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Bruce Power will not proceed with nuclear option in Alberta

Nuclear Monitor Issue: 
WISE Amsterdam

In a December 12 press release, Bruce Power stated it has decided it will no longer advance the option for a new nuclear plant in Alberta. A new nuclear power reactor has been under consideration by Bruce Power, Canada's only private nuclear power generating company, since 2007.

"Throughout our existence at Bruce Power we've looked at a number of potential business development opportunities," said Duncan Hawthorne, Bruce Power's President and Chief Executive Officer in the official press release. "We've decided the new nuclear option in Alberta is not something our company will be progressing further."

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.

Since late-2007, when Bruce Power acquired Energy Alberta, the company has become known in Alberta and Peace Country, developing and evaluating the possibility of building a new nuclear facility to power Alberta's growing economy. The Alberta government also opened the door to considering the nuclear option, under some conditions, following a public consultation process throughout the province. After extensive analysis and environmental studies, Bruce Power also identified an ideal site.

"There is no question, the option for a new nuclear facility in Peace Country and in Alberta is a strong one and will be an important consideration moving forward," Hawthorne said. But why then this decision? "Innovative businesses develop and consider new opportunities, but we've made a business decision to continue to put our full focus on the safe, reliable operations and ambitious investment program on our Bruce site," Hawthorne said. Units 1 and 2 of the Bruce nuclear power plant in Ontario are out of operation since 1995 (!) but are planned to return to service in 2012. The site has 8 units all connected to the grid between 1977 and 1987.

It is a tribute to the hard work and intelligent criticism of the citizens of Alberta -- North, South, and Central -- that the project has been unceremoniously scrapped.

It bears out the claim that some critics made from the beginning, that the building of nuclear reactors in Northern Alberta would only truly benefit the reactor salesmen, who desperately wanted to build a nuclear reactor somewhere -- anywhere! -- in North America to facilitate sales to other countries around the world.

Special thanks must go to the dedicated citizens in various locations who worked tirelessly to educate their fellow citizens of the inherent dangers of nuclear power, as manifested most dramatically by the explosive self-destruction of 4 reactors in Japan earlier this year.

Netherlands, Borssele 2 delayed (or canceled?). Delta, the regional utility in Zeeland wants to build a new nuclear power plant in the Netherlands, near Borssele (see NM 728, June 17 2011). The company was looking for approval from the stakeholders (province of Zeeland and municipalities) for investing 110 million euro in obtaining the license, but it decided on December 15, to withdraw the funding proposal from the agenda of the stakeholders meeting on December 22. Delta will delay the decision by half a year to present partners for the project first. Most likely candidates are German RWE and French EDF, but both have some financial difficulties.

Strong rumors that stakeholders will pull the plug out the project totally, could not be confirmed before deadline of this issue, but it looks like Boerma the current Delta CEO, will be forced to step down.

Source: Media release Bruce Power, 12 December 2011 / Gordon Edwards, 12 December 1211
Contact: Gordon Edwards, Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility
Mail: ccnr[at]


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