of the Regina Chamber of Commerce last week, Hugh MacDiarmid, president and CEO of Atomic Energy of Canada, described nuclear power as "environmentally sustainable." At the same time, Premier Brad Wall stated that Saskatchewan would not proceed with the nuclear option "unless we can demonstrate, obviously, environmental sustainability."

If sustainability is the basis upon which we decide for or against the nuclear option, we can stop the debate right now. The claim of nuclear "sustainability" is perhaps the most egregious case of green washing (i.e. lying about environmental performance) ever.

According to the Canadian Oxford Dictionary, "sustainable" refers to a development "that conserves an ecological balance by avoiding depletion of natural resources." The undeniable fact is that nuclear depends on the depletion of a natural resource -- uranium. Uranium, like, oil, coal or natural gas, is not an unlimited resource; it is non-renewable. Therefore, like fossil fuels, nuclear power is not sustainable.

A second myth is that nuclear is now gaining worldwide acceptance, that it is experiencing a kind of renaissance. The reality is quite different.

Global nuclear capacity stands at 372,000 megawatts, but its growth rate is lower than any other energy source. Growth was just 0.5 per cent in 2007, compared to 27 per cent for wind energy.

In total, global nuclear power capacity grew by less than 2,000 megawatts in 2007, a figure equivalent to just one-tenth of the new wind power installed globally that year.

By the end of 2007, reports the Worldwatch Institute, 34 nuclear reactors were being built worldwide. Twelve have been under construction for 20 years or more. Meanwhile, more than 124 reactors have been retired by the commercial nuclear industry since 1964, reducing capacity by 36,800 megawatts.

A recent Time magazine article, Is Nuclear Viable?, reports that the American nuclear industry is so unattractive that it is unable to attract private investment. While the red-hot renewable industry, including wind and solar, attracted $71 billion in private investment last year, the nuclear industry attracted nothing.

"Wall Street has spoken -- nuclear power isn't worth it," said energy analyst Amory Lovins, author of the study The Nuclear Illusion. Even with multibillion-dollar government subsidies, private investors are still not interested.

Capital costs are too high. Construction delays and cost overruns continue to be the norm for the nuclear industry. Cost estimates for identical Westinghouse-designed nuclear plants more than doubled in 2007, to $12-$18 billion, raising questions about the plants' economic viability and doubts as to how many electric utilities would be willing to add liabilities of that scale to their balance sheet. The U.S. credit rating agency Moody's has cautioned that many utilities are underestimating the cost of new plants and that nuclear investment could damage their credit ratings.

It is no wonder then that the United States saw no nuclear construction starts for the 29th straight year in 2007.

Meanwhile in Japan, a 6.8-magnitude earthquake struck the largest nuclear complex in the world in 2007. It shut down the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant's seven reactors, which account for 8,000 megawatts of Japan's nuclear capacity. The quake was 21/2 more powerful than the reactors were designed to withstand, reports Worldwatch, raising questions about whether they should ever be returned to service.

According to Amory Lovins, reducing carbon emissions would be cheaper and safer if nuclear was rejected in favour of alternatives that are sustainable. "The bottom line is that nuclear buys two to 10 times less climate protection than its competitors."

Investing in the nuclear option in Saskatchewan would suck up all the capital that would be spent more cost-effectively on renewable energy, efficiency and conservation.

Nuclear Myth Busting is the topic of a free public lecture, Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at the public library downtown. The guest speaker is Jim Harding, author of Canada's Deadly Secret: Saskatchewan uranium and the global nuclear system.

© The StarPhoenix (Saskatoon) 2008

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