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Old Posted Jun 25, 2008, 10:19 PM
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I hope this isn't just me thinking this... but isn't Bruce Power and awesome name for this guy?

That'd be like getting a carpenter named Ted Carpenter, it just fits.
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Old Posted Jun 25, 2008, 11:46 PM
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Originally Posted by nook View Post
...but isn't Bruce Power and awesome name for this guy?
That's the name of the Company, I believe it has something to do with the Bruce peninsula in Ontario, could be wrong. Should have called themselves Austin Power, then they'd be Shaggadelic, baby.
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Old Posted Jun 26, 2008, 12:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Hillbillary View Post
That's the name of the Company, I believe it has something to do with the Bruce peninsula in Ontario, could be wrong. Should have called themselves Austin Power, then they'd be Shaggadelic, baby.
Actually I was watching the Jays/Reds game and I just noticed that.

Regardless. If they had a CEO named Bruce Power, that'd be cool.
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Old Posted Jul 8, 2008, 1:18 AM
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SaskPower releases nuclear power studies
Last Updated: Monday, July 7, 2008 | 2:15 PM CT Comments3Recommend8
CBC News

Fourteen studies into the viability of nuclear power in Saskatchewan commissioned by SaskPower over the past 36 years were made public by the utility Monday.

The release of the feasibility studies by the Crown corporation comes two months after a consultant's report on possible locations for a nuclear power plant was leaked to the media.

The controversial report, which is among the 14 studies released Monday, recommended southern Saskatchewan's Lake Diefenbaker region as the best place to build western Canada's first nuclear power plant.

The province is the world's largest producer of uranium, but it does not have any nuclear reactors.

The fact the power company has considered the nuclear option since 1972 does not come as a big surprise, said Ann Coxworth, program co-ordinator of the environmental group Saskatchewan Environmental Society.

"But I think it's helpful to have that material out in the public arena so that we can all share in the review of that material," Coxworth said Monday.

Before the province makes a decision on nuclear power, it needs to consider a number of factors, she said. For example, a recent study done in Colorado concluded nuclear power is only feasible when it is subsidized.



Courtesy of SaskPower:

- Webpage listing the 14 studies

Considerations for Siting a Nuclear Powered Generating Station in Saskatchewan

Non-Conventional Power Options - Nuclear Generation Option

Nuclear Power - A Report Examining Scenarios, Options, and Issues for its Implementation in Saskatchewan

Our Future Generation - Electricity for Tomorrow

Power Generation - Exploring Saskatchewan's Nuclear Future

Review of Nuclear Power Generation

Saskatchewan Electrical Energy Options - Final Report

Saskatchewan Electrical Energy Options - Position Statement Report

Saskatchewan Power Corporation Feasibility Study for a Nuclear Program in Saskatchewan

SaskPower - Saskatchewan Preliminary Siting of a Nuclear Power Plant

Local and Province-wide Effects of the Point Lepreau Power Plant - Lessons for Saskatchewan

Technical Assessment of the Nuclear Option for Saskatchewan

Prospects for Saskatchewan's Nuclear Industry and it's Potential Impact on the Provincial Economy 1991-2

The Economic Effects of the Nuclear Industry


Information overload...someone really wants nuclear
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Old Posted Jul 8, 2008, 2:39 AM
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Originally Posted by SASKFTW View Post
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.
That doesn't sound right. Right now Ontario has 6 reactors operating at the Bruce Nuclear Generating Station with another 2 currently being refurbished, 4 at the Pickering Station, and 4 at Darlington, and is planning on constructing 4 more at the Darlington. That means that currently there are 14 reactors in operation, and an additional 6 reactors coming online in the next ten years or so. I also know that Bruce Power is keen on constructing a new station at the Bruce site which would probably have two reactors (though twice as powerful than the existing ones) as an alternative to refurbishing the Bruce B reactors in the next 10 years. It wouldn't surprise me if both projects went ahead in the end. In any case, we have 12 million people, and those 14 reactors only supply about a third of our power.
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Old Posted Jul 9, 2008, 1:22 AM
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Nuclear plant viable: SaskPower report
Economically feasible with other provinces involved
James Wood, The StarPhoenix
Published: Tuesday, July 08, 2008

The draft report -- Nuclear Power: A Report Examining Scenarios, Options and Issues for its Implementation in Saskatchewan -- was one of 14 studies relating to nuclear power dating to 1972 that were released Monday by the Saskatchewan Party government.

Last month, private operator Bruce Power LP, which is already considering a nuclear plant in Alberta, announced it would launch a feasibility study on nuclear power in Saskatchewan.

The SaskPower report dated June 2007 says a large nuclear reactor (generating more than 750 megawatts) is not feasible in supplying power to Saskatchewan alone.

Instead, it suggests two models that could be viable -- a medium reactor (361 to 750 megawatts) in a Saskatchewan-Alberta partnership or a medium or large reactor in a full "Prairie regional pact" that includes Manitoba.

"The key message here is that on a regional basis, nuclear would become more technically and economically feasible, as support investments such as transmission become smaller on a percentage of the total capital required," the report reads in part.

None of the reactors mentioned in the report were currently licensed in Canada but some had been certified in the United States. The report finds a small reactor (360 megawatts) would fit relatively easily into Saskatchewan's power system, even supplying the province alone, but there are questions about future availability and economic viability.

Crown Corporations Minister Ken Cheveldayoff said the report is of relevance, albeit limited, since the current debate involves the private sector, not SaskPower, taking the lead.

However, the projected growth in Saskatchewan's demand for electricity is 800 to 1,000 megawatts by 2020 while the likelihood is a nuclear development would require 2,000 megawatts of generation to be viable, he said.

Cheveldayoff acknowledged the likely need to export some part of any potential nuclear power generation and said SaskPower would be comfortable with that possibility. "Certainly if it makes sense to export some of the power, or to bring in partners from other provinces, we'll be looking to do that as well. But let's not get too far ahead of ourselves," he cautioned.

The report notes medium or large reactor development will create issues that must be dealt with around upgrading the province's electrical transmission system and ensuring there is adequate reserve power in case a reactor goes off-line.

A large development "will require major and far-reaching investment in both transmission and reserve."

While Cheveldayoff downplayed the report, NDP MLA Frank Quennell said it lays out a path for potential nuclear development that could be followed by Bruce Power, which should be a concern.

"What kind of investments are we talking about and who is going to pay for them?" he said.

The previous NDP government argued there was no business case for nuclear development in Saskatchewan. Quennell, a former SaskPower minister, said the report does not undercut that argument because it was always based on nuclear supplying the province alone, not other jurisdictions.

SaskPower vice-president Gary Wilkinson said the report was done on the Crown corporation's initiative, not at the direction of the then-NDP government. He said it was not presented at the political level.

The company tries to keep on top of all developments in power generation, he said, as witnessed by the reports dating back 36 years. An increasing provincial demand for electricity and growing concerns about SaskPower's high greenhouse-gas emissions prompted the June study.

Among the other reports formally released Monday was a February 2007 siting study that had already been leaked to CBC, which found a site near Lake Diefenbaker would be the best choice for a reactor.

A 1975 siting study also suggested Lake Diefenbaker. Cheveldayoff said while the area has been seen as the "obvious choice" because of its large supply of the water needed for a reactor, Bruce Power has repeatedly said it has no predetermined site.

The siting study, along with a number of the other reports, was done during the tenure of Allan Blakeney's NDP government of the 1970s and early 1980s.

However, Blakeney said Monday the province was never close to actual nuclear development under his government.

"The idea of a third or a quarter of your total (power) load being dependent on one unit was thought to be technically unsound. By the way, I think it's still technically unsound," he said in an interview.

The Saskatchewan Party government -- which has declared a strong interest in private-sector nuclear development -- released the reports to keep a promise made in Opposition.

The reports can be seen online at http: http://www.saskpower.com/pubs/nuclear_studies.shtml


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Old Posted Jul 15, 2008, 1:42 AM
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Grid update for nuclear would be costly
James Wood, The StarPhoenix
Published: Monday, July 14, 2008

REGINA -- As a private company contemplates bringing nuclear power to Saskatchewan, there are major questions about how it would fit into the province's publicly owned electrical transmission system, how much that would cost and just who would end up paying.

Premier Brad Wall recently suggested transmission system upgrades may be an area where public money could be spent if Bruce Power LP decides to move ahead with nuclear development after the completion of its planned feasibility study by the end of the year.

That set off alarm bells for the Opposition NDP, which says taxpayers could end up on the hook despite Bruce Power's declared lack of interest in public money.

"It would be a huge investment," said NDP Enterprise and Innovation critic Frank Quennell, who served as the minister responsible for SaskPower from 2003-06 in the previous government.

The Crown corporation says it is far too early to say what kind of dollars would be necessary to upgrade the system but there's no question an investment in transmission would be necessary to make nuclear power work in Saskatchewan.

That's because of the likely size of any nuclear power plant, with a 1,000 megawatt reactor generally viewed as the smallest viable unit. With the need for a back-up power source to be in place, that raises the possibility of two 1,000 megawatt reactors for the province.

SaskPower's largest generating units are currently only 300 megawatts. Gary Wilkinson, the Crown's vice-president of planning, environment and regulatory affairs, said the provincial grid is currently configured to incorporate units of that size. The grid can also withstand their sudden loss and allow power to "rush in" from out of province.

A much larger generating unit such as a reactor would necessitate larger transformers, additional power lines and the ability to receive a greater amount of power from out of province.

"Not only do we have to ensure the transmission system is robust enough to be able to hook it onto the grid but we also have to make sure the transmission system of ours and our neighbours is robust enough to take that sudden inrush," said Wilkinson.

The other issue relating to size is the electricity market in Saskatchewan. Even with the expected growth in peak demand to 3,900 to 4,000 megawatts by 2020 from about 3,200 megawatts currently, the provincial market is likely not large enough to be dependent on such a large single power source as a reactor.

In his comments on transmission lines, Wall said he expected that if nuclear was found to be feasible for Saskatchewan it would be based on an export model.

An internal study done by SaskPower last year flatly stated that a large reactor over 750 megawatts was not suitable for the province alone and that Saskatchewan's best nuclear bet was a prairie regional partnership that would include both Alberta and Manitoba.

The government has also raised the possibility of selling power to the United States.

That's problematic, however, because Saskatchewan is, in Wilkinson's words, "lightly interconnected with the outside world."

Saskatchewan does currently export some electricity, but only in small amounts, perhaps 100 to 200 megawatts, at its peak.

"If you want to export well beyond the levels we have historically exported then improving the transmission system not only in Saskatchewan but on the other sides, that destination . . . would also be required," said Wilkinson.

Exporting west into Alberta also represents a challenge. Saskatchewan is on the eastern side of a continental dividing line that sees two power systems that are asynchronous. Power must be converted to be sent to Alberta, with the capacity of the current converter station at 150 megawatts.

John Peevers, spokesperson for Bruce Power, said the provincial transmission system is a major factor that will be looked at by the company in its feasibility study.

But any decisions relating to potential transmission upgrades and their cost are for the future, he said in an interview last week.

"We're certainly mindful there are costs associated with transmission and that's definitely going to be a consideration that we'll be discussing along with SaskPower. But we are a generating company and transmission is something that rests in provincial hands and we don't see that changing," he said.

Quennell said there is a significant question about how the deal would be structured to ensure electricity from Saskatchewan would be cheap enough to find an export market.

"Secondly, the construction of these transmission lines will be politically sold to the Saskatchewan people as economic development but in fact what it would be would be SaskPower electricity users, who are almost all of us in the province one way or the other, paying for the infrastructure that will make the reactors profitable," he said.

But Crown Corporations Minister Ken Cheveldayoff, while noting that there needs to be transmission upgrades anyway, said Quennell's scenario wouldn't necessarily be the case.

"I think the important concept here is that if the power is done for Saskatchewan use then of course SaskPower would take on some of that responsibility . . . to make those improvements. But if it's going to be for export, then for the independent power producer that becomes part of the feasibility study, that becomes part of the costs that are negotiated with the independent power producer," he said in a recent interview.

There have also been discussions between Wall and Prime Minister Stephen Harper about the possibility of federal assistance for transmission improvements as part of a broader trend of interconnecting the national power grid, said Cheveldayoff.


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Old Posted Jul 19, 2008, 1:11 AM
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Nuclear fuel management plan clear
Allan J. Evans, The StarPhoenix
Published: Friday, July 18, 2008

Following is the viewpoint of the writer, executive director of the Saskatoon-based Prairie Policy Centre.

Whenever the subject of nuclear power comes up, the discussion almost always turns to the issue of what to do with the waste material.

Few people seem to know that Canada, through the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO), is well on its way to implementing a plan for the long-term management of its used nuclear fuel.

The NWMO was established in 2002 by Canada's nuclear power generators to assume full responsibility for all their spent fuel, as required under the Nuclear Fuel Waste Act.

This includes providing the necessary funding for the longer-term management of all current and future waste material.

The first mandate given NWMO was to study the options, consult with Canadians and make a recommendation to the federal government, which the agency did in 2005.

Canada has operated nuclear power plants since 1968.

During the ensuing 40 years, nuclear waste has been stored in temporary facilities located at the reactor sites. The used fuel bundles are first put in water-filled pools to cool for seven to 10 years and are then placed in dry storage containers, where they currently reside.

From a technical perspective, there are three options for managing used nuclear fuel over the longer-term, which are generally accepted in Canada: continue to store the used fuel at nuclear reactor sites, as we do now; centralized storage, above or below ground, at a single location; or deep geological disposal in the Canadian Shield.

In June 2007, the government decided that centralized containment and isolation of used nuclear fuel in a deep geological repository in a suitable rock formation was the best option to pursue. Subject to all regulatory approvals and public consultation, the NWMO is now responsible for making this happen, roughly as follows:

- Select a suitable location for a central deep geological containment facility while maintaining current used fuel storage at reactor sites.

- Decide whether or not to build a shallow underground storage facility and to transport used fuel from the reactor sites to the central site for interim storage. If the answer is no, the used fuel will remain at the reactor sites until the deep repository is available.

- Conduct testing to demonstrate and confirm the suitability of the site and the deep repository technology.

- Design and construct deep geological repository.

- Package used fuel in long-lived containers and place in deep geological repository, where it can be monitored and retrieved.

While it cannot know precisely how long this will take, the NWMO says the implementation process will span many decades and continue to be collaborative.

"Each phase will involve many activities and decision points, all of which will allow many opportunities to incorporate new science and social learning," says the agency.

Even some of the most passionate anti-nukes find this approach to waste management acceptable, as long as we are not talking about building new nuclear power plants or storing someone else's used fuel.

The point is, Canada eventually will have a centralized storage facility where its used nuclear fuel will be safely isolated from people and the environment for an indefinite period of time. It will also be a place where the used fuel can be continuously monitored and easily retrieved when needed.

Remember, today's nuclear reactors use up only about 10 per cent of the energy in a fuel bundle, leaving the remainder for future generations and new technologies. Without a doubt, the time will arise when the used fuel in storage will be needed. When that time comes, reprocessing, partitioning and transmutation are processes for managing used nuclear fuel that open up the possibilities for recycling or reusing this material.

While the United Kingdom, France, Russia and Japan currently reprocess used fuel for use in nuclear power plants, it is an expensive process that has not been fully developed and will still leave some form of waste to be managed. With abundant reserves of high-grade uranium, it is highly unlikely that Canada will need to consider reprocessing its used fuel anytime soon.

But, who knows what the future will hold? Technology changes everything.

We are no longer talking about nuclear waste disposal. We are talking about the safe and responsible management of an energy resource that future generations likely will need and have the technology to safely use to its full potential.

We have known for more than 20 years that deep geological isolation of used nuclear fuel is a sound technical approach. Yet, the complexity and the long timeframe involved require more than a technical response. The issue also requires consideration of environmental, economic, social and ethical concerns. That is why public engagement is an important part of the process and why it is taking so long to get things going.

But it will happen. The NWMO is committed to that.

So, don't let the issue of nuclear waste disposal sidetrack the debate about our energy future and whether or not nuclear will be a part of it.

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Old Posted Aug 8, 2008, 1:04 AM
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Sask. public supports nuclear plant: Bruce Power
Angela Hall, Saskatchewan News Network; Regina Leader-Post
Published: Thursday, August 07, 2008

REGINA -- A company looking at locating a nuclear power plant in Saskatchewan says initial public opinion here appears favourable.

Bruce Power said a company it hired to conduct a survey last month found that 52 per cent of Saskatchewan people signalled support for nuclear energy, while 39 per cent expressed opposition.

The results reflect findings from previous polls, and suggest that support for the technology in Saskatchewan is second only to Ontario, where nuclear power facilities already exist, Bruce Power spokesperson Steve Cannon said.

But the company is still in the "fact-finding" stage and hasn't made any decisions on the viability of pursuing nuclear power in Saskatchewan, he said.

"It's generally pretty encouraging," Cannon said of the survey.

"Even if it's not a full comprehensive polling at this point, it's sort of a snapshot in time. I know the interest is really high in Saskatchewan over the feasibility study that we're conducting."

However, Bruce Power didn't release the wording of the questions asked by Pollara Research and Communications or a detailed breakdown of how people answered, instead highlighting some findings in a four-page update made available online.

Bruce Power said more than 800 people were surveyed, for a margin of error of 3.4 per cent 19 times out of 20.

Enterprise and Innovation Minister Lyle Stewart said the government will likely run its own polls if the Bruce Power feasibility study indicates the company would like to proceed with a reactor.

Public acceptance will be "extremely important" if projects are ever to go ahead, said Stewart, who last week travelled to Ontario to tour Bruce Power's reactor facilities.

"I think that support has been growing over the last number of years, since greenhouse gases have become an issue," Stewart said. "Certainly people recognize that our dirty coal generation isn't the wave of the future."

Not all groups are convinced, however, that the nuclear option is the answer, with some arguing the Saskatchewan Party government should be more involved in debating the merits of nuclear power instead of waiting to hear what the Bruce Power report says.

The provincial Green Party intends to bring together interest groups to discuss nuclear energy, including its potential risks, said leader Amber Jones.

"It seems like in Saskatchewan that it's hard to believe that we really need it here, and we'd like to know why we're looking at it so closely," Jones said.

According to the Bruce Power information released Wednesday, the top five reasons for opposing nuclear include concerns around safety, the impact on the environment, health, waste and a general opposition to the technology.

"These are all very legitimate issues at this stage in the discussion," the Bruce Power report stated. "If the nuclear option moves beyond the feasibility study, we look forward to addressing these issues in the public domain."

The company said it wanted to ask people generally about nuclear power, but will look further at the level of public support once potential sites within the province are identified.

Cannon said Bruce Power still intends to wrap up its feasibility study, announced in June, by the end of the year.

The study is also considering the possibility of a "clean-energy hub" that could involve solar, wind and hydrogen projects as well.

"We just don't want to limit ourselves or curtail any options. We want to be able to take a look at everything and make decisions based on a lot of information," Cannon said.

A Sigma Analytics poll in May also asked people their thoughts about construction of a nuclear reactor. Just less than 49 per cent were supportive, while 29 per cent were opposed, the Saskatchewan firm found at the time.

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Old Posted Aug 21, 2008, 3:30 AM
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Sask Power should just buy power from Manitoba Hydro. Not the United States where brownouts have occurred from random excuses. Nuclear Power should not be on the prairies period there are renewable resources there for the taking.
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Old Posted Sep 23, 2008, 4:28 AM
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FSIN holds information session on nuclear waste
By Jason Warick, TheStarPhoenix.com
Published: Monday, September 22, 2008

SASKATOON - The Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations (FSIN) hosted a conference near Saskatoon today to educate its members about the controversial issue of nuclear waste storage.

The FSIN takes no opinion on the issue, said FSIN Chief Lawrence Joseph. Rather, the conference was held to educate First Nations about "the risks and the opportunities," he said. Individual communities can then make their own decisions.

"We're trying to facilitate discussion," Joseph said.

"Whether we like it or not, (the issue) is there."

No communities are signed up to host a waste site, he said.

The conference heard from nuclear waste storage advocates as well as critics.

Mike Krizanc of the nuclear industry organization Nuclear Waste Management Organization said it could take eight to 10 years before any potential sites are selected. He said the organization is committed to finding a "willing and informed community" to host a nuclear waste storage site.

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Old Posted Sep 24, 2008, 4:38 AM
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From the Winnipeg Free Press

How to speed up nuclear revival on Prairies

By: Duane Bratt

Updated: September 18 at 09:25 AM CDT

Alberta and Saskatchewan are poised to join the global nuclear revival.

In Alberta, Bruce Power has submitted an application to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission for four 1,000-megawatt reactors on the shore of Lac Cardinal just outside of Peace River. The Stelmach government has also recently appointed an expert panel to prepare a comprehensive report on nuclear power in Alberta.

In Saskatchewan, Bruce Power, with the full support of the provincial government, is conducting a feasibility study to determine whether to build two 1,000-megawatt reactors.

Meanwhile, Premier Brad Wall has made it a high priority for Saskatchewan to move up the nuclear fuel cycle to include value-added functions such as uranium conversion, processing, and enrichment.

This would allow Saskatchewan to benefit much more than it does from the current situation of exporting natural uranium to Ontario or France for conversion and reprocessing. There is also an expectation of increased uranium mining in both Saskatchewan and Alberta.

These decisions in favour of expanding the presence of nuclear power on the Prairies are a result of the combination of growing electricity demand and a need to combat greenhouse gases. Previous problems, like nuclear safety and waste, are now being subjected to close comparisons with other energy sources and are coming out favourably.

For example, nuclear has both a better safety record (in terms of fatalities) and waste disposal plan (stored safely on-site instead of emitting into the atmosphere) than coal and natural gas. In terms of an environmental footprint (watts per square metre), nuclear is substantially better than renewables like hydro, wind, and solar.

Clearly, the public policy questions have moved away from "should" to "how." Here are a number of different ways that Alberta and Saskatchewan can maximize the expansion of nuclear power in their provinces.

First, the government of Saskatchewan should strongly encourage the private sector to invest in nuclear conversion, processing, fuel fabrication, and enrichment facilities in the province. This encouragement might even involve providing financial incentives.

Anti-nuclear groups raise red flags anytime that there is public money in the nuclear industry, but government subsidies are not necessarily a bad thing. For example, would government money that led to a reduction in GHG emissions by replacing coal with nuclear be wrong? Similarly, what is wrong with government funding that brings in the higher technology (and higher paying jobs) of uranium conversion, processing, fabrication, or enrichment?

Second, since there is currently a G8 moratorium on uranium enrichment technology (due to weapons proliferation fears), the federal government should seek an exemption by arguing that Canada is the world's largest exporter of uranium, a major player in reactor technology, and is a non-nuclear weapons state. In short, Canada is a responsible nuclear country; it is not Iran, and it should not be treated like Iran.

Third, a western Canadian nuclear centre for excellence should be established in either Alberta or Saskatchewan. New Brunswick, as part of its own nuclear expansion, was able to convince Atomic Energy of Canada Limited to establish a centre for excellence in Saint John. This centre for excellence has meant the relocation of nuclear scientists and engineers from Ontario to New Brunswick to conduct research and development. New Brunswick officials believe that AECL's decision will spur on the private sector firms in Team CANDU to similarly move some of their operations to Saint John thus creating a nuclear cluster. If there is an Atlantic region nuclear cluster, surely there can be a prairie region nuclear cluster.

Fourth, to address the growing shortage of skilled nuclear workers, the governments of Alberta and Saskatchewan should encourage their post-secondary institutions to establish educational programs in the areas of nuclear science. In particular, the universities should develop undergraduate programs in nuclear engineering and nuclear physics, and the technical colleges should create nuclear technician diploma programs. The nuclear industry can support this initiative through advertising career opportunities, hiring recent graduates, and funding scholarship programs.

Fifth, the federal government, through the nuclear safety commission, needs to find ways to shorten the decade or more length of time that a nuclear project takes from initiation to completion. Regulation does play a fundamental role in ensuring public health and safety, but there are ways that unnecessary red tape can be removed. Many other countries (France, United States, United Kingdom) have begun to streamline their regulatory process by, for example, combining the approval for construction and operation into one step.

The Harper government's decision to provide AECL with an additional $300 million in the 2008 budget for the pre-licensing of its ACR-1000 reactor was a good step, but more can be done in this area.

Adopting these recommendations would help ensure that Alberta and Saskatchewan fully maximize the opportunities presented by the global nuclear revival.

Duane Bratt teaches policy studies at Calgary's Mount Royal College. His paper, Prairie Atoms: The Opportunities and Challenges of Nuclear Power in Alberta and Saskatchewan, can be downloaded at no charge from the Canada West Foundation (www.cwf.ca).
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Old Posted Oct 21, 2008, 10:14 PM
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Environment group questions uranium panel objectivity
Cassandra Kyle, The StarPhoenix
Published: Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A new, 12-person group has been created to advise the provincial government on the development of Saskatchewan's uranium resources, however some are questioning its ability to be objective.

The Uranium Development Partnership was announced Monday in Saskatoon by Enterprise and Innovation Minister Lyle Stewart and Crown Corporations Minister Ken Cheveldayoff.

Richard Florizone, a nuclear physicist and vice-president of finance at the University of Saskatchewan, was chosen to lead the group, which will receive up to $3 million in funding from the Crown Investments Corp.

Members of the partnership include leaders of companies with interests in Saskatchewan's uranium, including Jerry Grandey, the president and CEO of Cameco Corp., Armand Laferrere, president and CEO of Areva Resources Canada Inc., and Duncan Hawthorne, president and CEO of Bruce Power Inc., which is conducting a feasibility study into building a nuclear power plant in the province.

The group also includes representatives from First Nations, urban and rural municipalities, science and the environmental community.

Florizone says the team will be mindful of its mandate to be objective when examining value-added possibilities for the sector.

"I think the best policy or strategy comes when you bring people together from different backgrounds, so I think when you're looking at areas of opportunity to expand that industry you have to have industry at the table -- so I think that's a good fit," he said at the announcement. "We will have our work cut out to bring the different views together around the table, but we look forward to getting to it."

Others view the partnership as a group that wants to promote uranium and nuclear development in the province. Ann Coxworth of the Saskatchewan Environmental Society says a number of people on the panel are from or related to the industry.

"I think it's got a clearly pro-nuclear development mandate and their question is not whether to proceed with development, but how," she said.

She wonders whether the provincial government will give millions in funding -- as it is with uranium -- to groups looking at wind or hydroelectric power advancement. Coxworth said she was invited to be part of the panel but turned the offer down after reviewing the partnership's mandate and concluding she would be uncomfortable with any consensus achieved.

"(The group) might objectively look at a range of options like (enrichment, waste disposal and nuclear energy) and consider which would be the least problematic for the province to look in to, but I don't see that they are mandated to look objectively at whether or not this is the right direction for Saskatchewan to be pursuing in the first place," she said.

Stewart said now is the time to start adding value to Saskatchewan's uranium resources, saying it's the government's goal to expand the industry. The partnership will provide the provincial government with a final report, which will include specific recommendations on value-added opportunities best suited to the development of the uranium sector, by March 31. The report will be released publicly in the spring and form the basis for public consultation on the contentious issue.

"How many areas of the nuclear cycle we can participate in . . . is up for debate and that's part of what the partnership is trying to determine or give us advice on," Stewart said. "But certainly we recognize that we need to add value to our raw resource, so whether that be refining, whether it be upgrading, whether it be a nuclear fuel production facility, whether it be generating nuclear power, whether it be all of these things, that's what we have to determine."

Members of the panel, which Cheveldayoff describes as at arm's-length from the government, were chosen through recommendations with the exception of two, Patrick Moore and Neil Collins, which the province recruited to the team.

Cheveldayoff says the investment in the Uranium Development Partnership should prove worthwhile.

"We see the potential here as enormous and we want to make sure we're not falling behind, we want to make sure we're leading the way given the resources that we have," Cheveldayoff said. "Three million dollars is a lot of money, but we feel its money well spent because the potential is just unimaginable."



Ray Ahenakew: Business development adviser at the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technology, where he once served as president. Has served as CEO of the Meadow Lake Tribal Council.

Keith Brown: President and founder of Trailtech Inc. in Gravelbourg. Has served as chair of the Saskatchewan Trade and Export Development Partnership. Represents the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce.

Neil Collins: Business manager for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 2067. A 30-year veteran with SaskPower.

Allan Earle: President of the Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association. Mayor of Dalmeny.

Richard Florizone: Vice-president of finance and resources at the University of Saskatchewan. Holds a PhD in nuclear physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Jerry Grandey: President and CEO of Saskatoon-based Cameco Corp., the world's largest publicly traded uranium producer .

Jim Hallick: Vice-president of the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities. Councillor for the RM of Keys.

Duncan Hawthorne: President and CEO of Bruce Power Inc. Chair of the Canadian Nuclear Association, director of the Energy Council of Canada and a member of the board of governors of the World Association of Nuclear operators.

Armand Laferrere: President and CEO of Areva Resources Canada Inc., a world leader in nuclear power.

Edward Mathie: Professor of nuclear physics at the University of Regina. Member of the Canadian Association of Physicists, the Canadian Institute of Particle Physics and the Canadian Institute of Nuclear Physics.

Patrick Moore: Chair and chief scientist of Greenspirit Strategies Ltd. in Vancouver, B.C. A co-founder of Greenpeace, former president of Greenpeace Canada and former director of Greenpeace International.

Alex Pourbaix: President -- energy, TransCanada Corp. Responsible for the company's power, gas storage, liquified natural gas and compressed gas businesses.

Source: Government of Saskatchewan

© The StarPhoenix (Saskatoon) 2008



Nuclear debate draws large crowd
Kathryn Willms, The StarPhoenix
Published: Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A packed house of at least 500 listened intently Monday at Third Avenue United Church to alternative visions of the province's nuclear future.

"The nuclear power issue is hot right now," said event organizer Jan Norris. "We just think there needs to be an informed widespread discussion in the community. The only time these sides have been in a room before has been with a whole lot of bureaucrats, very scripted by the government."

Duane Bratt -- a teacher at Mount Royal College in Calgary and proponent of nuclear power -- focused on what he called an ongoing "nuclear revival."

Bratt advocated an expanded role for nuclear power in tandem with renewable resources such as wind and solar power.

Gordon Edwards, president of the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility, responded by addressing concerns associated with nuclear energy: Safety, waste and terrorism.

He also said nuclear power plants are simply bad investments. He compared the expansion of nuclear energy to the subprime mortgage model in the United States, saying no company will invest in nuclear without federal loan guarantees that see the taxpayers assuming all of the risk.

Bratt conceded all manner of energy generation have inherent risk and emphasized the lack of greenhouse-gas emissions with nuclear power.

It was a diverse crowd with differing opinions. What was common to all was a desire to be educated on both sides of the contentious issue.

Rajesh Saxena says her family in India often come together to debate these sorts of issues.

"I just wanted to hear what they have to say. I make my own mind up though. I weigh the pros and cons," said Saxena.

"I'm trying to balance the academic and the humanistic. I'm not here so much for information but how they're going to say it. Someone can always say something that makes more sense."


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Old Posted Oct 22, 2008, 12:22 AM
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Originally Posted by SASKFTW View Post
Environment group questions uranium panel objectivity
Coxworth said she was invited to be part of the panel but turned the offer down after reviewing the partnership's mandate and concluding she would be uncomfortable with any consensus achieved.

"(The group) might objectively look at a range of options like (enrichment, waste disposal and nuclear energy) and consider which would be the least problematic for the province to look in to, but I don't see that they are mandated to look objectively at whether or not this is the right direction for Saskatchewan to be pursuing in the first place,"
So the panel is not objective because it has too many people with expertise from industry on it, and she was invited on the panel to be a voice for environmentalists, to broaden the panels view points, but she rejected it?

And now she is complaining?

Sure complain about the terms of reference, but it isn't like there wasn't a political consensus about nuclear developments in Saskatchewan during the last provincial election (Green Party notwithstanding)

Politicians make decisions. Panels give advice. The terms of reference were set up not to shape the advice (why call a panel if you know the answer you want), but to dictate that it was a waste of public resources for the panel to recommend that there should be no nuclear development at all.

If the environmentalists want to shut down the existing mines, mills, and the reactor at the SRC so be it, say so. Don't beat around the bush and complain about composition of panels and terms of reference.
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Old Posted Oct 22, 2008, 3:25 AM
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^ Well said.

Coxworth's decision to not participate in the panel discussions is a failed attempt to re-direct popular opinion (and thus public policy) towards an objective of limiting, and perhaps decreasing uranium mining/nuclear development in Saskatchewan.

Turning back decades of development requires more than simply choosing to participate or not participate in a one-time government advisory board.

I'm sure many opponents are beginning to feel the pressures associated with an anti-nuclear agenda, especially given the desire of Saskatchewan citizens to see their province grow economically beyond a raw source of material (I assume Cameco and Areva share similar objectives, though I am uncertain what kind of financial gains can be had by processing in Saskatchewan, then shipping the enriched product to other countries).
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Old Posted Nov 16, 2008, 9:45 PM
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Looks to be competition developing among those Saskatchewan communities willing and able to host a nuclear facility...interesting.

Nuclear plant report due soon
Bruce Power CEO says plant would inject billions into economy
Joanne Paulson, The StarPhoenix
Published: Saturday, November 15, 2008

A Saskatchewan nuclear power plant would contribute $4 billion to the economy and generate 20,000 direct jobs during its construction, the president and CEO of Bruce Power told a business crowd in Saskatoon Friday.

Duncan Hawthorne said the plant would cost $8 billion to $10 billion in total to build, and would ultimately employ 1,000 people full-time, many of those university graduates. It would also contribute about $240 million annually to the provincial economy.

"We're talking about a very, very significant impact to Saskatchewan's economy."

Bruce Power, the private operator of nuclear plants in Ontario, is on track to complete its feasibility study on nuclear power in Saskatchewan by the end of this year, Hawthorne said. The company announced it would embark on the study in June.

"We will make those findings open and transparent to the public," he said in his speech.

"We've done a lot of our field activities now so it's more of a completing the report. We're very confident we will have the report by the end of the year," he added later in an interview.

Hawthorne spoke at a North Saskatoon Business Association (NSBA) luncheon in the Delta Bessborough Hotel Friday, attracting an audience of more than 230 including Saskatchewan mayors, members of the provincial cabinet and heavy-hitters in the local business community.

Hawthorne said he would not reveal potential sites until the study is complete, but three or four sites have been identified as possibilities.

A nuclear plant, ideally, would be on water, near a major electrical transmission line and in a welcoming community, said Hawthorne.

In Saskatchewan, Bruce would consider building a two-unit plant generating 2,200 megawatts in total, which would substantially mitigate the province's carbon dioxide emissions, says the company.

Should the plant's construction go ahead, it could be operational by between 2016 and 2018, he said.

Bruce Power is looking at building plants in Alberta and in Saskatchewan, where the economies seem to have considerable upside potential.

"It's an economy with lots of optimism," Hawthorne said of Saskatchewan. "We share that view."

It is obvious to Bruce Power this province will develop further and will require more energy in the future, he said. Therefore, it is time to plan ahead.

Hawthorne emphasized the enormous clean energy benefits to nuclear power and the huge issue of climate change that now faces the world.

"It doesn't take a great mathematician . . . to realize there has to be a massive investment in nuclear power."

In media interviews, Hawthorne said he was not overly concerned about the present global financial situation derailing the company's plans. Bruce Power manages through recessions and plans for a recovery, he said.

"People will see (a plant) as a good investment because once constructed these plants run very competitively and are supported by a longtime power contract."

North Battleford Mayor Julian Sadlowski said his region is very interested in being the host site of a new nuclear plant.

"We had the opportunity to go down to Ontario and see one of the plants," said Sadlowski, referring to himself and Battleford Mayor Chris Odishaw.

He admits to having been skeptical at first, but after the visit and after reading a number of documents, Sadlowski changed his mind.

"I'm very, very excited about nuclear energy. It's the future for us in the northwest. Whether it's in our area or any area, there it will be a benefit to Saskatchewan."

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Old Posted Nov 28, 2008, 12:37 AM
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Saskatchewan region ID'd as viable spot for nuclear plant
Plant would create 2,000 new jobs during construction, plus 1,000 permanent jobs: CEO
Cassandra Kyle, TheStarPhoenix.com
Published: Thursday, November 27, 2008

SASKATOON - A nuclear power generating company has identified a region in Saskatchewan spanning from Lloydminster that includes the Battlefords and Prince Albert as the most viable spot in the province for a nuclear facility.

Bruce Power LP released on Thursday the results of a nuclear viability study, saying that the company believes there can be a role for nuclear energy in Saskatchewan by 2020.

"Since the beginning of this process, we have been optimistic about the opportunity in Saskatchewan for a new nuclear plant that could create employment and reduce greenhouse gas emissions," said Duncan Hawthorne, president and CEO of Bruce Power LP.

"This study offers credibility to that optimism and gives us the facts we need to take the next steps."

The site would likely be somewhere along the North Saskatchewan River between Lloydminster and Prince Albert, and would be between 1,200-1,300 acres. However, the company is saying it won't be until 2011 that it will announce whether a specific site within the region has been identified or even if it will go ahead with building the plant.

The company estimated that a new plant would create 2,000 new jobs during construction, plus 1,000 permanent jobs over 60 years.

The next step for Bruce Power is to meet with community and aboriginal leaders. Following that, the company may select a suitable location for an environmental assessment. That assessment could take up to three years to complete.

The company also said it will work with SaskPower to investigate future power demands, improvements to Saskatchewan's electrical grid and the potential role nuclear power could play in both the province's energy mix and potential power export markets.

The private, Ontario-based company announced in June plans to initiate the study into whether or not Saskatchewan would be a good candidate for nuclear power.

The study is the first step in Bruce Power's Saskatchewan 2020 initiative, a plan to identify potential plant locations, gauge public opinion, evaluate the customer base and decide whether to build the province's first nuclear power plant.

Hawthorne said this summer that Saskatchewan's growing need for energy and its uranium availability were key factors in the company's decision to look at potential in the province.

A survey conducted by Pollara Research and Communications for Bruce Power this summer found 52 per cent of Saskatchewan residents polled expressed support for nuclear energy, while 39 per cent of those polled were opposed to the idea of a nuclear power plant in the province.

Saskatoon's Cameco Corp., which bills itself as the world's largest uranium producer, owns 31.6 per cent of four Bruce Power reactors in Ontario called the Bruce B reactors.

According to the provincial government, Saskatchewan is the largest uranium-producing region in the world, accounting for about 30 per cent of annual world uranium production.


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Old Posted Nov 28, 2008, 10:07 PM
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That location indicates to me that Bruce Power is targetting the oilsands region of Alberta as their customer base. The location along the North Sask River, between Llyodminster and PA is relatively close. Other than this I just don't see the Saskachewan market as being large enough to warrent a nuclear plant.
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Old Posted Nov 29, 2008, 12:46 AM
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Originally Posted by lubicon View Post
That location indicates to me that Bruce Power is targetting the oilsands region of Alberta as their customer base. The location along the North Sask River, between Llyodminster and PA is relatively close. Other than this I just don't see the Saskachewan market as being large enough to warrent a nuclear plant.
Saskatchewan piggy backing off the Alberta oil sands at its best.

Although if this proposal does go ahead, I wonder how it might impact the feasibility of developing a clean coal power plant in the south for domestic consumption.
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Taxpayers could be on the hook for Sask. nuclear plant: NDP
By James Wood
December 1, 2008 8:37 PM

REGINA — The Saskatchewan Party government is leaving the door open for provincial taxpayers to be on the hook for a proposed nuclear power plant, the NDP said today.

Last week, Ontario-based Bruce Power LP announced that a feasibility study showed a role for nuclear power in the province by 2018.

Opposition Leader Lorne Calvert said the government — for all its early assurances that the private sector would take the lead, and the risk, for nuclear development — is now saying “all options are on the table” when it comes to the province’s role, including potentially building and owning the plant.

“It is very clear to me that this is a government that would be willing to participate in the investment of a nuclear reactor, that would be willing to cover up cost overruns, that is willing to accept decommissioning costs, that may be willing to provide public support at about the 20th or 25th anniversary of the reactor when it needs to be refurbished. There was nothing I heard today that would not indicate to me that this is a government fully prepared to engage in a very direct subsidy of a reactor,” Calvert told reporters at the legislature following a question period devoted solely to the nuclear issue.

In the chamber, Enterprise and Innovation Minister Lyle Stewart said the options include potentially a prominent role for Crown Investments Corp., the province’s umbrella company for Crown utilities such as SaskPower.

“All options could be on the table supposing we ever get to the stage of building anything . . . right from CIC doing it, a CIC-government partnership, a CIC-private sector partnership, a design-operate-build by the private sector or any combination of those possibilities. We’re a long ways from laying out the financing model for this thing yet,” Stewart said in question period.

Also in the house, Premier Brad Wall said the government’s approach is similar to that of the previous NDP administration, which involved the private sector in some SaskPower wind projects.

Outside the chamber, Stewart said he personally favours the private sector being responsible for the project.

But he said the government was not “philosophically hidebound” and would consider a role for SaskPower if the public indicates that’s what it desires.

"I don’t foresee that,” he added.

Stewart also said that Bruce Power is “open to anything” but the only model he’s discussed with them would see them design, build, own and operate the nuclear reactors.

While Calvert noted a history of major cost overruns with most nuclear projects in Canada, Stewart said the province would not agree to cover those costs if a private sector company is building the plant.

“If SaskPower is involved, then depending on the percentage of involvement or what the deal is, then there is some risk,” he said.

Stewart dismissed suggestions there would be a subsidized rate paid by SaskPower from a potential private nuclear plant.

There are also concerns about the cost of upgrading SaskPower’s transmission grid to accommodate nuclear reactors, which are much greater sources of power than the province’s current coal, wind and natural gas generation units.

The minister said SaskPower needs to upgrade its transmission system in any case and that Bruce would be responsible for the portion of upgrades that would allow it to export power.

Calvert, who is retiring as leader next year and whose own party has some deep divisions around the nuclear issue, said the government can consider nuclear power.

But he said it is trying to do a sales job for nuclear without being upfront about the potential risk to taxpayers.

The former premier, who has been critical of nuclear power in the past, said he would personally favour SaskPower owning and operating any nuclear facility in the province if it was to actually proceed.


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