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  #101  
Old Posted Aug 5, 2009, 5:43 AM
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Gov't silent on isotope report
Province, U of S and cancer agency working on deal
By Lana Haight, The StarPhoenixAugust 1, 2009 Comments (2)

The Saskatchewan government is keeping a lid on the details of its proposal to produce medical isotopes until after a federal deadline has passed.

"It's a fairly detailed report. It's taken a large number of people a whole month to write it. You have to do consultations around North America and even around the world," said Mike Woods, spokesperson for Crown Investments Corporation of Saskatchewan.

The provincial government, the University of Saskatchewan and the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency are working together in a bid to establish a research nuclear reactor that would produce medical isotopes at a facility in Saskatoon.

On Friday, several government employees on holidays were back at work putting the finishing touches on the 80- to 100-page document that was submitted electronically and via courier in time to meet the federal government's midnight deadline for expressions of interest. Details of the proposal weren't released to ensure submissions from other groups weren't tweaked.

Saskatchewan's document will be publicly available on Tuesday, says Woods. It pitches Saskatoon and the University of Saskatchewan, where the Canadian Light Source synchrotron is located, as ideal for a nuclear reactor that would be used for research and for producing medical isotopes.

"We can talk about the strong, proud history at the U of S in nuclear research and that goes back to the '60s," said Woods.

The low-power reactor -- producing "enough power to heat a building, but not enough to generate electricity" -- would complement and not compete with proposals coming from Western Canada.

"It would be better to be part of a regional solution," said Woods.

The Saskatchewan working group is aware of proposals, one involving the University of British Columbia and another the University of Winnipeg, that promote the use of a particle accelerator to produce the isotopes. Such a facility would cost less and could be built sooner than a nuclear reactor, but an accelerator has limitations that a reactor doesn't, says Woods.

"There are many sides to this story and why the proposals are different," he said.

"One may fit short-term, one may fit medium-term and one may fit long-term."

The federal government's Expert Review Panel on Medical Isotope Production is receiving the expressions of interest and will issue a final report by Nov. 30.

The panel was convened to examine how Canada can secure isotopes used in the diagnosis and treatment of various diseases, after Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. was forced to shut down its Chalk River facility.

The reactor, which had been producing the raw radioactive material needed to make medical isotopes, was leaking radioactive water.

The shutdown has fuelled a worldwide shortage of the isotopes.

lhaight@sp.canwest.com

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Saskatchewan could end up paying more than proposed for research nuclear reactor in Saskatoon, Bill Boyd says
By James Wood, The Star Phoenix.com August 4, 2009 Comments (13)

A 20-megawatt research nuclear reactor at the University of Saskatchewan that would create medical isotopes would cost between $500 million-$750 million to construct and $45 million to $70 million annually to operate, according to a proposal delivered to the federal government last week and released Tuesday.

A 20-megawatt research nuclear reactor at the University of Saskatchewan that would create medical isotopes would cost between $500 million-$750 million to construct and $45 million to $70 million annually to operate, according to a proposal delivered to the federal government last week and released Tuesday.
Photograph by: Canwest News Service, file photo

REGINA — Saskatchewan’s proposal for a research nuclear reactor creating medical isotopes at the University of Saskatchewan calls for the federal government to cover most of the $500 million to $750 million price tag for construction costs and $45 million to $70 million in annual operating costs.

However, Bill Boyd, Energy and Resources Minister in the Saskatchewan Party government, acknowledged to reporters that the provincial government itself could end up carrying more than the funding share outlined in the proposal submitted to the federal government last week and made public Tuesday.

Under the plan put forward by the U of S and the province, the federal government would pick up 75 per cent of the construction costs, with the province paying for the remainder. Saskatchewan also wants the federal government to pay 60 per cent of the operating costs, with the province covering 25 per cent and the rest coming from isotope sales and industrial science.

“I suppose that those are negotiable items that the federal government might want to negotiate. We think they are good starting points,” Boyd said at the legislature.

“They are our proposal going forward. The federal government may have some different ideas with regard to cost-sharing for these types of things.”

Boyd did say the project would be unlikely to go ahead without a significant financial commitment from the federal government.

Saskatchewan’s proposal is one of 21 submitted to the panel struck by the federal government to find a long-term solution to the medical isotope issue. There have been worldwide shortages of the isotopes used for the diagnosis and treatment of disease because of myriad problems with the National Research Universal (NRU) reactor in Chalk River, Ont., owned by Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd., a federal Crown corporation.

The isotope panel will report to Natural Resources Minister Lisa Raitt at the end of November. A more detailed proposal could potentially be made to the federal government after that, depending on the panel’s findings.

The report notes there are “major uncertainties” around the projected cost related to technology, infrastructure, labour and property prices. The proposal does not put forward a decommissioning reserve, as will be necessary in a final plan.

However, Richard Florizone, the U of S vice-president who co-chairs the university-government working group that put together the proposal, said it has confidence that the costs will fall somewhere in the range put forward in the report.

But the Opposition said it is worried provincial residents will end up paying through the nose for a project that is not expected to turn a profit.

“The question is, what does this mean for Saskatchewan taxpayers? We see the project as having some interesting potential but there are so many questions around sustainability and cost and who will be footing the bill,” said the NDP’s Trent Wotherspoon.

The proposal says Saskatchewan’s reactor — dubbed the Canadian Neutron Source — could be in place and operating by 2016, to coincide with the planned permanent shutdown of the NRU.

The reactor would have an initial goal of creating 2,000 six-day Curies of the Mo-99 isotope weekly, which is approximately four times Canada’s need and would thus be able to supply the export market as well.

But it would also create neutron beams for neutron science, which enables scientists to explore the property of materials down to the atomic level.

The report estimates the direct and indirect economic spinoff from construction of the reactor as somewhere between $314 million and $471 million and while the facility would not turn a profit on isotope production and nuclear research, its operation would have a direct and indirect impact of $34 million to $53 million.

Saskatchewan’s sales pitch is based around a research reactor’s synergies with the U of S — currently attempting to organize a cross-discipline Institute for Nuclear Studies — and the Canadian Light Source synchrotron, located on campus.

The synchrotron and the reactor use very different techniques for visualizing and analyzing materials but they are viewed as complementary.

“If (the federal government) wants to see the level of research and development sustained or expanded in Canada, then they will be looking at a proposal like ours,” said Florizone.

“I don’t know all the proposals but I suspect there may be some that will be faster and less expensive than ours. But I don’t know if they will be able to address the neutron science issue.

The report also touts the willingness of the provincial government to invest in the project as a major selling point.

However, the Sask. Party has faced criticism for submitting a proposal when public consultations on the report of its Uranium Development Partnership, tasked to consider how to “add value” to the province’s world-leading supply of uranium, were still underway.

The government has continually said it was forced to do so by the federal guideline for submissions.

If the report of Dan Perrins, who chaired the public consultations, puts forward that public opinion is dead-set against a research reactor, it could derail the government’s proposal, said Boyd.

He added that he does not expect that to be the case, given the submissions in public hearings, but said that the public debate over the issue won’t necessarily be ended by Perrins’ report.

Jim Penna, a Saskatoon-based member of the anti-nuclear Coalition for a Clean Green Saskatchewan, said the government’s pursuit of a research reactor is part of a larger effort to normalize nuclear development in the province to allow for projects such as a power-generating reactor.

He questioned the desirability of the government’s proposal for Saskatchewan, given the technical and safety issues that have plagued the Chalk River facility, the opportunities for isotope production without reactors, and the likelihood of the United States getting into isotope production.

jwood@sp.canwest.com

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  #102  
Old Posted Aug 28, 2009, 11:00 PM
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Nuclear report to be released in Sept.
Saskatchewan News Network; Regina Leader-Post August 28, 2009

The Saskatchewan Party government expects to release a report in mid-September summarizing public opinion on the province's nuclear options.

But the government won't issue its own formal response to the report until a few weeks after that because it needs time to decide on a course of action, Energy and Resources Minister Bill Boyd said Thursday.

People were asked to weigh in during the last several weeks on the findings of the government-appointed Uranium Development Partnership (UDP), which made recommendations on controversial topics such as nuclear power and medical isotope production. Boyd said the report from Dan Perrins, who was appointed to oversee public consultations on the findings of the UDP, will help guide the government as it contemplates possible next steps.

"I think it's quite important," said Boyd of the pending report, which the government expects to receive from Perrins on Sept. 14.

"All the decisions about this are going to certainly involve the people of Saskatchewan through this process and perhaps other processes that (Perrins) may recommend."

Boyd pledged the Perrins report will quickly be released to the public once its in the government's hands, even though the government response won't come until later. But the report won't be released at a news conference in either Regina or Saskatoon, due to restrictions on government activities in those cities due to byelection races being held in both centres. The vote isn't until Sept. 21.

New Democrat MLA Sandra Morin said even without seeing the actual report, concerns raised at public hearings made it clear people want more information on the province's power needs -- and the cost of all the options -- before there's a move to nuclear power.

Morin also questioned why the government will be delaying its response to the report, arguing it should state its case before voters go to the polls in the Regina Douglas Park and Saskatoon Riverside byelections.

"One of the biggest issues in Saskatchewan right now is the discussion about nuclear," Morin said. "This is something that people should be able to know about when they make their decision as to which candidate, which party, they're going to be supporting in the byelection and they won't have any information as to how the government is going to react to the report until just after the byelection."

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  #103  
Old Posted Sep 16, 2009, 2:18 AM
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Report to help set stage for nuclear development in Saskatchewan
By James Wood, Star Phoenix September 15, 2009 8:54 AM Be the first to post a comment

REGINA — A report that will help set the stage for both the future of nuclear development in the province and months of political debate will be released Tuesday.

But a University of Saskatchewan political studies professor says not to expect the report on public consultations on the findings of the government's Uranium Development Partnership to be the final word on the issue.

"It's not the end of the discussion. It's really the beginning of the discussion," said the U of S's Greg Poelzer in an interview Monday.

The UDP was appointed by the Saskatchewan Party government to explore ways to "add value" to the province's world-leading supply of uranium. Its report in April recommended a nuclear reactor be incorporated into the province's energy plans and touted the possibility of nuclear waste storage, among other actions.

Dan Perrins, formerly the province's top civil servant, was appointed to head public consultations. At hearings held in the spring and through written submissions, many Saskatchewan residents expressed concerns about the UDP report, especially around nuclear power.

But Poelzer said he does not expect the Perrins report to lead the government — bullish on uranium development — to immediately preclude any open option. (The Sask. Party has already nixed nuclear waste storage.)

The government can point to the support nuclear development has received in a variety of public opinion polls, he said. The nature of the consultation process also means those opposed to nuclear power are more likely take part, he added.

However, the report will likely set guidelines and boundaries for the government on how to proceed as it negotiates a tricky path on uranium development, said Poelzer.

Energy and Resources Minister Bill Boyd has said the government will need time to study the report and it will be a matter of weeks before it issues a formal response.

With Ontario-based Bruce Power eyeing the province for a potential nuclear reactor, the Opposition NDP has accused the government of stacking the deck in favour of nuclear development. While the two sides spar, an all-party legislative committee will hold hearings this fall on the province's energy future and its various options, it was announced last week.

Perrins said in July that the consultation process had shown there was a clear need for more information for the public on the province's electricity requirements and options, and on the issue of medical isotope production.

The government and the University of Saskatchewan have already gone ahead in putting a proposal in to the federal government for a research reactor that produces medical isotopes, which was also recommended by the UDP.

Premier Brad Wall and Boyd have said that the province had to meet a federal deadline for the proposal and it could be scrapped if there was clearly no appetite for the project from the public.

Poelzer said the significance of the consultations might not be readily apparent for some time.

"These are the kind of things where you look back five, ten years from now. I think it's far too early to judge," he said.

jwood@sp.canwest.com
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Sask. not ready for nuclear: NDP
Nuclear power lacks business case, Lingenfelter says
By Jason Warick, Saskatchewan News Network September 15, 2009 Be the first to post a comment

Now is not the time to consider nuclear power development in Saskatchewan, says provincial New Democratic Party Leader Dwain Lingenfelter.

"At this point in time, we don't think there's an economic or business case for nuclear power," Lingenfelter said in an interview Monday.

"It's not something we'd jump into, certainly not at this point."

Lingenfelter's comments come on the eve of report, to be released today, summarizing a series of public consultations held this year across the province on the Saskatchewan Party government's Uranium Development Partnership, which recommended a nuclear reactor.

Lingenfelter said the NDP has long supported the mining of uranium in Saskatchewan and supports the "potential" of processing it, but only if it was better environmentally and economically than other options such as wind power. These alternatives have not been pursued nearly enough to make an educated decision, Lingenfelter said.

He said a proposal by private company Bruce Power to build a reactor in the province is a bad idea, and the NDP has opposed it from the day it was suggested.

"We've indicated our opposition to the Bruce Power deal from Day 1. It wasn't an open process," he said.

"We didn't study all of the options for energy at hand, including wind, hydro, solar, geothermal."

The nuclear power issue was a hot topic at an all-candidates' forum Monday for the Sept. 21 Saskatoon Riversdale byelection. NDP candidate Danielle Chartier said she's against nuclear power development.

"I am a mom of two kids . . . I don't think we can leave that legacy for our children," she said.

Chartier said a Bruce Power reactor would be "economically insane for our province." However, Chartier said she'd support nuclear power development if that's what her NDP caucus supported.

Saskatchewan Party candidate Corey O'Soup said his party favours listening to what Saskatchewan people want, and that's what he'll do before deciding what to do about the nuclear question.

Liberal candidate Eileen Gelowitz, referring to her aboriginal ancestry, said elders oppose nuclear power. But Liberal Leader Ryan Bater supports it, "so I'll go with that," she said.

Tobi-Dawne Smith, the Green party candidate, said she and her party are the only ones categorically opposed to nuclear power, and used most of her time at the debate to criticize nuclear power. But when asked what she'd do if Saskatoon Riversdale residents supported nuclear power, she said she'd have to vote according to their wishes.

While working for an Alberta energy company in 2005, Lingenfelter was a vocal supporter of nuclear power in Saskatchewan. He called on the Saskatchewan government to encourage the private sector to build a reactor that could help meet the province's electricity needs and also export power to the Fort McMurray oilsands and to the U.S. market, according to a report.

During the NDP leadership race this year, his position moderated significantly. But he was the only candidate who didn't rule out the nuclear option altogether.

jwarick@sp.canwest.com

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Strong opposition against nuclear power in Saskatchewan: UDP report
By James Wood, TheStarPhoenix.com September 15, 2009 12:02 PM Comments (9)

REGINA — Public consultations on the government’s Uranium Development Partnership saw an “overwhelming response” against nuclear power and other aspects of the industry, widespread concern over health, safety and environmental impacts and skepticism towards the UDP itself, according to the report prepared by a former top civil servant and released Tuesday.

The Saskatchewan Party government said the report by Dan Perrins will not necessarily halt development but it does signal the province to be careful in how it proceeds.

“It’s neither a green light nor a red light for future uranium development,” Energy and Resources Minister Bill Boyd said in a news release Tuesday.

“It’s more like a yellow light — take any next steps with caution. Saskatchewan people are saying, ‘Take your time, get it right, consider all the options.’ I think that’s wise counsel.”

Boyd has said in the past the government will need time to study the report and it will be a matter of weeks before it issues a formal response.

The UDP was appointed by the Saskatchewan Party government to explore ways to “add value” to the province’s world-leading supply of uranium. Its report in April recommended a nuclear reactor be incorporated into the province’s energy plans and touted the possibility of nuclear waste storage, among other actions.

Perrins, formerly deputy minister to NDP premier Lorne Calvert, was appointed to head public consultations. Meetings during the spring were dominated by those raising concerns about nuclear development.

In his report, Perrins said he received 2,263 responses, with some representing multiple submissions by individuals and organizations.

Of those responses, 1,403 were related to nuclear power, with 84 per cent of those responses in opposition. Other major themes, in order of magnitude, were health, safety and environment concerns, opposition to nuclear waste disposal and storage, the cost of uranium development, support for alternative energy sources, concerns about the UDP report itself and opposition to current and future mining activities.

Underlying most submissions was a need and desire for more information from the public, said Perrins in his report.

“Who provides the information, what information is provided, how the information is provided and whether it can be trusted are all questions that people asked through the process,” he wrote.

Along those lines, Perrins makes a number of recommendations, including that the government develop a consolidated report on all power generation options for the province and that SaskPower publicly release any existing work it has done on the province’s power needs.

With Ontario-based Bruce Power eyeing the province for a potential nuclear reactor, the Opposition NDP has accused the government of stacking the deck in favour of nuclear development. While the two sides spar, an all-party legislative committee will hold hearings this fall on the province’s energy future and its various options, it was announced last week.

Perrins also calls for the government to commission a study to review the current research on health impacts of nuclear power and that that study be made public.

In addition, he recommends that the government initiate a public information campaign regarding the production and use of medical isotopes.

The government and the University of Saskatchewan have already gone ahead in putting a proposal in to the federal government for a $500-million to $750-million research reactor that produces medical isotopes, which was also recommended by the UDP.

Premier Brad Wall and Boyd have said that the province had to meet a federal deadline for the proposal and it could be scrapped if there was clearly no appetite for the project from the public.

Perrins found that there was little support for uranium research and development but responses were divided on the issue of medical isotopes.

“Many people who expressed support for the production of medical isotopes stipulated it should occur without the use of nuclear fission,” he wrote.

jwood@sp.canwest.com

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  #104  
Old Posted Sep 17, 2009, 7:51 PM
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Nuclear power costly: Wall
Province should keep options open on energy: premier

By James Wood, The Star Phoenix September 17, 2009 Comments (5)

Nuclear power may be too large and too costly for a province like Saskatchewan, which needs to keep its energy options open, Premier Brad Wall said Wednesday.

The comments appeared to be another indication of the Saskatchewan Party government's diminishing enthusiasm for nuclear power a day after the release of the report on the public consultations on the government's Uranium Development Partnership. That report showed an "overwhelming" rejection of nuclear power from respondents. Energy and Resources Minister Bill Boyd said Tuesday the government had become increasingly cautious on nuclear energy's potential because of the cost.

In an interview before Wednesday's cabinet meeting at the legislature, Wall did not close the door on nuclear power, saying it was still on the agenda.

But while the high costs of nuclear reactor construction are nothing new, he said there are factors that have led to the increased concern over price.

Those include the cost of upgrading the province's transmission system to accommodate the large scale of a reactor, uncertainty around the ability to export the power generated and the increasing potential of electricity generation from natural gas that could remain cheap for some time to come.

The government also remains bullish on the prospects of carbon capture and sequestration technology, with a $1.4-billion SaskPower "clean coal" project already on tap.

"That is one of the challenges of nuclear power. . . . The cost is significant enough that it may just, on a de facto basis, rule out pursuing some of the rest of the envelope, the rest of the options, including clean coal, which is not an inexpensive technology," said Wall.

The premier said it would be a mistake for a government-owned electrical utility such as SaskPower to be reliant on a single source of power. The government envisions a mix of energy sources -- including clean coal, natural gas and renewables such as wind power -- in the province's power supply.

The work of the legislature's Crown and Central Agencies Committee, which will hold hearings in October on Saskatchewan's energy future, will be important in determining that mix and whether it could include nuclear, he said.

The Opposition NDP has accused the Sask. Party of rushing the process, but Wall said Wednesday the government may be amenable to expanding the hearings.

Nevertheless, the premier said he remains comfortable with his end-of-the-year deadline for a government decision on whether to greenlight nuclear power.

Ontario-based Bruce Power, which has not commented on the public consultation report or the government's comments on nuclear power, is eyeing Saskatchewan as the potential site of two 1,000-megawatt reactors.

Wall said he believes there is still majority support for nuclear power in the province, but only if environmental, health and safety and cost issues are addressed.

"I think cost, even for (nuclear) proponents and supporters, is the most important consideration . . . even for those who are comfortable with the health and safety, comfortable with the environmental implications, the cost issue is still there," he said.

NDP Leader Dwain Lingenfelter said the government does not need to wait until December to reject the Bruce Power proposal, which he describes as fundamentally flawed.

But he said nuclear should continue to be looked at among potential energy options for Saskatchewan.

The government's cooling toward nuclear power seems to indicate an emerging -- if inadvertent -- political consensus on the nuclear power issue.

Lingenfelter, a strong advocate for nuclear development in Saskatchewan during his hiatus from politics as an energy executive, says there is currently no business case for nuclear power in the province. He said Wednesday his past promotion was always based on having export markets in hand for the power generated.

jwood@sp.canwest.com

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  #105  
Old Posted Sep 17, 2009, 7:57 PM
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Meetings set for Saskatoon on future nuclear waste site
By Jeanette Stewart, The Star Phoenix September 17, 2009

A series of closed-door meetings will begin in Saskatoon today with members of the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) and non-government leaders weighing in on the next step in finding a site for a proposed nuclear waste dump.

Meetings will be held at the Delta Bessborough hotel.

Though the meetings are not open to the public or the media, NWMO spokesperson Michael Krizanc said the group is "happy to provide information" on what is going on at the discussions.

The non-profit organization began its mandate in 2002, supported by trust funds paid into by the nuclear industry. Krizanc projects it will take until at least 2035 to determine a site and begin construction on the proposed storage site.

The NWMO has travelled coast to coast conducting meetings and consultations. Krizanc lists "faith groups, aboriginal people and industry" among participants in the dialogue taking place in Saskatoon. An Ottawa-based third-party organization will conduct the discussion.

Reports are later posted on the NWMO website, said Krizanc.

"Everything we have done is guided by the citizens," he said.

The "geological repository" will not be imposed on any community in Canada, said Krizanc. Rather, the group is looking for an "informed and willing community" to play host to the site. At that point the NWMO would work with a community for eight to 10 years before the project would begin.

Discussions begin at 8:30 a.m. today and continue into the afternoon.

The anti-nuclear group Clean Green Saskatchewan will host a street theatre presentation from noon to 1 p.m. in front of the Bessborough to protest the talks.

The organization was not invited to participate in the NWMO discussions.

Talks on nuclear waste storage sites "happen frequently," said organizer David Geary. The group's goal is to shine a light on the fact these talks are underway.

The NWMO will hold public information sessions in Saskatchewan later this fall.

jstewart@sp.canwest.com

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  #106  
Old Posted Oct 29, 2009, 10:24 PM
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Communication 'non-existent' between gov't, Bruce Power
By James Wood, The StarPhoenixOctober 29, 2009

There was a bit of nuclear confusion at the provincial legislature Wednesday as the question remains whether a nuclear power plant is in Saskatchewan's future.

Energy and Resources Minister Bill Boyd told reporters the Saskatchewan Party government needs a formal proposal from Bruce Power -- which has been contemplating building two 1,000-megawatt reactors in the province -- before it can give the go-ahead to proceed with nuclear development.

But the Ontario-based private-sector nuclear company said it needs a clear signal the province is interested in nuclear development before it will bring forth a proposal.

Later, Boyd said the lines of communication between the government and the company have been "non-existent" of late and said that needed to change.

"I understood the situation was that they were going to be bringing forward a proposal. But given that information, I think it's incumbent upon us to follow up and contact Bruce Power and clarify with them whether they're going to be bringing forward a proposal or whether they want us to provide some degree of some signal. So I will be following up in due course here, making a call to Bruce Power," he said in an interview.

Premier Brad Wall had set an end-of-year deadline on whether the government would green-light nuclear development in the short-term.

Mid-September saw the release of the government-commissioned independent report on the public consultations into its Uranium Development Partnership.

Authored by veteran civil servant Dan Perrins, it showed an "overwhelming" rejection of nuclear power among those who took part in the consultations and made a series of recommendations to the government.

At the time, Boyd said the report was a "yellow light" for nuclear power development in the province. Both he and Wall signalled the government -- once bullish on nuclear power -- had grown more cautious about the technology, with its cost a particular concern.

At the time, a formal response to the report from the government was expected within weeks but with it still undelivered, Boyd said Wednesday it will likely come in mid-November.

Steve Cannon, a spokesperson for Bruce Power, said the company's plan all along has been to wait for the government's response to the Perrins report before a decision is made on a proposal

"Certainly we want to look to see what the province has to say about whether it wants nuclear energy to be part of its energy mix," he said.

The company released a feasibility study in 2008 that suggested nuclear power would be a good fit for Saskatchewan's long-term energy needs. A reactor would likely need about a decade to come online.

Cannon said Bruce Power understands the government may have cooled somewhat to nuclear power because of the worldwide recession.

"We understand that economic realities are what they are and the need may not be as pressing at the moment, but it is a long-term decision that needs to be made. And it's an important decision, so you want to take time and you want to be thoughtful with it and make the right choice," he said.

The NDP has already called on the government to reject Bruce Power's plans for Saskatchewan.

Opposition SaskPower critic Trent Wotherspoon said Wednesday he thinks delays in the response to the Perrins response and mixed signals around Bruce Power are signs of a Sask. Party caucus divided on the nuclear issue.

"The one thing we do know about this government is the most important thing to them is popularity, spin and communications. . . . I would assume right now they'll be looking at a circumstance that became very problematic for them on the nuclear front and I guess they'll be trying to find their way out of it," he told reporters.

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