Jan 28: TRIUMF facility to make medical isotopes at UBC: http://www.vancouversun.com/health/TRIUMF+facility+make+medical+isotopes/4161420/story.html
Even if this will be possible for the "medical" isotopes in mass production, what about other types of isotopes that are required for other things such as fundamental science? Also forget about the isotope issue all together, what about nuclear R&D and let us not forget the neutron scattering that need a new reactor to replace the aging NRU to ensure Canada remains a leader in these fields for years to come??? Medical isotope production via accelerators is not the answer for NRU replacement!
Jan 28: More on Hawthorne's speech, this one at World Nuclear News: “Consistency required for Canadian nuclear” http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/NP_Consistency_required_for_Canadian_nuclear_2701111.html "Canada needs to decide on what kind of nuclear industry it wants, stick to it and then support it, said Bruce Power CEO Duncan Hawthorne." This sounds the most common sense statement I have heard on the issue for a while now! ""The one thing I know from my experience in this industry is you cannot be schizophrenic about the nuclear power industry. It requires sponsorship - not subsidy; it requires sponsorship and commitment. And my message to anyone who has interest in fixing some of the issues with our nuclear program are to start there." "I can tell you that you cannot go to any country pursuing new nuclear and not find that there's been a visit from the president or the prime minister of those countries that have vendors... I don't think Canada has shown that clear leadership for a long number of years."" ""That's not the case with our nuclear program. We've been schizophrenic. Do we want to kill it? Do we want to defeat it? Do we want to sell it? Boy we've talked about every one of those options. Make up your mind, make a plan, and stick to it."" Also watch: http://www.yourindustrynews.com/consistency+required+for+canadian+nuclear_58798.html
Jan 30: Nuclear industry lacks leadership, says Liberal candidate Christine Tabbert: http://www.thedailyobserver.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=2953169
Jan 30: Another voice: Canada needs to focus efforts on innovation: http://www.timescolonist.com/business/Another+voice+Canada+needs+focus+efforts+innovation/4135018/story.html "And, incredibly, Canada is still without a decision on a neutron research reactor even though there is enough evidence not only for its need but also for it to be located near the synchrotron, based on the number of similar facilities being built in countries that top Canada on that innovation list."
Jan 31: Ironic, even though the future of AECL is up in the air pre-project design review has found no fundamental barriers to licensing the ACR design: http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/NN-Advanced_Candu_completes_design_review-3101114.html
Feb 1: Canada is and will be a main player in Uranium production! we just need a new research reactor to stay in the nuclear R&D, neutron scattering and isotope production! http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf49.html
Feb 1: UK carbon emissions fell nearly 10% in 2009 with increased use of nuclear instead of coal and gas playing an important part: http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/news/stat_09_ghg/stat_09_ghg.aspx
Feb 2: China announces it will develop a thorium-fueled molten-salt nuclear reactor: http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2011/02/china-thorium-power/
Feb 4: Prairies step up in search for medical isotopes: http://cupwire.hotink.net/articles/41668 Producing the molybdenum-99 with other methods than research reactors does not replace all the functions of NRU reactor, namely: nuclear R&D, neutron scattering and producing other types of isotopes than medical that are required for other industry and scientific project. If NRU is not replaced, Canada will lose its edge on all these areas!
Feb 4: CREATE's reaction to the recent news of bidders withdrawing from AECL sale: CREATE Encourages Co-operation Over AECL: http://www.marketwire.com/press-release/CREATE-Encourages-Co-operation-Over-AECL-1390480.htm
Feb 4: 11th Canadian Neutron Scattering Summer School will be hold at Chalk River on May 8 – 13, 2011: http://www.cins.ca/ss2011/
Feb 8: I wonder how the impeding sale process of AECL will affect the opportunity to bid to build Candu6 in Jordan? http://www.jordantimes.com/?news=34257
Feb 8: AECL seeks another $175 million from taxpayers: http://www.canada.com/health/AECL+seeks+another+million+from+taxpayers/4247038/story.html "Still, the Crown corporation says another $175 million is needed to "support costs associated with isotope production . . . addressing infrastructure and operation upgrades . . . and developing new build reactor technology.""
Feb 9: “Powering the future” a must read: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/opinion/editorials/Powering+future/4248170/story.html "So the easy decision would be to close AECL, but Canada's nuclear industry, mostly located in Ontario, employs 21,000 people directly and 10,000 indirectly. In a province that has seen its auto industry placed in jeopardy by inexpensive imports and a high Canadian dollar, the loss of tens of thousands of jobs would be a difficult blow to absorb. AECL could be sold, an attractive option if a buyer can be found, but it would be extremely difficult to shutter. That's because it must service billions of dollars worth of reactors the company has built around the world."… "Ontario has put its purchase of new reactors (not imperative now given conservation efforts and the downturn in the economy) on hold pending future decisions from the federal government on AECL. Ontario needs clarity from the Harper government on this file."
Feb 9: another good read: “Politics, ideology are killing the nuclear option”: http://www.citizen.on.ca/news/2011-02-10/Columns/Politics_ideology_are_killing_the_nuclear_option.html "Whatever the case, Canada’s nuclear power industry is currently in terrible shape, thanks mainly to rightwing ideology which holds that governments can never do as good a job at anything compared with private enterprise.This ideology is clearly in charge at Ottawa, where Stephen Harper’s Conservatives are seemingly determined to sell off Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. at the worst possible time for the government agency, which designed and helped build all the country’s nuclear power plants but hasn’t been able to make a sale since Ontario Hydro encountered huge cost overruns at the Darlington Generating Station.""If for once the politicians at Ottawa and Queen’s Park could put politics and ideology aside and look simply to the history books, the sensible course would be to repeat what was done in similar circumstances when Ontario Hydro saw nuclear power as the best option after it had run out of viable hydraulic sites."
Feb 9: more opposition to the sale of AECL: The Electrical Worker Online: http://www.ibew.org/articles/11ElectricalWorker/EW1102/north49a.0211.html
Feb 14: “Public gets a say on energy plan starting next month” http://www.thestar.com/business/companies/article/938670--public-gets-a-say-on-energy-plan-starting-next-month But will they be listened to???
Feb 14: “Girding for battle with the provinces”: http://www2.macleans.ca/2011/02/14/girding-for-battle/ Why should this be a battle between the feds and provincials??? why could they not put people and their interests first, then politics or anything else???
Feb 14: “McGuinty Scraps Offshore Wind Projects in Ontario”: http://www.enviralment.ca/2011/02/14/mcguinty-scraps-offshore-wind-projects-in-ontario/ Looks like some common sense is back, now let's get on with the new nuclear power plant plans sooner than later!
Feb 14: continued support of nuclear energy in the US by Obama: http://www.powergenworldwide.com/index/blogs/Brian_Wheeler_blogdisplaypage/blogs/pgww-blogs/Wheeler_Blog_PE/post987_8916124115461280924.html
Feb 15: Agreement between Brazil and Argentina to build two Research Reactors: http://www.invap.com.ar/en/the-company/newsroom/637-acuerdo-entre-argentina-y-brasil-para-la-construccion-de-dos-reactores-de-investigacion-.html Notably missing is AECL!
Feb 17: Jordan to Seek Bids for Reactor Operator Next Week: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-02-17/jordan-to-seek-bids-for-reactor-operator-next-week-update1-.html That is interesting, I had thought that AECL was instructed not get into any new contracts, now what happens to this bid??? Another missed opportunity???
Feb 17: European Spallation Neutron Source - Sir Patrick Stewart OBE - Introduding the ESS: http://www.ess-neutrons.org/index.php/patrick-stewart-ess Now if we could only get William Shatner to do the same for a new research reactor in Canada!!!
Feb 18: Westinghouse Unveils New Small Modular Reactor Design: http://nuclearstreet.com/nuclear_power_industry_news/b/nuclear_power_news/archive/2011/02/18/westinghouse-unveils-new-small-modular-reactor-design021804.aspx?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+NuclearPowerIndustryNews+%28Nuclear+Power+Industry+News%29&utm_content=FaceBook
Feb 18: more on nuclear energy "an essential part of US Energy Strategy"! what is Canada's strategy??? To be or not to be supportive of nuclear energy??? how long the impasse can continue??? http://nuclearstreet.com/nuclear_power_industry_news/b/nuclear_power_news/archive/2011/02/18/progress-energy-ceo-in-platt-speech-nuclear-construction-quot-essential-part-quot-of-us-energy-future021803.aspx?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+NuclearPowerIndustryNews+%28Nuclear+Power+Industry+News%29&utm_content=FaceBook
Feb 18: I wonder how the fact that the future of AECL is still hanging in the balance will affect these talks: http://www.indiareport.com/India-usa-uk-news/latest-news/999175/International/2/3/2
Feb 20: New Brunswick and Saskatchewan receptive for nuclear waste, Ontario yet to speak about the selection process: http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/942080--sask-n-b-reportedly-receptive-for-nuclear-waste-dump?bn=1
Feb 20: An interesting map of the U.S. coal-fired power plant GHG Emissions and Canadian coal-fired power plant GHG Emissions, wouldn't that be amazing if all the coal power plants were replaced by nuclear??? http://www.capp.ca/getdoc.aspx?DocID=162173
Feb 20: Canada seems to be on the right track for once to phase out the coal power plants, a departure from its usual practice of coordinating GHG emissions cuts with the US, but we still need to do more, instead of supporting and maintaining nuclear power capabilities in Canada, we are getting rid of a company/its experts that knows how to do this!!! http://www.financialpost.com/Canada+phase+older+coal+fired+power+plants/3190959/story.html
Feb 21: This is a must read and must watch, it is the Keynote speech given by Honourable Dr. Marc Garneau - Former Astronaut, Federal MP of Westmount Ville-Marie at the 2010 Canadian Science Policy meeting: http://sciencepolicy.ca/news/keynote-presentation-ii-why-does-ex-astronaut-get-involved-politics "Responsible development of the oil sands is also a necessary component to meeting our energy needs, Garneau stated, science is paramount in determining how to properly handle the oil sands. In meeting our energy needs, Garneau said, we also cannot rule out the use of nuclear energy, as we may not meet our environmental goals if we do not invest in clean nuclear energy. This is a big policy decision, and it is a tough one, he said, but nuclear power needs to be part of the mix, even if it is just temporary. The NRU reactor needs to be brought back to running order, he argued, because while Canada has been a pioneer in building heavy water reactors and producing medical isotopes, we cannot continue to be a leader in this area if we do not have an operable research reactor." … That is what the Canadian neutron scattering community has been saying for the past 20 years: "we cannot continue to be a leader in this area if we do not have an operable research reactor."… "Garneau also spoke of his concern for the lack of participation by scientists in science policy development. The government needs to consult scientists, Garneau warned, rather than simply giving them mandates – which he sees as the current government’s approach."
Feb 22: This is a brilliant article, a must read: "The Canadian Nuclear Industry: Status and Prospects" written in 2009 by John Cadham, The Centre for International Governance Innovation: http://www.cigionline.org/publications/2009/11/canadian-nuclear-industry-status-and-prospects Could have not been said better: "Findings include:• Canada has lost the domestic political consensus that made possible the original development of the CANDU reactor technology;• The Ontario decision to delay indefinitely its plans for the construction of new nuclear reactors is emblematic of this loss and indicative of the obstacles confronting the Canadian nuclear industry;• Fragmented federal-provincial energy policy jurisdictions and political gamesmanship result in domestic market inertia effectively thwarting any prospects for a Canadian nuclear revival;• Without a revival in the domestic market for nuclear energy, AECL is unlikely to be successful marketing and selling reactors internationally;• Privatization of AECL will do little to improve the company’s prospects and will mean the end of the CANDU reactor technology.""In the end, this leaves the domestic prospects for the Canadian nuclear energy industry in an uncertain space: cross-cutting federal and provincial priorities will inevitably constrain any sustained Canadian nuclear energy revival. The withdrawal of federal support from AECL’s reactor business will leave those domestic jurisdictions considering nuclear power facing the prospect of massively higher costs. Interprovincial competition for economic development opportunities will restrain collaboration, while the distribution of constitutional authorities hinders broader efforts to coordinate. And as always, provincial efforts to mitigate risk will continue to be constrained by federal efforts to do the same; each party seeking advantage at the expense of the other’s tax-base – the quintessential Canadian political two-step."
Feb 22: Check out the November 2010 Newsletter of CNWC: http://www.cnwc-cctn.ca/canadian-nuclear-workers-newsletter-november-2010/ "Worth Repeating….“The technologies we need are at hand. On the demand side, solutions already exist and we must just go forward and invest. On the supply side, there are also mature and competitive technologies available. Further out, we will need to invest to develop: Generation 4 nuclear, carbon capture and storage, more efficient photovoltaic technologies, electricity storage, and second generation sustainable bio fuels… In terms of coal, there are enough resources to last for another several hundred years. In terms of nuclear, with second and third generation technologies, today's uranium resources will last for about two hundred more years. With Generation 4 technology the length of time could be extended 50 times! … Closing Ceremony, World Energy Congress 2010 Declaration – Montréal 2010, Pierre Gadonneix, Chairman.'
Feb 22: "Partisan or Bipartisan? That Is the Nuclear Question", a great read related to how nuclear power should be viewed by politicians??? look at page 8 of this Nov. 2010 issue of Insight (bi-monthly newsletter of the US based Nuclear Energy Institute): http://www.nei.org/resourcesandstats/documentlibrary/publications/nuclearenergyinsight/nuclear-energy-insight---november-2010/
Feb 23: Looks like other provinces might be moving forward without made-in-Canada nuclear power plants! :( http://nuclearstreet.com/nuclear_power_industry_news/b/nuclear_power_news/archive/2011/02/23/areva-and-mitsubishi-submit-atmea1-reactor-design-to-canadian-regulators022302.aspx?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+NuclearPowerIndustryNews+%28Nuclear+Power+Industry+News%29&utm_content=FaceBook
Feb 25: a nuclear powered train might be soon coming to a town near you! http://www.barentsobserver.com/russia-designs-nuclear-train.4889648-116320.html
Feb 25: Incredible! part of Japanese government’s plans to generate 70 percent of its power from zero-emissions sources by 2030: http://nuclearstreet.com/nuclear_power_industry_news/b/nuclear_power_news/archive/2011/02/25/new-japanese-nuclear-power-plant-plans-announced022503.aspx?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+NuclearPowerIndustryNews+%28Nuclear+Power+Industry+News%29&utm_content=FaceBook
Feb 25: really, how??? CANADIAN NUCLEAR ASSOCIATION | Canada's Nuclear Community Sees Bright Future: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/February2011/25/c6188.html
Feb 25: Another good read: http://www.centreflow.ca/tag/aecl/ "Unfortunately Canada, a country with a long and successful nuclear history, may miss out. The problem is the uncertain future of Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL). Between November 2007 and May 2009, AECL underwent a review by Natural Resources Canada to determine if “AECL’s structure as a Crown Corporation best equips it, its employees and ultimately the Canadian nuclear industry to participate fully in the expanding global nuclear market.”" … "Meanwhile, because of AECL’s in-limbo status, interest in CANDU reactors from Ontario, Argentina and Romania aren’t being addressed."
Feb 25: new developments in aecl sale saga: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/ontario-energy-minister-elated-to-hear-of-possible-partner-in-aecl-deal/article1920002/?utm_medium=feed&utm_source=feedburner&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TheGlobeAndMail-National+%28The+Globe+and+Mail+-+National+News%29
Feb 25: more here: SNC-Lavalin finds partner for CANDU bid: http://www.montrealgazette.com/entertainment/Lavalin+finds+partner+CANDU/4337676/story.html and here: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/snc-lavalin-omers-in-talks-to-hook-up-on-aecl-purchase/article1916641/
Feb 25: and let us not forget the isotope issue: the world still counting on Canada: OECD nuclear chief hopes Ottawa will be ‘flexible’ on medical isotopes http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/oecd-nuclear-chief-hopes-ottawa-will-be-flexible-on-isotopes/article1919678/?utm_medium=Feeds%3A+RSS%2FAtom&utm_source=Politics&utm_content=1919678
Feb 28: you might say odd combination??? but here it is again in the news: Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System is in talks with SNC to buy CANDU Inc!!! http://ca.reuters.com/article/businessNews/idCATRE71R4AY20110228
Feb 28: Interesting, this WSJ article says OMERS already has investments in Bruce power: http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20110228-710884.html
March 1: OK, looks like phase 3 of pre-project design review is completed for ACR 1000... But will it ever be built considering the uncertain future of aecl and the fact that the potential bidders have indicated they are not interested in pursuing new technology designs/constructions... hmmm, may be this is something that cnsc had started before the gvnt said they want to sell off aecl! http://nuclear.energy-business-review.com/news/cnsc-completes-phase-3-of-pre-project-design-review-for-candu-reactor-010311
March 1: I like the sound of this!!! Senator wants nuclear a major player in nation's energy future: http://www.kincardinenews.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=2999032 "Despite the publicity surrounding Atomic Energy of Canada's (AECL) financing and restructuring, the Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources supports the Crown corporation, its 62-year track record and its future as a "relatively cheap form of electricity" that Canadians can rely on, Angus said.". Glad to hear someone does!!!... more common sense: ""I can't conceive how this kind of baby could be thrown out with the bath water," said Angus, who has recently been touring Canada's nuclear sites. "There's nothing like being there and that's what we're telling the Prime Minister. Canada may be off the rails right now... but with passionate leaders like (Bruce's) Duncan Hawthorne and Tom Mitchell (OPG)... we're so impressed by nuclear.""… and again: "Considering Ontario's policy to shutdown coal generating plants, Angus said his sources have made it clear the "scrubber" technologies to significantly cut back carbon emissions are years from becoming financially viable for wide-spread use, making it "not realistic."
March 1: a must read opinion on the recent news of OMERS and SNC joining to buy aecl: Nuclear Ontario: the end of the beginning? http://canadianenergyissues.com/2011/03/01/nuclear-ontario-the-end-of-the-beginning/ "Apparently the Prime Minister is very eager to have AECL’s CANDU division off the books by the 2011 federal budget, which is in March. If that is the case, he must be feeling a bit of heat to do a deal. So no surprise that an SNC-OMERS deal comes up at the end of February." Are arbitrary deadlines more important or finding a truly good outcome for the whole country?
March 1: a must read originally published in 2009, a nice summary of energy sources in Canada and why nuclear power could play a major role in bringing down carbon emissions replacing coal-fired plants: http://www.powermag.com/issues/features/Canada-Moves-to-Rebalance-Its-Energy-Portfolio_1933.html
March 1: Another great article from POWER magazine, this one published today: Canada’s “Clean” Image Extends to Clean Power http://www.powermag.com/renewables/wind/Canadas-Clean-Image-Extends-to-Clean-Power_3470.html "Canada’s extensive natural resources are the driver of its powerful economy, and energy is Canada’s single most important export. Yet policy makers across the nation are currently dealing with the consequences of a generation of under-investment in the electricity system and deciding what the new grid and supply mix should look like. Several provinces are competing to lead the charge in renewable energy and grid intelligence. Policy makers hope that such efforts will not only provide for Canada’s electricity needs but also create the green economy jobs that will drive the nation’s next generation of economic development." nuclear power will need to remain in the mix to ensure future generation will have access to the energy they need with minimal environmental problems... "A number of factors tie Canada to the nuclear industry. Currently, Canada is the world’s leading supplier of uranium, and Canada’s nuclear capacity is eighth in the world. Ontario, New Brunswick, and Québec are the three provinces that produce electricity from nuclear energy.Canada was the second country in the world to undertake a controlled nuclear reaction and has been building nuclear plants since 1945. Canada led the way in reactor design through the development of the CANDU (Canadian Deuterium Uranium) pressurized heavy water reactor. Today, 34 CANDU reactors, along with 16 other heavy-water reactors based on the CANDU design, have been built or are under construction on four continents." And yet we are selling off AECL that was supported by Canadian taxpayers over the past 50-60 years???... " “I see an increasing role for nuclear. It’s a necessity, not a choice, because of its reliability. There is a lot of inertia, however, and the new projects and new technologies and developments have not been as successful as hoped. Once we get past that first hurdle, I think there will be a very fast climb in nuclear build.”" That is because there is not enough support from the top!
March 2: More support and investments for small nuclear power reactors, this time from Bill Gates: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704409004576146061231899264.html http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704409004576146061231899264.htmlnd here is leadership from the top: " President Barack Obama wants to help, too, designating $853 million for nuclear research, including small-scale reactors, in his proposed 2012 budget." why couldn't we have that type of support and investment for innovation in nuclear technology in Canada???
March 2: Quite amazing! Saskatchewan with a great leadership, vision and will to invest in a nuclear science and technology, now will Ontario step up and do anything??? http://www.calgaryherald.com/health/Sask+spend+million+nuclear+medicine+research+centre/4371707/story.html "The U of S has been lobbying the provincial and federal governments for funding to establish a small research reactor on campus as part of a proposed Canadian Neutron Source." Now the question is whether they get any help from the feds???
March 2: This is the original announcement from the government of Saskatchewan's website: http://www.gov.sk.ca/news?newsId=d5453e12-8e41-4f30-a9af-1cd0c5bae957 They've got it all covered even neutron scattering!!! ""Our new research centre will focus on nuclear science and engineering, materials and neutron science and nuclear health sciences," MacKinnon said. "It will also facilitate an expansion of academic programs in nuclear engineering, nuclear and reactor physics and radiochemistry."
March 2: This is the type of the vision that is lacking at the feds level, GREAT for SK!!!: http://www.thestarphoenix.com/health/Sask+spend+million+nuclear+medicine+research+centre/4371707/story.html "“We’ve ceded ground, we’ve ceded opportunity, we’ve ceded science and medical breakthroughs . . . we can reclaim that position and we should,” Wall told a crowd of researchers, politicians and students."
March 3: The February Newsletter of the Canadian Nuclear Workers is now available on line: a must read! http://www.cnwc-cctn.ca/canadian-nuclear-workers-newsletter-february-2011/ "Message from the President Politicians Are Fiddling While AECL Burns Our nuclear industry leaders have been calling on the federal government for sometime to clear up the uncertainty that’s dragging Canada’s successful reactor technology to the brink of oblivion. The problem is our elected federal representatives don’t seem to be listening! Governments in France, Japan, the United States, Korea, India and China see the economic and environmental benefits of making and selling their nuclear reactors. Their government leaders are visibly helping to market their respective technologies and appear willing to “package” deals (e.g. India’s purchase of Areva reactors and Mirage jets). Ontario’s recent long-term energy plan suggests the provincial government gets it—clean, reliable, affordable baseload electricity; improved energy security; tens of thousands of high-value jobs; research and development; billions in GDP growth; and substantial innovation opportunities. It’s surprising that Ontario’s federal representatives don’t appear to get it. Especially, since Ontario is the major beneficiary of Canada’s $6 billion plus a year nuclear industry. Securing these benefits for future generations means our federal government must make a long-term commitment to Canada’s CANDU reactor technology. Our industry also needs to work with them to create a long-term strategy that markets, innovates and sustains our technology. It is about Team CANDU Canada not Team CANDU. Prime Minister Diefenbaker is still remembered today for the Arrow decision. Killing Canada’s successful reactor technology is not a legacy any prime minister should aspire to. With a possible federal election on the horizon you would think Ontario’s representatives and possible candidates would be more engaged. This is the time for our industry to make sure they are listening." … "“In the end, this leaves the domestic prospects for the Canadian nuclear energy industry in an uncertain space:
cross-cutting federal and provincial priorities will inevitably constrain any sustained Canadian nuclear energy revival. The withdrawal of federal support from AECL’s reactor business will leave those domestic jurisdictions considering nuclear power facing the prospect of massively higher costs. Interprovincial competition for economic development opportunities will restrain collaboration, while the distribution of constitutional authorities hinders broader efforts to coordinate. And as always, provincial efforts to mitigate risk will continue to be constrained by federal efforts to do the same; each party seeking advantage at the expense of the other’s tax-base – the quintessential Canadian political two-step.” Concluding paragraph from “The Canadian Nuclear Industry: Status and Prospects by John Cadham, The Centre for International Governance Innovation”"… Worth Repeating…. “I can go to France and I can talk to the Energy Minister, and he can show me his nuclear program from now till 2060. He can tell me what they’re going to do. He can tell me what pedigree of plants are running today. He can tell me that in 2030 they intend to bring on line the first generation four nuclear plant. They’re already building generation three. They can speak about the ITER project and they can speak about the funding. They have a long‐term view of the industry. The challenge for Canada – and it’s really very obvious in the media right now – is what kind of industry do we want? What kind of industry do we see? The one thing I know from my experience in this industry is you cannot be schizophrenic about the nuclear power industry. It requires sponsorship – not subsidy; it requires sponsorship and commitment. And my message to anyone who has interest in fixing some of the issues with our nuclear program start with deciding what you want to be. I would argue that, if Canada sees itself as being an energy superpower, then it has to be more than just digging for oil. It has to be broader than that. It has to be a leadership role.” Excerpt from January 20th, 2011 speech to the Empire Club by Duncan Hawthorne, President and CEO, Bruce Power"
March 4: a nice read: Regulatory Reform for Nuclear Licensing Needed | The Energy Collective http://theenergycollective.com/rodadams/52807/tortuous-licensing-nuclear-energy-imposed-conscious-human-decisions-wind-and-solar-un
March 4: Bidders asked to take ‘leap of faith’ AECL viable without taxpayer bailouts http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/bidders-asked-to-take-leap-of-faith-aecl-viable-without-taxpayer-bailouts/article1929549/
March 4: while the feds and Ontario continue their indecision about the future of aecl/chalk river labs, it is so nice to see that at least Sask. has a vision, will and commitment to make it happen! http://www.thestarphoenix.com/technology/Nuclear+research+centre+puts+Sask+ideal+position/4381966/story.html
March 8: wind energy project costs twice as much as the same amount of nuclear energy http://thisweekinnuclear.com/?p=1211
March 8: so sad to see politics may be at play! aecl was built over the past 50-60 years by taxpayers money, they should be protected, not being played by politics! Cohn: BIMBY and Ontario’s radioactive politics http://www.thestar.com/article/950207--cohn-bimby-and-ontario-s-radioactive-politics
March 8: further delays and uncertainty related to the future of aecl could result to another lost opportunity, this time in China: http://www.yourindustrynews.com/global+giants+gathering+in+china%E2%80%99s+nuclear+arena_60389.html The lack of leadership will certainly lead to loss of expertise if nothing else, the expertise that are needed for proper/sufficient implementation of what is required to ensure Canada can sustain its nuclear know-how... ===> LOSS of everything!
March 9: interesting, in 2005, GDP generated by Canadian nuclear power plant operation was $6.303 billion!!! check out this link from Canadian Nuclear Association for more: http://www.cna.ca/curriculum/cna_general_res/fact14-eng.asp
March 9: Nuclear Reactors for Canada — Canada’s choice of new nuclear reactors: http://www.reactorscanada.com/ "I have the impression that very few, if any, of the key people involved in constructing past CANDU reactor projects remain in the industry.". Well with the slow rate of the aecl restructuring, it's not clear if anyone will remain by the time restructuring is complete!!!
March 10: Glad to see someone is standing up against spreading fears!!! CNSC head slams anti-nuclear activists for fear mongering http://www.torontosun.com/news/canada/2011/03/08/17539446.html
March 14: a voice of reason, Duncan Hawthorne, talking about nuclear plants and the earth quake in Japan: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sx5pWrTHD0
March 15: another voice of reason, someone with the required technical background: "the situation is under control, it is unlikely that the nuclear fuel has melted, the risk to the public is effectively zero, and, depending on whether facts on the ground have been reported correctly, it is possible that the reactors will remain capable of producing power in the future." http://tech.mit.edu/V131/N13/yost.html
March 16: This is the type of leadership that is required at a critical time: Energy secretary defends U.S. nuclear industry http://www.cnn.com/2011/POLITICS/03/15/chu.nuclear.power/index.html?hpt=Sbin
March 19: All good advice, warnings and outcries seem to be falling on a deaf ear!!! Media Advisory: Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) Sale Poses Risk for CANDU Customers Both Dome http://finance.alphatrade.com/story/2011-03-18/CCN/201103181735CCNMATHWCANADAPR_0683099001.html
March 19: Good!!! Ontario not backing down on new nukes in wake of atomic crisis in Japan http://www.globaltoronto.com/Ontario+backing+down+nukes+wake+atomic+crisis+Japan/4442736/story.html
March 19: a good read: Is our energy superpower vision slipping away? http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorialopinion/article/955245--is-our-energy-superpower-vision-slipping-away
March 19: Everything you ever wanted to know about Maple and the Mo99 contract but were afraid to ask... “A Political Meltdown” by Alison Motluk http://www.walrusmagazine.com/articles/2011.04-science-a-political-meltdown/
March 20: Sask. town wants nuclear waste site http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/story/2011/03/16/sk-creighton-nuclear-1103.html
March 22: a must read: I used to be neutral on nuclear – after Fukushima I know it's our only option http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/mar/21/pro-nuclear-japan-fukushima
March 22: Engineers slams sale of Atomic Energy of Canada and CANDU Reactors http://www.canada.com/entertainment/Engineers+slams+sale+Atomic+Energy+Canada+CANDU+Reactors/4477585/story.html
March 22: 2011 budget: http://www.budget.gc.ca/2011/plan/toc-tdm-eng.html This to me doesn't include any new initiatives for Chalk River Lavs: "Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) is a federal Crown Corporation which specializes in a range of nuclear products and services and works with Canada’s diverse nuclear industry. The Government has initiated a process to restructure AECL to position the corporation for future success and create new opportunities for Canada’s nuclear industry. Delivering competitive solutions and containing financial risks and costs to Canadian taxpayers is an important consideration in this regard. Budget 2011 provides $405 million on a cash basis in 2011–12 for AECL’s operations to cover anticipated commercial losses and support the corporation’s operations, including to ensure a secure supply of medical isotopes and maintain safe and reliable operations at the Chalk River Laboratories." … And as far as the isotope production is concerned, it seems to be more of the same as before, throwing money at cyclotron-type isotope production as opposed to investment in building a replacement for NRU which could do multi-functions (nuclear R&D, isotope, neutron scattering!!!): "Expanding Medical Isotope Production Research clusters generate significant economic benefits by enabling businesses to take advantage of existing research expertise and create innovative products and services. The Thunder Bay Regional Research Institute is focused on collaborative research, working closely with academic partners. Budget 2011 provides $4 million over three years to Industry Canada’s Federal Economic Development Initiative in Northern Ontario to support the construction of a cyclotron for the production of medical isotopes at the Thunder Bay Regional Research Institute."
March 23: More consequences of the prolonged aecl sale saga: Hydro-Quebec to cost out closing of Gentilly-2 nuclear plant http://www.globalmontreal.com/Hydro+Quebec+cost+closing+Gentilly+nuclear+plant/4491980/story.html
March 23: I hope people study the issue at hand carefully and VOTE!!! Will first post-Fukushima election happen in Canada? http://canadianenergyissues.com/2011/03/23/will-first-post-fukushima-election-happen-in-canada/
March 23: Another good resource for anyone concerned with the events in Fukushima in Japan: Nuclear Power Facts: The Differences Between Ontario and Japan http://www.enviralment.ca/2011/03/23/nuclear-power-facts-the-differences-between-ontario-and-japan/
March 24: Should National Research Council of Canada do more basic research or focus more on 'market drivers'? here is what the new boss of NRC thinks: NRC boss orders scientists to focus on 'market drivers' http://www.ottawacitizen.com/business/boss+orders+scientists+focus+market+drivers/4472949/story.html This definitely is worth repeating, counter views of president of the Canadian Association of Physicists and a University of Toronto professor and chair of the Canadian Consortium for Research: ""Qualitatively it doesn't sound different from what has happened in the past," said Henry van Driel, president of the Canadian Association of Physicists and a University of Toronto professor. That's because NRC has always been told to support industry. "But quantitatively it may be that the shift is implemented more dramatically" than in the past. "I hope it doesn't come at the expense of the significant capability they have in basic research. Without basic science, there's no science to apply. "And it's very hard to anticipate what the next breakthrough will be." Thirty years ago no one "sat at a table and said, 'I want to invent an Internet, I want to invent a Black-Berry (or) a flat-screen TV based on liquid crystal displays,' " he said. "A lot of that comes from people . discovering properties of matter, discovering properties of materials" for others to apply later. "You do need to balance," said Paul Vincett, who chairs the Canadian Consortium for Research, an umbrella group of 18 associations of university staff and students. "With what they've prescribed -it sounds wonderful in principle, but the problem is: How do you judge it? It's very hard to predict the future in science." Trying to help industry and government "typically means focusing on the short-and mediumterm things," he said. "You're liable to miss other things . which would have a payout farther in the future, but which might be much more important in the end. "All the evidence is that you cannot predict what are going to be the big things in the future. Who would have predicted the World Wide Web? And that came totally out of basic science. On the other hand you have to be responsive to industry's needs. And I think it (NRC) has been.""
March 25: More delays, are expected for restructuring plans, with the upcoming election. If an opposition party wins, the whole plan to sell AECL might be scrapped: https://secure.globeadvisor.com/servlet/ArticleNews/story/gam/20110325/RBAECLSALEATL
March 31: could this be the end for Canadian nuclear industry??? AECL woes could spell end of Canada's reactor business http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2011/03/12/f-power-2020-aecl-nuclear.html
April 1: All candidates should make their position clear about AECL, nuclear industry and future of research with neutron scattering in Canada! Nuclear issue dormant in election campaign http://www.thestar.com/business/article/967214--nuclear-issue-dormant-in-election-campaign
April 2: Check out the events section to see details of the Public Lectures as part of the Summer School: http://www.facebook.com/events/162196130500904/
All 3 Public Lectures will be held at the Childs Auditorium in Deep River, ON, all starting at 8:30 PM:
1. Monday May 9: Speaker: Dr. Robert Walker, Senior Vice President, Nuclear Laboratories
Title: “Japan 03/11 – Implications for Nuclear Science and Technology.”.
2. Tuesday May 10: Speaker: Prof. André-Marie Tremblay, University of Sherbrooke
Title: “Superconductivity: The magic of the quantum world in front of your eyes.”
3. Wednesday May 11: Speaker: Dr. Jeremy Whitlock, Manager of Non-Proliferation and Safeguards, AECL Chalk River Laboratories
Title: “Splitting Atoms, Canadian Style.”
April 4: Here is where you could find the Liberal platform, on the right side of the page, you could find the link to the full document in pdf. I searched for the words "nuclear energy", "atomic energy of Canada", and these words are not mentioned not even once. There is a lot of talk about "clean energy" but it looks it is referring more to natural resources than nuclear power: http://www.liberal.ca/platform/
April 4: more small money for isotope production: CTV Ottawa- Ottawa company expands its cancer-fighting technology http://ottawa.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20110401/OTT_best_isotopes_110401/20110401/?hub=OttawaHome
April 7: This is a great read: Political will and leverage in Ontario: if not now, when? http://canadianenergyissues.com/2011/04/07/political-will-and-leverage-in-ontario-if-not-now-when/ Couldn't agree more: "It is always encouraging when a politician says the right thing. In the area of nuclear energy, it is a rare occurrence. So double congratulations to Duguid for stepping up and showing leadership"
April 9: Here is where you could find the Conservative platform, on the bottom of the page, you could find the link to the full document in pdf. Again I searched for the words "nuclear energy", "atomic energy of Canada", and these words are not mentioned not even once. There is a lot of talk about "clean energy" but again no reference to nuclear power: http://www.conservative.ca/policy/platform_2011/
April 9: without investments today, not only there will be no gain tomorrow but also it will take more money to fix the problems! Canada's power grid needs $293B infusion: http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/story/2011/04/06/canada-power-grid-investment.html
April 9: More are voicing their opinion that AECL, current and future, is a campaign issue, now let's get some clear answer from all political parties!!! AECL's mistakes should not cost New Brunswick http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/westview/aecls-mistakes-should-not-cost-new-brunswick-119461059.html?viewAllComments=y
April 11: And here is where you could find the NDP platform, on the right side of the page, you could find the link to the full document in pdf. Again I searched for the words "nuclear energy", "atomic energy of Canada", and these words are not mentioned not even once. Ans again here is a lot of talk about "clean energy" and "green energy" but again no reference to nuclear power: http://www.ndp.ca/platform
April 11: Looks like SNC still is interested in buying aecl: http://www.therecord.com/news/business/article/515397--snc-lavalin-interest-in-buying-aecl-not-reduced-by-mishap-in-japan
April 13: Looks like SNC still is interested in buying aecl:SPEA endorses Bonnie Crombie in Mississauga-Streetsville for her: " understanding, leadership and vision when it comes to the nuclear industry and Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) future." https://www.spea.ca/media/submissions/122-april-12-2011-federal-elections-spea-endorses-bonnie-crombie-in-mississauga-streetsville.html
April 13: Here is the link to the AECL's letter to CNSC providing CNSC staff with a description of AECL's planned actions for the Chalk River Laboratories in response to the recent events at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan: http://nuclearsafety.gc.ca/eng/pdfs/Regulatory_Action/April-12-2011-12-2-Response-AECL.pdf
April 14: Here is where you could see the exact details of how many tonnes of air pollution and GHGs avoided in Canada by nuclear power in 2010: http://www.nuclearfaq.ca/nuke-gen-monthly-2010.htm
April 14: And again this is the live data of where Ontario's electricity is coming from at this hour (right now 60% is from nuclear): http://media.cns-snc.ca/ontarioelectricity/ontarioelectricity.html
April 16: Canadian Association of Physicists is encouraging the citizens to speak out for funding for research and post-secondary education in Canada during this election season: http://www.cap.ca/en/news/2011-04-15/speak-out-funding-research-and-post-secondary-education-canada
April 17: small modular reactors have already been developed and are under construction by other countries such as Russia in remote areas like Siberia, glad to see it is also considered to be the answer to northern Canada's power needs: http://www.cbc.ca/m/touch/news/story/2011/04/12/f-power-nunavut-nuclear.html
April 17: Michael Ignatieff introduces the Point Lepreau refurbishment project into the campaign for the upcoming election: http://timestranscript.canadaeast.com/newstoday/article/1398660
April 17: This is a must read if you are interested in learning what major parties positions are on new nuclear reactors for Ontario: http://www.crewzone.ca/news_event.cfm?eventID=601
April 17: A bit more on what the candidates for Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke think should happen for AECL/Chalk River Labs: http://www.thedailyobserver.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=3075772
April 18: Well, it looks like it is only Liberals that are willing to consider a replacement for NRU!!! Where the federal parties stand on isotope production http://www.canada.com/news/decision-canada/Where+federal+parties+stand+isotope+production/4636960/story.html
April 21: New NRC policy makes it to Nature magazine: Canadian research shift makes waves : http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110419/full/472269a.html "The shift away from basic science "weakens" the NRC's labs, because they "are required to bridge two cultures — the basic and applied", says John Polanyi, a Nobel laureate and a chemist at the University of Toronto."… "Few question the quality of work that such investments would produce, but critics say that the government is exerting too much control over the country's research, rather than allowing peer review to guide funding. "It's risky to divert funds away from the granting councils, but the government does it because it looks politically better for them," says Robert Dunn, associate director of scientific affairs at the Montreal Neurological Institute. "Peer review is the very best mechanism to ensure that the limited research resources we have are allocated to the best researchers and projects.""
April 21: more doubts about funding fate of basic research in Canada in light of change of focus at NRC: http://communications.uwo.ca/western_news/stories/2011/April/matter_of_priorities_nrcs_market_focus_raises_questions_about_funding_fate_of_basic_research.html
April 23: Ontario’s municipal employee pension fund has pulled out of talks with SNC to buy aecl, and so aecl sale saga continues!!! http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/industry-news/energy-and-resources/omers-walks-away-from-talks-to-buy-aecl/article1993527/
April 23: I really hope people study the position of the candidates carefully on the future of aecl and Chalk River labs and get out and vote, remember the old saying "bad governments are elected by good people not voting"!!! http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/candidates+Renfrew+Nipissing+Pembroke/4651442/story.html
April 25: More on AECL sale saga, OMERS pulled out, now what? http://theenergycollective.com/dan-yurman/56216/ontario-pension-fund-backs-out-aecl-deal
April 30: Way to go Nunavut! Remote Canadian Province Considers Micro-Nuclear http://www.matternetwork.com/2011/4/remote-canadian-province-considers-micro.cfm
May 3: Final results: Gallant wins landslide victory! will the majority in Ottawa make any difference as far as getting a replacement for NRU is concerned either at Chalk River or in Saskatchewan??? at least there is no more minority excuse anymore!!! http://enr.elections.ca/ElectoralDistricts_e.aspx?type=1&criteria=k0j+1p0
May 4: Yes clarity has been needed for several years now!!! http://durhamprosperity.org/nuclearindustryn.html
June 8: If you want to learn more about rich history of Canada’s nuclear R&D, this is a great link for you! An excellent interactive website created by Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission covering "the story of the people involved in these nuclear activities and in developing the safe use of nuclear substances. It’s also the story of many “firsts” for Canada in the world." http://nuclearsafety.gc.ca/eng/about/past/index.cfm
June 9: NRU Status Report #05 just released, NRU on track to be restarted up on June 17: http://www.aecl.ca/Page1962.aspx
June 16: NRU is back to service after the planned 33-day shutdown! once again neutrons have returned to Canada!!! :) learn more about what was done/learned from the inspections during the shutdown: http://www.nrucanada.ca/en/home/multimediaroom/videos/video2.aspx
June 16: Feds to slash funding for Atomic Energy Canada http://www.vancouversun.com/health/Feds+slash+funding+Atomic+Energy+Canada/4952824/story.html
June 20: A must read: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/give+AECL/4973025/story.html#Comments "In a post-Fukushima world, the ideal opportunity exists for Canada to regain its competitive position in the global nuclear industry. The recently elected federal majority government must exercise leadership now to fully leverage Canada's present nuclear advantage. That advantage rests with Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. (AECL), the arms-length federal corporation, which possesses a highly successful CANDU reactor technology. Beyond the myriad other benefits CANDU technology offers, if this technology had been present in the nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan, much, if not most of the disaster following the earthquake and tsunami could have been averted. Unfortunately, since 2007, the federal government has let AECL's restructuring and potential sale languish. The delay in decisions on this file has created uncertainty in the global nuclear marketplace about the future of CANDU reactor technology. At risk is Canada's $6.5-billion-a-year nuclear industry, employing more than 70,000 people in direct and indirect industry jobs, and generating more than $1.5 billion in federal and provincial tax revenue. All this, at the time when the world has no choice but to focus on using greener technologies like nuclear, and perhaps more importantly, when the global nuclear industry is taking a serious look at the risks posed by the nuclear technology used by Japan and many other countries around the world." read more:
June 21: The German government ending nuclear energy power plants is not a done deal yet!!! http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/energy/nuclearpower/8589561/German-government-faces-compensation-claims-over-ending-nuclear-power.html Even the current government seemed to have a different agenda not long ago a year or so they were pushing for extending the life, and now changed their mind... seems to be politically motivated than anything, wished they would consider the better of the country than getting elected in the next election... This is the announcement for life extension in 2010: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-11194117
June 23: This is a must read, couldn't agree more with the points: aecl privatization has taken long while the company ordered not to sign new contracts, as well as the need to establish an independent Scientific Research Agency which doesn't depend or benefit from one governing party or another, an agency that could provide vision, direction, coordinate research among different organizations and draw resources/funding with a new research reactor that will be maintained and available for scientists across the country to use.... http://politeching.wordpress.com/2011/03/13/a-new-innovation-center-for-progress-nuclear-debate/
June 23: Another must read: a special article published in Globe&Mail written by Don MacKinnon, President, Power Workers’ Union in Canada: http://www.pwu.ca/ "Government and industry players must take this restructuring opportunity to develop a comprehensive Canadian nuclear strategy that better positions AECL to compete in the global marketplace. There is a lot at stake: a $6.7-billion-a-year industry; a supply chain of 160 companies; over 70,000 direct and indirect high-value jobs; and millions in R&D at Canadian universities."… We need a national debate/discussion involving all interested parties from scientists to students to industry to address these issues, where is that debate??? "In developing a nuclear industry strategy, Canada should address critical questions such as: the ongoing role of government; the role of nuclear electricity generation in Canada; the fate of AECL’s intellectual property; foreign ownership; and benefits vs. liabilities."
June 27: This is a great resource for anyone interested in nuclear developments in Saskatchewan: http://prairiepolicycentre.com/energy/item/7-saskatchewan-chamber-of-commerce-faqs-related-to-nuclear-development.html
June 27: Investing more in nuclear-safety and development seems to be a better move forward than shutting down a proved and environmentally-friendly technology that Germany has chosen: France to Boost Work on Nuclear Safety http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303627104576411812156224804.html
June 28: Is the the announcement for the sale of AECL Candu Inc imminent? it seems that way... It is quite amazing that this is going through with no real national dialogue/debate...even though the sale it may happen as early as this week, Ontario wants Fed gvnt to bear part of the financial risk of potential cost overruns on building new reactors in Ontario... “One of Canada’s largest Crown corporations is slated to be sold off in a single-bidder deal conducted in total secrecy,” natural resources critic Nathan Cullen said in a statement. “Canadians are rightly worried about getting their money’s worth.” Read more: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/ottawa-notebook/dwight-duncan-on-ottawas-aecl-deal-what-are-they-going-to-do-for-ontario/article2078931/
This the the same story on the announcement of the sale on CBC... this one quotes Peter White, the head of the Society of Professional Engineers and Associates union that represents AECL workers, saying that "he has not received word of any deal, but did say that management have asked for a meeting with union leaders on Wednesday. "Somebody from AECL wants to talk tomorrow so that tells me something's going on," White said." Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2011/06/28/aecl-lavalin.html?ref=rss
and this is the report on G&M that started the frenzy of the
rumors on the sale today: "Critics say putting AECL into private
hands could leave the nuclear company starved for resources and unable to
compete effectively with global giants in the industry without federal
subsidies. They fear AECL will be slimmed down and largely operate to service
and refurbish existing reactors because SNC-Lavalin will try to avoid risk by
reducing spending on research and development and new generation reactors.
The ambitious goal of building new generation reactors is crucial to the company’s
future; no company can survive long on yesterday’s technology." Read more:
and finally AECL might still have some value, guess what: SNC-Lavalin shares rise following AECL report: http://business.financialpost.com/2011/06/28/snc-lavalin-shares-rise-following-aecl-report/
And you know it is a big news day here in Canada when the news story make it to huffingtonpost: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2011/06/28/ottawa-to-announce-sale-o_n_885792.html
And this one in Reuters: "Little is known about SNC's bid,
including the price, although analysts expect the company's offer to be modest,
especially in the wake of negative sentiment globally toward nuclear energy
after the Fukushima disaster.
SNC's bid is likely to give no value to AECL's reactor-building business and
only price in its refurbishment operations, Northland NCP analyst Maxim Sytchev
"While the timing of AECL's acquisition is not ideal in the context of
anti-nuclear sentiment, we believe that the asset will be priced to reflect the
current reality," Sytchev said in an email to clients." read more: http://uk.reuters.com/article/2011/06/28/snclavalin-aecl-idUKN1E75R0OG20110628
... and no nuclear power company could have a long and bright future without a research reactor that could support its research and developments... lets not forget that a new research reactor could also be used for other purposes such as neutron scattering and isotope production... like NRU has done for the past 50 years!
June 29: OK ladies and gentlemen the news we have all been waiting for is finally here, the Candu division of AECL is sold to SNC for... wait for it... wait for it... and the price is a mere jaw dropping $15M!!! "Under the terms of the agreement, SNC-Lavalin, through its wholly owned subsidiary CANDU Energy, will take over the CANDU Reactor Division's three business lines: services to the existing fleet, life-extension projects and reactor new builds." Read more: http://www.marketwire.com/press-release/government-canada-snc-lavalin-group-reach-agreement-on-aecl-candu-reactor-division-1533174.htm
The essence of the news on the sale of Candu division of AECL: 1. SNC writes a cheque for only $15 million to buy AECL, 2. Government of Canada (taxpayers) pays $75 million to SNC for some initiatives. 3. Ontario loses at least about 800-900 jobs, 4. Government of Canada (taxpayers) undertakes all existing liabilities (~$3B-$4B)... could SNC have asked for a better deal??? and could the taxpayers been at the losing end any more??? And the statement by Joe Oliver, Minister of Natural Resources, made at a media briefing in Toronto to announce the deal sums it all up: "The other alternative would, of course, be the winding down of the business. And that would have meant ultimately all the employees dismissed, much more significant losses, an abandonment of current customers and damage to Canada's international reputation" from http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/06/29/us-aecl-snclavalin-idUSTRE75S6HW20110629
of CANDU technology: plenty! ... and since it seems the government
and the media have focused more on the challenges and problems aecl has faced
over the past several years, it seems appropriate to highlight some of the
company’s success in developing unique nuclear power technology answering some
of the problems the industry currently facing... were any of these achievements
part of the debate on sale? so all those made possible by taxpayer's money will
be the private's company's gain (SNS)... here are a few documents on those
achievements, please add more if you know others:
Reactor in China first to directly use recovered uranium fuel:
“AECL’s Chief Technology Officer Dr. Anthony De Vuono added, “As a proven
commercial power reactor, our Enhanced CANDU 6 has the highest neutron
efficiency compared to other competing technologies and consumes about 30% less
natural uranium. Our NUE fuel cycle opens up a sustainable development path
leading to an overall extension of uranium fuel resources while, at the same
time, reusing the spent fuel from light water reactors.” (http://www.aecl.ca/NewsRoom/News/Press-2010/100323.htm)
The Candu reactor: an optimal platform for new fuels by Dr. Tony De Vuono
presented at 2010 Pacific Basin Nuclear Conference (http://www.pbnc2010.org.mx/pdfs/plennary/thursday/10.45_TheCANDUReactor.pdf)
tests used nuclear fuel in Canadian atomic reactor:
“An agreement to work together on the development of low uranium consumption
Candu technologies in China was signed between the AECL and the Nuclear Power
Institute of China (NPIC) on January 15, 2010. Citing the Candu reactor's low
uranium consumption per terawatt-hour of electricity delivered to the grid,
Zhao Hua, president of NPIC, said: "We are interested in working with AECL
to jointly develop this important advantage including recycling recovered
uranium from spent PWR fuel." (http://archives.truenorthperspective.com/Apr_10/Apr_16/fuel_test.html)
capitalize on CANDU’s potential: “The potential rewards
are great for Canada. According to a recent Conference Board of Canada study,
the construction of twin ACR-1000 units in Ontario would result in $5.15
billion in GDP creation and create 62,000 person-years of employment. Each new
export of a CANDU to another nation could generate up to $1 billion of GDP
impact, depending on Canadian content. The Study also outlined a scenario
whereby AECL with four domestic projects and eight projects outside of Canada,
would generate up to $55 billion in real GDP along with almost 500,000
person-years of employment. The window of opportunity is here. More than 200
reactors are planned to be built in the next 20 years and Canada is already in
discussion with potential customers like China, Argentina, India, Jordan,
Romania and other Eastern European countries who see the advantages of CANDU
for their country.” (http://www.aecl.ca/NewsRoom/News/Press-2010/100317.htm)
fail to learn from the mistakes of their predecessors are destined to repeat
them: In light of the sale of the Candu division of AECL
announced on Wednesday, it seems appropriate to post the link to this article
published in April issue of The Walrus (http://www.walrusmagazine.com/articles/2011.04-science-a-political-meltdown/)...
This is a must read, it is an excellent read and provides an overview of the
history of AECL’s achievements in medical isotope science, technology, and
industry in Canada… and just when it was possible to make money, the government
sold it off: “Brian mulroney came to power in September 1984, with the most
elected seats in Canadian history. He campaigned as an anti-patronage crusader
and a debt slayer. (During the previous Liberal regime, the debt had ballooned
from around $32 billion to more than $200 billion.) And, throwing a bone to the
right wing, he also promised to sell off Crown assets wherever possible. It
didn’t take long before his eye fell on AECL’s profitable radiochemical
According to Litt’s book, the 1985 budget pledged that the “operation of AECL
will be rationalized and profitable activities commercialized.” Throughout its
thirty-three-year history, there hadn’t been many profitable activities within
AECL. The agency consisted mainly of physicists and engineers doing experiments
and designing complex nuclear reactors, mostly to produce energy. If anything,
the government saw AECL as a big money pit.
So in September 1988, the isotope division was wrested away from its parent.
Like a child up for adoption, it was given a new name, Nordion International
Inc., and a glowing spec sheet, then moved into the orphanage of the Canada
Development Investment Corporation, where all Crown corporations awaiting new
owners were sent to bide their time.” … hmmm it is not hard to see the mess
that created for Canada and AECL after this sale including the failed maple
project and the impending billion dollar lawsuit by Nordion … and now this time
there is the bargain sale of the Candu division of AECL (… and possibly the
entire country’s nuclear industry)… like the saying says: “Those who fail to
learn from the mistakes of their predecessors are destined to repeat them.”!!!
Here is a snapshot of media reports and their analysis on the news of the sale:
Sad end for
a Canadian success story: Glad to see more voice of dismay at
what has just happened is appearing in the media... unfortunately it seems it
is too little too late! this one published in Toronto Star, a must read
"To Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the 60-year-old Crown corporation was a
drain on the federal treasury, a pygmy in a world of giants, a millstone to be
To those with a longer view, AECL being sold for $15 million — the price of a
luxury condominium in Yorkville or a low-budget movie — to Montreal engineering
firm SNC-Lavalin is a case study in bad management, lax government oversight
and squandered opportunities."... "It began long before Harper’s
watch. Five prime ministers — Brian Mulroney, Kim Campbell, Jean Chrétien, Paul
Martin and Harper — ignored warnings that the firm needed financial discipline,
capable leadership and better technology to compete globally. Auditors general
and nuclear safety experts tried to sound the alarm, but federal politicians
either slept or turned a blind eye to the mess.
By the time Harper took power in 2006, AECL was a company with a reputation for
missed deadlines, huge cost overruns and flawed designs. The Conservatives
could have made an effort to turn it around by sending in management experts
and top nuclear scientists. They could have looked for an international
partner. Instead, they let it run down to the point where SNC-Lavalin was the
only interested buyer."... ""Apart from the loss of a once-admired
company, the sale of AECL creates a host of problems for its employees — 40 per
cent of whom will lose their jobs — its suppliers and its prospective clients.
It undercut Ontario, which is in the market for two nuclear reactors. The
province pleaded with Ottawa not to privatize AECL without negotiating a deal
to cover the company’s cost overruns, as always done in the past, on the
massive project. Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver made it clear his
government is under obligation to help the province, should it choose to buy
Candu 6 reactors. That means either taxpayers or hydro consumers will have to
absorb the costs."... "There are two winners in this deal: Harper,
who got rid of an unwanted responsibility, and SNC-Lavalin, which got a great
bargain. Even if the Montreal firm never sells another reactor, it will make a
tidy profit upgrading and servicing the 34 reactors AECL has already sold in
There are many losers: Canadian science, the redundant workers, the Ontario
government, hydro consumers and all those who believe that AECL could have
competed with the best, given a fair chance.": http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorials/article/1018006--sad-end-for-a-canadian-success-story
Nowadays capitalization means the privatization of profits and the socialization of losses. http://nor-re.blogspot.com/2011/07/socializing-losses.html
900 job losses will be minimum... the announcement is kinda
vague as it says 1200 aecl employees and "contractors" will be
transferred to SNC... it is not clear how many of those 1200 will be aecl
employees and how many contractors! and this is not even including potential
job losses in Candu industries other than aecl because of the lack of future
reactor developments... see:
More on the
job loss because of the sale: "Atomic Energy of Canada’s Candu
reactor division will be sold to SNC-Lavalinin a deal a union leader says puts
up to 800 high-paying jobs at risk.
And the sale has left the Ontario government complaining that the province
isn’t getting the same support for its energy sector that other province
The union representing engineers and other professionals at AECL said the deal
will chop about 40 per cent of the division’s staff, most working at AECL’s
Sheridan Park labs and offices in Mississauga." and "Oliver said the
deal protects 1,200 jobs. But Michael Ivanco, vice president of the Society of
Professional Engineers and Associates, said that leaves about 800 high-paying
jobs at risk.
“Some of these will be engineers and scientists and technologists,” Ivanco.
Ivanco said he welcomes the fact that a private company wants to invest in
AECL. The society has said a private partner would bring better management
skills to the company.
But he questioned the federal government’s decision to sell its entire stake.
“Our competition are giants,” he said.
France has just announced a huge new investment in its nuclear sector to reinforce
safety in the wake of the Fukushima disaster, he said: “Our government’s
“It’s 100 per essential” to have government backing on nuclear projects when
making sales to foreign buyers, he said." Read more: http://www.thestar.com/business/article/1017065--aecl-sale-puts-ontario-jobs-at-risk-critics-warn
use AECL CANDU to target nuclear refurbishment work in Ontario and around the
world and not developing new reactor technology... That means in
30 years there will be no reactor technology developed while the rest of the
world will move forward!!! quite amazing, they bought it for a mere $15M and
then they are going to make this much profit out of, still can't believe this
is for real: "Sytchev said it's too early to speculate on potential
revenue for SNC's power division. AECL's annual services revenue is about $130
million a year, while its reactor life extension work fluctuates between $180
million and $400 million." "Maxim Sytchev of Northland Capital
Partners described the deal as allowing SNC to acquire AECL "at the best
Sytchev said the price, a small outlay for a company that has a $9-billion
market cap, reflected the realities of SNC being the sole bidder, AECL's
unprofitable past and the nuclear disaster in Japan."... "SNC's
primary goal is to capture low-risk refurbishment work instead of costly and
risky new-build construction, he added.
"From SNC's perspective it's really a play on the installed based of (29)
AECL reactors worldwide and that's where they're going to make the money."
Pierre Lacroix of Desjardins Securities thinks the financial impact of existing
projects will be relatively limited. He expects SNC will aim to improve this
money-losing business to a net margin initially of five per cent.
"Management will aim to expand the segment up to the level of the
company's other businesses, taking into account the additional risk that it
could encounter in such activities," Lacroix wrote in a report.
Lamarre said SNC's goal will be to raise margins on new projects from day one
of its ownership.", read more: http://www.canadianbusiness.com/article/31575--snc-lavalin-to-turn-around-aecl-by-applying-its-standards-on-refurbishment-deals
SNC takes charge of Canada’s nuclear future: "After 60 years of operation and $21-billion invested, Ottawa is unloading Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd.’s Candu business for a mere $15-million and future royalties. It will now up be to Montreal-based SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. (SNC-T 56.55 -0.09 -0.16%) to determine whether Canada will remain in the nuclear business, or whether the reactor division will be allowed to wither without a serious commitment to product development. " and "SNC says it plans to build the business but is narrowing the focus of the AECL commercial division. It will employ only 1,200 of the nearly 2,000 people who are now working in AECL’s commercial division. And employees fear that new reactor design, and ground-breaking work with China on new fuelling technology, will be lost, thereby jeopardizing the future opportunities." http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/industry-news/energy-and-resources/snc-takes-charge-of-canadas-nuclear-future/article2080430/
player: Future of AECL: And here where you could listen to Nycole
Turmel of the NDP and Liberal Ted Hsu discussing the Conservative government's
sale of AECL: http://www.cbc.ca/video/#/News/Politics/1244504890/ID=2030247515
SNS press release: agreement signed to acquire AECL’s commercial reactor division by CANDU energy: http://www.snclavalin.com/news.php?lang=en&action=press_release_details&id=1469
"CANDU Energy, a wholly-owned subsidiary of SNC-Lavalin Group Inc.
(TSX: SNC), is pleased to announce that it has agreed with the Government of
Canada to acquire certain assets of Atomic Energy of Canada’s (AECL) commercial
reactor division for a purchase price of $15 million and royalty payments from
future new build and life extension projects. AECL will retain its past
Approximately 1,200 employees are expected to be transitioned from AECL to
AECL is the Crown Corporation responsible for managing Canada’s nuclear energy
research and development program. The commercial reactor division began
developing the CANDU technology in the 1950s, and has built 34 reactors in
seven countries. It has made a significant contribution to a key Canadian
sector but in its current form, AECL was judged to be no longer sustainable.
The privatization of AECL is an important turning point to allow for a new
competitive business model, following years of challenges faced by AECL, and is
an endeavour to keep alive the Canadian nuclear industry.
“This acquisition will require concerted and coordinated effort on the part of
all stakeholders to work together. We will strive to make it a success both for
the people who have built it, and for our shareholders,” said Patrick Lamarre,
Executive Vice-President Global Power, SNC-Lavalin.
“The CANDU commercial reactor business will benefit greatly from SNC-Lavalin’s
entrepreneurial capacity and global scale”, said the Honourable Joe Oliver,
Minister of Natural Resources. “The transaction will place CANDU technology in
proven, competent hands to be serviced and deployed in Canada and abroad,
meeting energy needs and stimulating a supply chain located largely in Canada.”
The successful support and development of this technology is critical to
sustaining Canada’s nuclear industry, which currently employs more than 30,000
workers in 150 companies across Canada. For CANDU Energy, the purchase of
certain AECL assets means committing to preserving a homegrown, proven
technology with good potential. CANDU Energy will focus on the new build, life
extension and services product lines.
Lamarre continued, “Continuity and the quality of our services to the CANDU
customer base are our top priorities going forward in Canada and
internationally. With our expertise and experience in the nuclear sector, we
believe that CANDU Energy will allow us to open new markets and capitalize on
CANDU Energy will work towards completing the Enhanced CANDU reactor (EC6)
development program, with the support of the Government of Canada of up to $75 million.
CANDU Energy will target new build projects in Ontario, Canada as well as in
other countries around the world such as Jordan, Romania, Argentina, Turkey and
China. The new company will also complete the remaining obligations under the
ongoing life extension projects at Bruce Power, Wolsong, Point Lepreau and
Gentilly-2 through subcontract service agreements with the Government of
The company will work hard to increase its share of the services business, on
obtaining new life extension projects and additional scope on existing ones,
and developing new build projects in order to build the CANDU Energy backlog.
The acquisition is expected to be finalized in early fall 2011, subject to the
fulfillment of certain conditions including Competition Act compliance and
other administrative approvals.
SNC-Lavalin is one of the leading engineering and construction groups in the
world and a major player in the ownership of infrastructure, and in the
provision of operations and maintenance services. SNC-Lavalin has offices
across Canada and in over 35 other countries around the world, and is currently
working in some 100 countries. In business since 1911, the Company celebrates
its 100th anniversary in 2011."
are links to the official announcements today from the government:
"Over the last five years, AECL has received approximately $2.5 billion
from the Government of Canada. This includes $1.2 billion for support and
development of its commercial activities under the CANDU Reactor Division.
The Government of Canada’s support for AECL’s commercial activities has
preserved value in the corporation and the potential for the future of the
Canada’s CANDU-based nuclear industry." how is that ever equivalent to
$15M??? and that is not including the taxpayers money over the past 50
The key transaction agreement is an Asset Purchase Agreement (APA), which sets
out the contractual terms for the sale and purchase of the assets of AECL’s
CANDU Reactor Division. The suite of agreements that together constitute the
Transaction Agreements includes the following series of ancillary agreements:
Intellectual Property Licence Agreement
EC6 Support Agreement
Five Life-Extension Project Subcontracts
Intercompany Services Agreement
Transition Services Term Sheet
Pension Plans Participation Agreement
Asset Purchase AgreementThe APA is between AECL, CANDU Energy and SNC-Lavalin
as CANDU Energy’s corporate parent.
The APA describes the assets purchased, which include substantially all the
assets comprising CANDU Reactor Division’s three lines of business, with the
exception of intellectual property (IP), which is being licensed rather than
sold, and the ongoing life-extension projects.
AECL will retain all liabilities and obligations relating to pre-closing
operations of the CANDU business, while CANDU Energy will take full
responsibility for all new projects.
Upfront and Royalty Payments
The upfront payment will be made up of $15 million in cash on closing, with the
potential for significant benefits through royalty payments if CANDU Energy is
successful during a 15-year royalty period in securing new build and life
Based on assumptions and analysis validated by external financial advisors,
from these royalties as well as from the sale of its inventory of heavy water,
the Government could realize a net present value in amount of about $285
Intellectual Property Licence Agreement (IPLA)
The transaction grants CANDU Energy a perpetual licence to use the IP relating
to the CANDU business. The licence is exclusive in the power reactor market.
Subject to non-compete obligations, AECL’s Nuclear Laboratories retains rights
to continue to operate and provide services within a limited field of use,
including: i) research, development and testing services to Canada and to the
CANDU Owners Group, and ii) all services with respect to its own nuclear
Enhanced CANDU 6 (EC 6) Support Agreement
This agreement, between AECL and CANDU Energy, sets out the terms of a one-time
contribution by the Government of Canada to the development of the EC 6, up to
an amount of $75 million. Government funding will be cost-shared 70/30 with
Life-Extension Project (LEP) Subcontract
AECL will have outstanding contractual obligations with regard to five
life-extension project contracts, which will be subcontracted by AECL to CANDU
Energy; and all other obligations will be retained by AECL.
CANDU Energy will be compensated for all remaining work in completing the
various LEPs on the basis of an agreed-upon cost formula, which includes
compensation for all direct costs, increased by negotiated mark-ups.
AECL Nuclear Laboratories will provide services, on a commercial basis, to
CANDU Energy post-closing. The agreement is expected to generate revenue during
its five-year term. AECL could be asked to provide various services including:
Shielded Facilities, Reactor Chemistry and Systems Engineering.
Transition Services Agreement
A Transitional Services term sheet has been agreed to at signing, with a full
agreement being entered into as a condition of closing, if still needed by
then. The preferred scenario is to make both organizations autonomous by
CANDU Energy being a newly created subsidiary consisting primarily of the
transferred assets from this transaction, its corporate parent, SNC-Lavalin,
will be providing a parent guarantee to secure performance of key obligations
of CANDU Energy in the transaction.
Pension Plans Participation Agreement
At closing, the Government of Canada and CANDU Energy will enter into a Pension
Plans Participation Agreement, which will permit the transitioned employees to
continue to contribute to their pension plans for a transitional period of up
to three years, and will determine CANDU Energy’s obligations to make the employer’s
contribution with respect to the pension plans.
In addition, the transitioned employees will be eligible, upon retirement, to
opt for coverage under the Public Service Health Care Plan (PSHCP), as is
currently the case.
Natural Resources Canada and the Department of Foreign Affairs and
International Trade confirm that CANDU Energy will have access to Government
agencies and programs, as available to any Canadian exporter, in support of its
international activities. Such requests will be assessed on merits on a
Funding for AECL Commercial Activities
Since 1952, with the creation of AECL as a Crown corporation, the Government of
Canada has supported and invested in nuclear research and development and the
establishment of a Canadian-made commercial nuclear reactor industry.
Over the last five years, AECL has received approximately $2.5 billion from the
Government of Canada. This includes $1.2 billion for support and development of
its commercial activities under the CANDU Reactor Division.
The Government of Canada’s support for AECL’s commercial activities has preserved
value in the corporation and the potential for the future of the Canada’s
CANDU-based nuclear industry.
In addition to the new reactor business, AECL also entered into the reactor
life-extension business as of 2005, signing five contracts for life-extension
projects in New Brunswick (Point Lepreau, 2005), Ontario (Bruce Units 1 and 2,
2005), South Korea (Wolsong Unit 1, 2006) and Quebec (Gentilly 2 –
refurbishment and retubing, 2008).
The first life-extension projects encountered technical and schedule problems,
resulting in increased costs for AECL. As its sole shareholder, the Government
of Canada has provided substantial financial support to allow AECL to honour
the contracts and complete its work on these projects.
Funding since 2005–06 to date for life-extension projects and other related
commercial operational requirements has totalled $855 million.
New Reactor Development
The Government also continued to fund AECL’s reactor technology development
projects. These new and advanced CANDU reactors include both the Advanced CANDU
Reactor (ACR) and the Enhanced CANDU 6 (EC6).
Government funding for reactor development projects totalled $476 million since
Annex - AECL Funding since 1952 (in as-spent dollars)"
this is the breakdown of the government investment on AECL and Candu division,
straight from the horse's mouth: http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/media/newcom/2011/201157b2-eng.php
June 30: SNC will use AECL
CANDU to target nuclear refurbishment work in Ontario and around the world and
not developing new reactor technology... That means in 30 years there will be
no reactor technology developed while the rest of the world will move
A total amount of $1.6B for Candu and then sell it for $15M!!! I wonder how
much this is the result of how they pitch the sale from the beginning, two
years ago Harper spokesman referred to aecl as "AECL a $30B
... well it is true that the government spent ~$20B over 60 years on aecl to
make Canada the leader in nuclear power science and technology, but $20B is a
negligible amount when compared to the billions of dollars in revenue and
thousands of jobs investment in aecl has generated for Canada over the same
time period... what does the sale of CANDU Inc does: puts country's nuclear
energy at risk, no one can predict how the private company could run and
flourish the technology it is buying (looking at the large government supports
in other countries, not too difficult to predict the outcome), throws out one
of significant and successful scientific achievements Canada has had, the
return on the investment over the past 60 years (taxpayer’s money) is lost, and
let us not forget that the skilled workers that will be laid off and most
likely leave Canada… and all of that for what? $15M and costs cuts???!!! Well
there are things that require government investments and support, end of story!
June 30: 900 job losses will be minimum... the announcement is kinda vague as it says 1200 aecl employees and "contractors" will be transferred to SNC... it is not clear how many of those 1200 will be aecl employees and how many contractors! and this is not even including potential job losses in Candu industries other than aecl because of the lack of future reactor developments... http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/story/2011/06/30/pol-aecl-layoffs.html
July 2: ... and since it seems the government and the media have focused more on the challenges and problems aecl has faced over the past several years, it seems appropriate to highlight some of the company’s success in developing unique nuclear power technology answering some of the problems the industry currently facing... were any of these achievements part of the debate on sale? so all those made possible by taxpayer's money will be the private's company's gain (SNS)... here are a few documents on those achievements, please add more if you know others:
CANDU Reactor in China first to directly use recovered uranium fuel: “AECL’s Chief Technology Officer Dr. Anthony De Vuono added, “As a proven commercial power reactor, our Enhanced CANDU 6 has the highest neutron efficiency compared to other competing technologies and consumes about 30% less natural uranium. Our NUE fuel cycle opens up a sustainable development path leading to an overall extension of uranium fuel resources while, at the same time, reusing the spent fuel from light water reactors.” (http://www.aecl.ca/NewsRoom/News/Press-2010/100323.htm)
The Candu reactor: an optimal platform for new fuels by Dr. Tony De Vuono presented at 2010 Pacific Basin Nuclear Conference (http://www.pbnc2010.org.mx/pdfs/plennary/thursday/10.45_TheCANDUReactor.pdf)
China tests used nuclear fuel in Canadian atomic reactor: “An agreement to work together on the development of low uranium consumption Candu technologies in China was signed between the AECL and the Nuclear Power Institute of China (NPIC) on January 15, 2010. Citing the Candu reactor's low uranium consumption per terawatt-hour of electricity delivered to the grid, Zhao Hua, president of NPIC, said: "We are interested in working with AECL to jointly develop this important advantage including recycling recovered uranium from spent PWR fuel." (http://archives.truenorthperspective.com/Apr_10/Apr_16/fuel_test.html)
Time to capitalize on CANDU’s potential: “The potential rewards are great for Canada. According to a recent Conference Board of Canada study, the construction of twin ACR-1000 units in Ontario would result in $5.15 billion in GDP creation and create 62,000 person-years of employment. Each new export of a CANDU to another nation could generate up to $1 billion of GDP impact, depending on Canadian content. The Study also outlined a scenario whereby AECL with four domestic projects and eight projects outside of Canada, would generate up to $55 billion in real GDP along with almost 500,000 person-years of employment. The window of opportunity is here. More than 200 reactors are planned to be built in the next 20 years and Canada is already in discussion with potential customers like China, Argentina, India, Jordan, Romania and other Eastern European countries who see the advantages of CANDU for their country.” (http://www.aecl.ca/NewsRoom/News/Press-2010/100317.htm)
July 2: Glad to see more voice of dismay at what has just happened is appearing in the media... unfortunately it seems it is too little too late! this one published in Toronto Star, a must read: Sad end for a Canadian success story http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorials/article/1018006--sad-end-for-a-canadian-success-story
July 3: Another good read on the news of the sale: "Nowadays capitalization means the privatization of profits and the socialization of losses." http://nor-re.blogspot.com/2011/07/socializing-losses.html
July 4: not surprised by the result of this survey (Canadians are least likely to believe that Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd (AECL), the Crown Corporation responsible managing Canada’s national nuclear energy program, should be privatized.), Canadian people have always shown common sense, the decision makers, hmmm??? http://abacusdata.ca/2011/07/04/canadians-support-retain-public-control-of-crown-corporations/
July 4: I am also not surprised by this report: "Canada slips further in innovation rankings" it is simple, invest today and profit tomorrow... "the country is spending less per capita on research and development, business R&D is down, venture capital relative to GDP is down, government spending on R&D has fallen and the ranking of Canadians in high-school test scores is lower." not hard to guess all these are among the reasons why the low marks for innovation: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/canada-slips-further-in-innovation-rankings/article2077788/
July 5: Dr. William Buyers (NRC Canadian Neutron Beam Centre, Chalk River Laboratories) has been appointed an officer of the Order of Canada "For his contributions to condensed matter physics, particularly in the field of magnetism.". This is great news! it so nice to see that a condensed matter physicist has been recognized with such a high honour and in a public manner (as opposed to only peers in the same field) for his many contributions in the field of condensed matter physics using neutron scattering. Dr. Buyers is a world-renowned scientist in the field of condensed matter physics who has been using neutron scattering facilities at Chalk River Laboratories and other labs to make major advancements in the areas of quantum magnetism, superconductivity, and other novel materials... This is a well-deserved honour... Congratulations Bill! http://www.gg.ca/document.aspx?id=14175
July 7: Saskatchewan continues to make progress in its plans to build up viable nuclear research and technology programs: see this link for statement of purpose for the newly established Canadian Centre for Nuclear Innovation in SK: www.usask.ca/vpresearch/workshop/backgrounder.pdf ... as Saskatchewan Premier says this will allow them to be able to "do more than simply taking it out of ground"!!!... also watch this cbc report: http://www.watchmojo.com/tv/Grab/CBC/4708465/ ... Go Saskatchewan!!!
July 8: "Gates argues that nuclear power is still safer than all other energy options, rich countries aren’t spending enough on R&D, and installing solar panels on your roof is not helping to reduce CO2 emissions. It’s merely “cute.”" see http://www.wired.com/magazine/2011/06/mf_qagates/all/1 for more great insights from Bill Gates on world's energy crisis...
July 10: In light of the post below on Q&A with Bill Gates, this is also a good read trying to answer why anti-nuclear movement has had some track in countries like Australia and how to win zero carbon electricity by nuclear power argument: "in South Australia around 720g CO2-e/kWh (which is one of the lowest levels in the country I might add. NSW, Victoria and Queensland are all much higher), compared to a mere 90g CO2-e/kWh in nuclear dominated France.": http://decarbonisesa.com/2011/07/08/why-pro-nuclear-has-failed-when-anti-nuclear-has-succeeded/
July 11: This news item was lost amidst the news of sale of AECL's Candu division last week: Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) has renewed the operating license issued to Hydro-Québec for a five-year period for its Gentilly-2 nuclear generating station, and to merge it with its waste management facility operating license. Read more: http://www.cnsc-ccsn.gc.ca/eng/mediacentre/releases/news_release.cfm?news_release_id=386
July 11: UK wants to be a serious nuclear nation once again, Charles Hendry, energy minister said last week: "My view is that nuclear is vital for the energy sector today and can be just as vital many years in the future. And that's why we don't want to see one nuclear power plant built, but we want to see a fleet. But for that to happen we need certainty and clarity for industry and investors." ... "Hendry noted that the government, and its predecessor, had been systematically identifying and addressing the issues that could block investment in nuclear power. "We must go forward with new nuclear and we would be a darker and less prosperous nation without it. After more than a decade since we built the last plant, there should be no doubt that UK wants to be a serious nuclear nation once again," concluded Hendry." http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/NP-Britain_to_return_as_serious_nuclear_nation-0507111.html
July 12: amazing photos of the expansion of NIST Centre for Neutron Research! it all looks great and on time, can't wait to go back for more experiments there, check out photos and more related to expansion here: http://www.ncnr.nist.gov/expansion2/yqims2/ ... note that in 2009 the NCNR reactor was relicensed to continue operation until July 2029: http://www.nist.gov/ncnr/ncnr_071409.cfm ... also interesting to note that the reactor became operational in 1967-68 only 10 years after NRU came on line... Great work maintaining and expanding the reactor and neutron scattering group there been producing great science already for many years and will be for many more to come, great job!
July 14: would you like to know what your MPs in PC, Liberan and NDP think about the sale of AECL, here is a great short video of MPs Mike Lake, Peter Julian and David McGuinty discussing the sale of Atomic Energy of Canada's commercial reactor division to SNC-Lavalin, what do you think? http://video.aol.com/video/assessing-the-aecl-sale/1887390447
July 15: ILL turns 40 and still going strong with its neutron flux, its neutron scattering instrumentation, great science it produces and its commitment for excellent staff and proper funding for facility!!! Happy 40th birthday, ILL http://physicsworld.com/blog/2011/07/happy_fortieth_birthday_ill.html
July 17: a great read by Barry Brook, Director of Climate Science at the University of Adelaide (Australia), on why "For climate’s sake, nuclear power is not an ‘option’, it is a ‘necessity’" with detailed arguments, lots of great references for further reading, graphics and videos: http://bravenewclimate.com/2011/07/17/nuclear-climate-necessity/ "Our sustainable energy future depends critically on choices made today. Some countries in the developed and developing world has already made their choice – for them, the only open question is, how big will their nuclear programmes get? For most others, there remains great uncertainty. I urge green groups to become rational ‘Promethean environmentalists’ – ecopragmatists – and support all forms of low-carbon energy such that they can work together and compete on a fair and level playing field to displace coal, gas and oil as quickly as possible. There may be no silver bullet for solving the climate and energy crises, but there are bullets, and two are made of uranium and thorium. As Ben Heard and I say in our sustainable energy choices video, we have to choose to act – now."
July 18: Interesting read looking forward asking question what happens to the future builds and refurbishments now that the sale of Candu is completed: http://canadianenergyissues.com/2011/07/18/candu-back-in-the-game-what-now/
July 19: interesting data: did you know between 1990 and 2008, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia experienced the largest growth in greenhouse gas emissions: 72.8%, 42.8% and 32.0%, respectively!!! http://www.ec.gc.ca/indicateurs-indicators/default.asp?lang=en&n=444DC5FC-1 .... also did you know Canada produces about 20% of the total emission in the world: http://www.ec.gc.ca/indicateurs-indicators/default.asp?lang=en&n=042EDE8E-1 ... and for those who wonder what is the source of these emissions, check out: http://www.ec.gc.ca/indicateurs-indicators/default.asp?lang=En&n=995C74D1- 1 and guess what: "Canada’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are mostly due to our heavy use of fossil fuels for transportation, electricity production, oil and gas extraction, heating, and other energy-related areas."!!! could nuclear energy make a difference???
Aug 3: This year marks 100 years since Rutherford published his ground breaking paper on nuclear structure of atoms (E. Rutherford. The Scattering of α and β Particles by Matter and the Structure of the Atom. May 1911, Philos. Mag, 21:669-688). Rutherford working at the time at University of Manchester conducted an experiment studying scattering of "alpha particles" shot through a thin layer of gold. Extreme angles of the deflection indicated that while the nucleus contains virtually all of the mass of the atom, it only takes up one-billionth of the volume of the atom!!! ... read more: http://dilipkumar.in/articles/legends/100-years-of-the-nuclear-atom-ernest-rutherford-8217-s-revolutionary-discovery.html ... also did you know that from 1898-1907 he did his research at McGill University together with Harriet Brooks (http://www.museevirtuel-virtualmuseum.ca/edu/ViewLoitLo.do;jsessionid=A685208F43120480FB11702A9CC12E34?method=preview&lang=EN&id=4007 ), a pioneering female nuclear physicist at a time when it was extremely difficult for women to pursue careers in science, and Frederick Soddy (http://www.cna.ca/curriculum/cna_atomic_theory/fredericksoddy-eng.asp?bc=Frederick+Soddy&pid=Frederick+Soddy ) who also won a Noble Prize in Chemistry 1921. They discovered that atoms could be transformed and that each atom potentially carried a tremendous amount of energy. For this work he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1908 (http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/chemistry/laureates/1908/rutherford-lecture.html ) "for his investigations into the disintegration of the elements and the chemistry of radioactive substances." As a bemused Ern often told friends, the fastest transformation he knew of was his transformation from a physicist to a chemist.... this Nobel Prize was awarded for his work in Canada... read more: http://www.rutherford.org.nz/biography.htm
Aug 8: Here is a recent G&M article discussing the future of NRU at Chalk River Labs... with the sale of the CANDU arm of AECL already decided and announced, it is now time to consider the future of Chalk River Labs as well as NRU. It is clear that NRU cannot be run forever even if its license is extended for another several years it doesn't change the fact that it is 54 years old. Considering it takes several years to design and construct a new reactor, it is quite urgent that a decision is made to replace this reactor. A national dialouge is required to decide whether the replacement will be at Chalk River or at University of Saskatchewan or both. The precious time is wasted if such dialouge and decision is further delayed... From the article: "It will depend on whether Ottawa decides the site is a centre for badly needed innovation or a nuclear burden on the public purse. The federal government intends to end the production of isotopes after 2016, but the future of the reactor's research functions remains unclear"... and "This is the only place in the country, and one of a handful in the world, that produces those tiny subatomic particles and has facilities to shoot them at different materials to see what happens. Without a place to do that, researchers say, the country could lose a source of made-in-Canada innovation and leave its scientists with no choice but to ply their trade elsewhere."... "CRNL Partners, a group that includes EnergySolutions Canada, SNC Lavalin, AMEC NSS, Kinectric and Wardrop, which are all involved in the nuclear supply chain, announced earlier this year it's interested in a public-private partnership with the federal government to manage Chalk River's lab.
It hasn't yet submitted a formal bid. It has an office in nearby Deep River, but still isn't officially incorporated. But according to the federal government's lobbyist registry, EnergySolutions Canada and its partners plan to bid on a contract "for the management and operation of the Chalk River Laboratories facility that is expected as part of the Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) restructuring.""... "A partnership of CH2M Hill Canada, Babcock and Wilcox and the Battelle Memorial Institute has also thrown its hat informally into the ring.
"We've got a very good team and we're eager and interested to propose on it as soon as the final details come out," said Tom Searle, president of CH2M Hill Canada. The Colorado-based engineering company does large-scale site remediation; Babcock and Wilcox does design and construction for energy facilities, including nuclear sites; Battelle is one of the world's largest research and development organizations and manages the Oak Ridge National Laboratory for the U.S. Department of Energy."... Read more: http://license.icopyright.net/user/viewFreeUse.act?fuid=MTM2NDM1MjY%3D
Aug 10: Significant research funds allocated for nuclear power research and education in US: "The Department of Energy (DOE) said that it has awarded up to $39 million in research grants aimed at developing nuclear energy technologies and training and educating the next generation of leaders in the U.S. nuclear industry. The grants will support up to 51 projects at 31 colleges and universities around the country. Other universities, industry leaders, and national laboratories will serve as collaborators and research partners." I am not aware of similar funds in Canada, if you are aware of similar funds in Canada, please post... http://www.power-eng.com/articles/2011/08/nuclear-power-research-programs-awarded-39-million.html
Aug 10: China forges ahead with its nuclear power plans rightly investing in perhaps the only energy source that could allow the growing demands of energy in China be satisfied while burning less coal... In light of recent announcement that a second reactor using new Chinese design began operation near Hong Kong (http://nuclearstreet.com/nuclear_power_industry_news/b/nuclear_power_news/archive/2011/08/09/second-reactor-using-new-chinese-design-begins-operation-near-hong-kong-080902.aspx), here is the nuclear power profile of China: "Mainland China has 14 nuclear power reactors in operation, more than 25 under construction, and more about to start construction soon. Additional reactors are planned, including some of the world's most advanced, to give more than a ten-fold increase in nuclear capacity to at least 80 GWe by 2020, 200 GWe by 2030, and 400 GWe by 2050.
China is rapidly becoming self-sufficient in reactor design and construction, as well as other aspects of the fuel cycle."... Read more: http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf63.html
Aug 12: CINS AGM meeting Oct 28–30, 2011 first announcement: http://www.cins.ca/
Aug 15: AECL successfully completes retubing of Korean reactor! not an easy task! Congratulations to all!!! "Production manager Al Stewart said the Wolsong 1 project proved that there is future commercial viability in retubing existing CANDU reactors. "That plant is up and running," said Mr. Stewart, who hosted most of the 210 employees here over the weekend. "It's a real success story for AECL and KHNP and the people of this area that contributed to that." Each calandria tube is made of zirconium alloy and is approximately six metres long and 13 centimetres in diameter. Heavy water coolant is circulated between the reactor and the steam generators through the end fittings on the reactor's fuel channel assemblies. The first-of-a-kind refurbishment project involved the development of hundreds of specialised tools and systems." http://www.thedailyobserver.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=3257632
Aug 19: Canadian Association of Physicists submits a brief to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance, this is a must read document. From the Executive Summary:"1. That the federal government augment the Granting Councils' budgets by a modest 5%, directed to their programs that support basic research. Cost about $120M p.a.
2. That the proposed savings from the reduction in the Canada Graduate Scholarships program be used to fund doctoral scholarships and postdoctoral fellowships in universities and industry, by re-directing the funds to the existing Granting Council programs. Cost $17.5M p.a., funding for example 415 doctoral students and 250 postdoctoral fellowships each year.
3. At a time when the federal government, like many others, is aggressively pursuing reductions in spending, that Canada emulate many European governments3 by recognizing the unique importance of government science and ensuring that all essential government research programs are funded appropriately to meet their mandates." http://www.cap.ca/sites/cap.ca/files/2011-cap-hcfc-brief-final.pdf ... "What about government-funded large-scale research infrastructure? Government provides scientific infrastructure (and the expertise to operate it), which is used by multiple organizations. For example, the Chalk River NRU reactor is an essential tool for universities and industry, including aerospace, automotive and manufacturing. Advanced materials characterization, using methods invented at Chalk River and adopted around the world, facilitates development of safer, more reliable, and less expensive products, improves Canada’s competitiveness, and opens new markets. Other large publicly-funded capabilities, vital for Canada’s competitiveness, include intense X-rays at the Canadian Light Source, muon beams for materials characterization at TRIUMF, and various metallurgical facilities at the CANMET Materials Technology Laboratory."… "In summary: Our future depends on greatly improving Canadian innovation. Basic academic research (necessarily funded by government) in physics and other areas is a crucial driver of innovation, particularly as Canadian industry’s in-house R&D spending is modest. Canadian and foreign experts agree on the importance of increasing support for basic research. Just the academic companies spun-off from Canadian basic research much more than repay the government funding. Basic research and highly trained personnel are the bright spots in Canadian innovation -- we must continue to nurture and grow them, at the same time as encouraging more applied efforts. We must also take great care not to lose critically important research capabilities within government itself."
Aug 24: Interesting historical read on what was happening in 1955 in reaching the goal of economic atomic power in Canada and construction of NRU for neutron scattering, isotope production and nuclear R&D: http://astheysawit.com/5468-1955-atomic-energy-in-canada.html?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=1955-atomic-energy-in-canada this is where you could find the book "Atomic Energy in Canada 1955": http://www.bookbase.com/search?dealer_login=neylon&bookId=7110&method=POST
Aug 25: great news, Saskatchewan makes more commitment in the field of nuclear research, this new funding follows the $30-million investment into the establishment of the centre for research in nuclear medicine and materials science that was announced earlier this year... This is great as without investments today, no impact can be made tomorrow! read more: http://www.thestarphoenix.com/health/Saskatchewan+government+partners+with+Hitachi+fund+nuclear+research/5307429/story.html
Aug 29: Candu Energy Ink to refurbish Argentinian nuclear power plant with a $444 million deal, the deal involves the transfer of technology to Argentina: http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20110824-717097.html
Sept 7: This is soooo cool, microbes clean up nuclear waste and not only that while doing it, they produce electricity!!! “Our findings clearly identify nanowires as being the primary catalyst for uranium reduction,” Reguera said. “They are essentially performing nature’s version of electroplating with uranium, effectively immobilizing the radioactive material and preventing it from leaching into groundwater.” The nanowires also shield Geobacter and allow the bacteria to thrive in a toxic environment," read more: http://news.msu.edu/story/9741/ and this is the link to the full publication: http://news.msu.edu/media/documents/2011/09/a66c5eb1-c34c-41a3-9930-c57b8f05aa8e.pdf
Sept 10: This is a good video for people who have some questions about just what IS nuclear waste. A large concern for those who know very little about nuclear energy is the "waste". A word in the list of words most know as nothing more as "bad".. but is it bad? Give this one a watch and see what you think about the term "waste" being tied to this lot of potential energy we are currently storing in places such as Yucca Mountain. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rv-mFSoZOkE
Sept 10: More progress in establishment of the nuclear centre in Saskatchewan, this is so exciting and great news, good for Saskatchewan for this initiative and will to become a leader in nuclear science and technology, read more: "The purpose of the centre is “to place Saskatchewan among the global leaders in nuclear research, development and training,” said Root, who is on secondment from his role as director of the National Research Council’s Canadian Neutron Beam Centre at Chalk River, Ont. “We will get there through investing in partnerships with academia and industry. These partnerships are intended to maximize social and economic benefits.” The centre will focus in areas that have the potential to make significant contributions to nuclear knowledge, explained Root. These include: nuclear medicine, materials development, safety and practice in nuclear energy systems, and society’s knowledge and understanding of nuclear-related technology." http://news.usask.ca/2011/08/29/momentum-builds-for-nuclear-centre/#more-1071
Sept 13: Since the Rutherford model of the atom turns 100 years old this year, there are many commemorating websites celebrating this discovery, the link below is a great summary of the different models of the atom how they came about and how more progress was made in simple language: http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2011/08/the-rutherford-model-of-the-atom-100-years-old/?pid=1804&viewall=true
Sept 16: this is the link to a great conversation discussing the question "where does the world go after Fukushima", with three University of Western Ontario nuclear experts: Jin Jiang, University Network of Excellence in Nuclear Engineering Chair in Control/Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Senior Industrial Research Chair in Nuclear Control and Instrumentation; David Shoesmith, NSERC Chair in Nuclear Waste Management; and J. Clara Wren, NSERC/Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. Industrial Research Chair in Radiation Induced Processes, read more: "Shoesmith: In the face of a media torrent of misleading information, it is extremely difficult to do that which is why it is absolutely essential to have up-front credibility. When incidents happen you will have nothing people can rely on if they do not trust you. There is no argument to be made for secretive management. Careful attention to public relations is essential.
Most people are more sensible than people in the industry or the media give them credit for. They think a lot about the consequences of no energy. They can look at a safety record and see how safe Canadian systems have been for a long time. I don’t see any panic in communities around Canadian nuclear stations. Before this incident, certainly in this province, public opinion was becoming pro-nuclear. People recognize the present need for nuclear generation of electricity. I am not sure what public opinion is now, but I don’t think it has taken a big drop": http://communications.uwo.ca/western_news/stories/2011/September/after_japan_where_does_the_world_go_after_the_fukushima_nuclear_power_plant_accident.html
Sept 18: How clean is the electricity you use? here is a great website (US Environmental Protection Agency) if you live in the US, just type your zip code and it compare the sources of electricity in your region compared to the national average: http://www.epa.gov/cleanenergy/energy-and-you/how-clean.html ... also this website is a great resource for coal-fired power plant emissions including an article discussing the radioactive pollution (http://www.ornl.gov/info/ornlreview/rev26-34/text/colmain.html ) as well as other toxic substances released by burning of coal: http://www.epa.gov/radtown/coal-plant.html ...if you live in Ontario, this website gives a live account of where Ontario's electricity come from (at this moment 9:04am Sept. 18, 2011 it is 76% nuclear): http://media.cns-snc.ca/ontarioelectricity/ontarioelectricity.html
Sept 20: The reactor at the Institut Laue Langevin (ILL) in Grenoble turns 40 years old this winter, here is a great write up about one of first neutron experiments performed there by the person who performed the experiments at that time, read more: "Though our soap films were only a few molecules thick and invisible to the naked eye, we could still bounce neutrons off them with ease because we used heavy soap, where the hydrogen atoms had been replaced by the chunkier deuterium isotope. I would sleep next to my experiment as multicoloured neutron detectors glided across marble tanzboden ('dance floors'), all to a background thrum of cooling pumps and fans. At different angles the number of neutrons reflected off the film gently rose and fell. These ripples revealed the thickness in the same way that a rainbow of colours reflect the different thicknesses of an oil slick on water. In one fell swoop we had revealed the neutron's paradoxical character - a particle that behaves like a wave - and measured the thickness of a film one hundredth of a millionth of a metre across." : http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/roger-highfield/8775120/The-physics-of-exotic-soap-bubbles.html
Sept 21: ILL sets a new record for ultracold neutrons in the world using liquid 4He: "Neutrons were discovered nearly a century ago, but still hold a few secrets. For example, a lone neutron can transform into other subatomic particles - a proton, an electron and an electron antineutrino - but efforts to measure just how long this decay takes have come up with different numbers. Such decay times are fundamental in the "Standard Model" of physics, which aims to describe in detail how matter as we now know it came to be in the earliest moments of the Universe's history, and also shed light on the fusion happening for example in stars. The Standard Model also suggests that despite having no net charge, there is a small separation of charges within neutrons that would give them what is known as an electric dipole moment - a kind of electric north and south pole. However, experiments have until now been too inexact to measure it." ... and so the new approach uses liquid 4He: "It uses superfluid helium-4 at a temperature of -269C - just four degrees above absolute zero - to slow the neutrons down, taming them toward the 55-per-cubic-centimetre benchmark." Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-14991502
Sept 22: Well, the wind farms for electricity production may not be as environmentally friendly as claimed by their proponents, this article deals with noise and vibrations (let's not forget the potential hazard for the birds local to the area), read more to decide for yourselves: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2011/09/21/wind-turbines.html#.TnsiJMCdXxE.facebook
Sept 25: Did Nobel Laureate, Hermann Muller (http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/1946/muller-lecture.html ), knowingly suppress evidence on radiation effects in 1946 concluding there is no safe level of radiation exposure???!!! a new study suggests yes, Calabrese adds, "This isn't an academic debate, it's really practical, because all of our rules about chemical and low-level radiation are based on the premises that Muller and the National Academy of Sciences' (NAS) committee adopted at that time. Now, after all these years, it's very hard when people have been frightened to death by this dogma to persuade them that we don't need to be scared by certain low-dose exposures."' read more to decide for yourselves: http://www.umass.edu/newsoffice/newsreleases/articles/136706.php ... see also: http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Nobel_Laureate_may_have_suppressed_evidence_on_radiation_effects_in_1946_999.html ... and http://ts-si.org/horizons/30988-edward-calabrese-alleges-hermann-muller-suppressed-radiation-effects-evidence-in-1946
Sept 25: incredible!!! nuclear and isotopic techniques play a vital role in water irrigation in places with extreme dry conditions!!! "Agriculture is the largest global consumer of water -- accounting for around 70% of the freshwater drawn from lakes, waterways and aquifers around the world. The IAEA is operating projects in Kenya that use nuclear and isotopic techniques to inform farmers how to use their scarce water resources efficiently for both rain fed and irrigated agriculture. One project is supporting the use of "drip irrigation" a cost-effective technique that can reduce water use by 50 per cent, compared to other forms of irrigation. A Maasai community on the Tanzanian border is also benefiting from the IAEA project which is helping them to grow healthy crops using very little water in extreme dry conditions." see the full video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vbaTz8TO55E&feature=relmfu
Sept 26: hmmm... nuclear power can play a role in the exploitation of Canada's oilsands resources??? why not go all nuclear so no oilsands will be needed in the first place??? I guess for any power consumption is better than not using it... "The head of Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. says there's still hope that nuclear power can be used in the oilsands - but the vice-chairman of the company that built Canada's newest oilsands mine says it's not a priority. "I think nuclear has a role to play in the exploitation of Canada's oilsands resources," said AECL president and chief executive Hugh MacDiarmid during a presentation at the Global Business Forum." read more: http://www.calgaryherald.com/business/Nuclear+role+oilsands+still+possible/5453165/story.html#ixzz1Z6kNMFeX
Sept 26: What is the number of deaths per TWh by energy source? Here is a nice and interactive chart at the IBM research website Many Eyes (http://www-958.ibm.com/software/data/cognos/manyeyes/visualizations/2e5d4dcc4fb511e0ae0c000255111976 ) allowing you to compare the number of deaths measured per terawatt hour (TWH) attributed to each of the main sources of energy worldwide: coal, oil, natural gas, nuclear, hydro, and biomass as well as the proportion that each contribute to global energy production... data is from a variety of resources including World Health Organization (more info could be found here http://nextbigfuture.com/2011/03/deaths-per-twh-by-energy-source.html )... it is not surprising coal is the most lethal energy source largely due to its particulate emissions... by comparison nuclear is doing quite well (the data already includes the deaths attributable to Chernobyl)... and this is while the data does not include the effects of global warming due to the use of coal, oil etc, so the numbers for these sources could be even higher...
Sept 28: ILL continues with its commitment to maintain its position as one of the world's leading neutron centres even though it is turning 40 years old this year (not much younger than NRU which is 54 years old)... here is an interview with the ILL's director about these plans: http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/indepth/47274 to access the audio you need to register to the physicsworld.com, it is free: "In this audio interview, ILL's scientific director Andrew Harrison explains how the lab is in the middle of a major upgrade that aims to maintain its position as one of the world's leading neutron centres. This effort is particularly important now that construction of the European Spallation Source (ESS) in Sweden is set to get under way. The ESS is an accelerator-based facility that will offer a wide range of researchers, from biologists to engineers, neutron beams that are not available at ILL. However, Harrison insists that ILL will not become a white elephant when the ESS comes online in 2025 and explains how the two facilities will in fact complement each other. Indeed, physicists at ILL have plenty of experience of working with other major science facilities because Grenoble is also home to the European Synchrotron Radiation Source (ESRF) and several other major research institutes. Harrison explains how this brings the best science and scientists to ILL and continues to encourage the development of other facilities in Grenoble.
The recent trend towards accelerator-based neutron sources, such as the ESS, is, however, leading to a fall in the number of research reactors worldwide, which is a concern to the medical community as it could threaten the supply of medical isotopes. Nevertheless, Harrison has some good news for medical physicists because, as he explains, the ILL has several pilot projects to look at how it could produce isotopes – particularly those that are not easily made elsewhere. Harrison also discusses how ILL is working with a commercial isotope supplier to work out how the institute's high flux reactor could serve the medical community."
Sept 28: The European Spallation Source (ESS) will be a world-leading centre for materials research with neutrons and will host the world’s most powerful neutron source when commissioned in 2025: http://ess-scandinavia.eu/ ... and it will be in addition to 12 or so already existing neutron sources in Europe (http://neutron.neutron-eu.net/n_about/n_where/europe )... Also it was recently announced that the ESS and ILL (Institut Laue-Langevin) are initiating an extensive collaboration for research and development activities within neutron science, another major step towards maintaining a significant role for Europe in neutron science well beyond 2025 (http://www.cisionwire.com/european-spallation-source-ab/r/ess-and-ill-start-joint-r-d-in-neutron-science,c9166154).
Sept 28: As far as new neutron sources are concerned, let's not forget the China Spallation Neutron Source currently under construction: http://csns.ihep.ac.cn/english/index.htm ... and that is in addition to the Chinese research reactor already started up and with neutron instruments being currently built: http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/NN-Chinese_research_reactor_starts_up-1805107.html
Sept 28: And now you ask what about Canada especially considering that its only major neutron source is the aging NRU, could be that Saskatchewan will be the scientific centre of Canada with its already operating light source, add a new research reactor, and the sky will be the limit! It is remarkable that Saskatchewan has realized the opportunity and initiated its commitment... This is the link to the video of the announcement for a New Centre for Research in Nuclear Medicine and Materials at the University of Saskatchewan back in March: "The University of Saskatchewan will receive $30 million in funding over the next seven years to establish a centre for the study of nuclear medicine and science. "In the early 1950s, scientists at the University of Saskatchewan pioneered the use of cobalt 60 for cancer treatment," Premier Wall said. "Today we are taking another important step in re-capturing that international leadership position in nuclear medicine and expanding it to include research in materials science and small reactor design." The province's $30 million investment in nuclear research builds on January's announcement of $12 million in funding from the federal and provincial governments to build a new linear accelerator and support research into the production medical isotopes at the Canadian Light Source." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0saRviWgEWg&feature=relmfu
Sept 29: Is aecl sale "The dumbest in history"? NDP MP Nathan Cullen thinks so, Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/business/Sale+dumbest+Canada+history/5468896/story.html#ixzz1ZO08xqdg 'The government, as part of its decision to privatize the Candu division of AECL, is facing a $59 million restructuring charge and "$93 million in adjustments to revenue and costs resulting from AECL's subcontract agreement with Candu Energy Inc.," the newly created subsidiary company of SNC-Lavalin. Federal spending on the sold nuclear reactor division includes cash to "further commercial operations' progress on life extension reactor projects" that will be factored into future royalties paid back to the government. Under the terms of the sale of the commercial division, the government and AECL must provide up to $75 million in support toward the completion of the Enhanced Candu Reactor development program. The sale - which was announced in June and is to close by Friday - likely will also see more than 800 people lose their jobs. SNC-Lavalin has committed to hiring about 1,200 of AECL's commercial operations staff, which totals about 2,025." AT least with the sale behind us finally, the focus could now be put back to research in nuclear science and technology and what Canada needs to be able to continue with that, i.e. a new research reactor...
Sept 30: what now that Germany dims nuclear power plants? really bad news in terms of climate change "Even if Germany succeeds in producing the electricity it needs, “the nuclear moratorium is very bad news in terms of climate policy,” Mr. Varro said. “We are not far from losing that battle, and losing nuclear makes that unnecessarily difficult.”" read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/30/science/earth/30germany.html?_r=2&nl=todaysheadlines&emc=tha2 , also to satisfy the required power they are buying power generated by nuclear in neighboruring countries!!! "Set in the lush, rolling Bohemian hills of the Czech Republic, the twin reactors of the Soviet-designed Temelín nuclear power plant lie just 44 miles from the German border. Since last spring, when Chancellor Angela Merkel began shutting down Germany’s nuclear reactors, Temelín has stepped up supplies of electricity to Bavaria, where big German manufacturers including BMW, Audi, and Siemens (SI) have factories. There’s a double paradox here. Germany says its future will be nuclear-free. For the present, though, it’s nuclear not-so-free, relying more than ever on electricity from atomic-powered neighbors. What’s more, the Germans have been turning off their reactors because they don’t want a Fukushima-style meltdown spewing radiation across their country. Yet the Temelín reactors, which are in good shape, are close enough to the border to rain down radiation on Germany should a serious accident occur." read more: http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/nukefree-germany-isnt-exactly-nukefree-09292011.html
Sept 30: Whether this idea will work or not, it is great that someone is willing to put the money required to do the research required for it! without such investments and research no progress could be made: "The outside of the travelling-wave reactor will be similar to today's reactors, but the inside is radically different. A conventional nuclear reactor depends on enriched uranium to generate its heat and electricity, but the travelling-wave reactor uses only a small amount of highly enriched uranium (U-235) to kickstart fission and a slow-moving chain-wave reaction. Two parallel waves of fission then move about a centimetre a year, splitting uranium atoms of the spent nuclear fuel (reprocessed uranium) or unenriched uranium (depleted uranium, U-238) packed into the core, in a process that first creates plutonium-239 and then consumes it. This reaction should be much more efficient than a conventional reactor and, in theory, can be sustained for decades." Read more: http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/green-living/has-bill-gates-come-up-with-a-safe-clean-way-to-harness-nuclear-power-2363205.html
Oct 1: There is still no plan to solve the medical (as well as industrial and research) isotope shortage problem in the long term: "At present, both the Dutch and Canadian reactors are operational again, and doctors have enough isotopes to carry out millions of routine nuclear medicine procedures per year, as they have in the past. But because both of these reactors, as well as all of the rest in the small fleet of research reactors that generate medical isotopes, are rapidly aging, a replacement for them is desperately needed. The Canadian government has even given the world a hard deadline for this replacement. In 2016, it has pledged to shut down the 50-year-old Chalk River reactor forever." ... Let's not forget a replacement for the aging NRU not only will solve the medical isotope problem but also allows Canada to continue with its leadership role in neutron scattering and nuclear science and technology for years to come... Read more: http://www.txchnologist.com/2011/endangered-isotopes-where-will-nuclear-medicine-get-its-critical-tool
Oct 2: This is a great read on why the US is now behind 5 nations in overall innovation and competitiveness and continues to fall further behind, a national innovation strategy is needed to reverse this course... perhaps there are lessons to be learned here in Canada as well... see www.uic.edu/index.html/Chancellor/risingabove.pdf for the report Rising Above the Gathering Storm. "Each of the five nations ranked by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation as “out-competing” the U.S. has implemented a national competitiveness or innovation strategy: that is, a unified plan to marshal their governmental and private resources to support new technologies and ideas. Worldwide, at least 30 countries have established their own competitiveness plans. Yet the U.S.– alone among the world’s technological leaders–has failed to draw up a roadmap for innovation. Is it any wonder that, with no clear view of our destination, America has failed to make strides in the right direction?"... "Now is not the time to be slashing federal investment in research and development in science. Investments in our federal science agencies and our national innovation infrastructure are minimal down-payments on our country’s security, public health, and economic vitality that we cannot afford to postpone."... read more: http://www.aps.org/publications/apsnews/201108/backpage.cfm
Oct 3: did you know 25 years ago, on Oct. 3, 1986, the world's first Tandem Accelerator Superconducting Cyclotron (able to accelerate most elements to 10 MeV per nucleon) was officially opened at Chalk River Laboratories? using superconducting technology for the first time in building accelerators, they were able to create a more powerful yet smaller and cheaper accelerator http://media.cns-snc.ca/history/fifty_years/hanna.html ... also see http://epaper.kek.jp/p85/PDF/PAC1985_2643.PDF for a pdf file of the paper describing its commissioning (IEEE Transaction on Nuclear Science, October 1985, Volume NS-32, Number 5, p.2643)... more historical highlights could be found here: http://www.candu.org/candu_reactors.html
Oct 4: Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) hold today hearing for the licence renewal of the Chalk River Labs until 2016... The public hearing is webcasted live on the CNSC website (http://nuclearsafety.gc.ca/eng/commission/webcasts/index.cfm) and will be archived for 3 months. All submissions including AECL’s and CNSC's recommendations and the submissions filed by the public are available upon request directly from the CNSC website: http://nuclearsafety.gc.ca/eng/commission/hearings/documents_browse/date.cfm?dt=4-Oct-2011
Oct 6: A great article about the target station at ESS in the Oct issue of the Physics World: "Handling 100 °C temperature changes that occur in less than 3 ms is a key task for those designing the European Spallation Source, as Michael Banks reports... When complete in 2019, the €1.48bn European Spallation Source (ESS) will be the most powerful source of neutrons in the world. With construction expected to start in 2013, and the facility fully open by 2025, the ESS will produce neutrons by accelerating protons in a linac to 2.5 GeV before smashing them into a seven-tonne target. The neutrons will then be cooled by a moderator and sent to 22 experimental stations to be used by researchers to probe the structure and physical properties of a wide range of solids, liquids and gases. The ESS will specialize in long wavelength, or "cold", neutrons that suit experiments on large-scale structures such as polymers and biological molecules.". See http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/indepth/47369 to read about technical challenges of building the target station... The full issue dealing with also other types of large scale facilities could be downloaded here: http://images.iop.org/dl/physicsweb/2011/PW-big-science-web.pdf
Oct 6: Nuclear-powered Mars Curiosity set to launch in November!!! this awesome news! "Curiosity’s generator is built to withstand launch explosions or the extreme heat — up to 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit — that would be encountered during an inadvertent atmospheric re-entry after an upper-stage engine failure. The plutonium dioxide fuel is protected by several layers of safety. Fuel pellets the size of marshmallows are sheathed in a dense, iridium heat shield. The pellets are bundled in pairs in high-strength graphite shells designed to absorb the most powerful possible impacts. And those shells are wrapped with ablative sleeves made of carbon-bonded fiber." read more: http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20110929/NEWS02/309290002/Safety-team-finalizes-plan-nuke-powered-rover-launch
Oct 7: AECL gets new leadership http://blogs.canada.com/2011/10/07/troubled-aecl-gets-new-leadership/
Nov 5: CNSC has approved AECL's application to renew the operating license for the Chalk River Laboratories Site for a period of 5 years: http://www.nuclearsafety.gc.ca/eng/mediacentre/releases/news_release.cfm?news_release_id=393 This is great news for neutron scattering, isotope and nuclear research communities as it means NRU is allowed to operate for the next 5 years.
Nov 5: AECL gets new chief executive, chairman: it is great to have a scientist leading the laboratories especially in these crucial times with uncertain future!: "Ottawa said Robert Walker, who was senior vice-president of nuclear laboratories at AECL, will take over from Hugh MacDiarmid as chief executive. Walker, an engineer by training, has also worked as assistant deputy minister of science and technology at the Department of National Defence and the chief executive of Defence Research and Development Canada.": http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/story/2011/10/07/aecl-chief-executive.html
Nov 5: Chalk River Nuclear Labs will receive more funding in the budget: "Another $200 million — on top of nearly $250 million previously approved — will be coughed up for Atomic Energy of Canada Limited's research laboratories and the Chalk River facility that are still a part of the financially troubled Crown corporation.": http://www.canada.com/life/Feds+hook+million+sold+AECL+reactor+division/5654186/story.html
Nov 5: Meanwhile CANDU business continues: "Companies that supply parts for Candu nuclear plants say a new contract to refurbish a reactor in Argentina will mean $100 million worth of business for them. The newly privatized arm of Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL), Candu Energy, signed the $400-million deal with Argentina in August to overhaul a Candu reactor that has been providing electricity in Argentina since 1984. Companies that make up the supply chain for Candu say the contract will keep skilled jobs in Canada." http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/story/2011/10/08/candu-reactor-argentina.html
Nov 5: And Nordion-AECL arbitration hearings saga gets extension: http://biotuesdays.com/2011/10/21/nordion-aecl-arbitration-hearings-extended/
Nov 5: Wow it is incredible: it has been 103 years since Lord Ernest Rutherford was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his research on the chemistry of radioactive substances in Oct. 1908. Here (http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Ernest_Rutherford ) is a nice bio for "father" of nuclear physics. Among quotes referred to him, I love this one the best!:) "All science is either physics or stamp collecting" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernest_Rutherford)
Nov 6: Periodic Table swells with three new elements named: "The elements are numbered 110, 111 and 112 and are called darmstadtium (Ds), roentgenium (Rg) and copernicium (Cn)." Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2058054/Elementary-dear-Copernicus-Three-new-members-join-periodic-table.html#ixzz1cvPMGDLx
Nov 6: A must see: "At TED2010, Bill Gates unveils his vision for the world's energy future, describing the need for "miracles" to avoid planetary catastrophe and explaining why he's backing a dramatically different type of nuclear reactor. The necessary goal? Zero carbon emissions globally by 2050." http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/bill_gates.html This is also a must see, Nuclear Energy After Fukushima: "in a video broadcast to the International Framework for Nuclear Energy Cooperation, Bill discusses what governments and the private sector can do to increase the role of nuclear power in delivering safe, affordable, and clean energy to the world – and especially to the poor." http://www.thegatesnotes.com/Topics/Energy/Nuclear-Energy-After-Fukushima
Nov 7: 144th birthday of the remarkable physicist, Marie Curie, is celebrated around the world. She was born Nov. 7, 1867. Here are a few good sites to explore about her life and achievements: http://www.staff.amu.edu.pl/~zbzw/ph/sci/msc.htm ..., http://www.lucidcafe.com/library/95nov/curie.html , ... http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/chemistry/laureates/1911/marie-curie.html ,... http://inventionsdiscoveries.com/2011/11/1194/ ,... http://www.aip.org/history/curie/ , ... http://www.aip.org/history/curie/ (you could download the entire site as a pdf), ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vTRrZU-LKQ (a great short video) ,... and this is how google is celebrating this day: http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2011/nov/07/marie-curie-birth-google-doodle?newsfeed=true
Nov 8: Saskatchewan Party is re-elected in record fashion! great news for nuclear developments in Saskatchewan as the Canadian Centre for Nuclear Innovation (http://news.usask.ca/2011/10/18/council-approves-nuclear-innovation-centre/ ) was recently established with funding from this government, with a great promise to put Saskatchewan at the forefront of the research and technology in the country and internationally. As the Saskatchewan Premier says this will allow them to be able to "do more than simply taking it out of ground"!!! (http://www.watchmojo.com/tv/Grab/CBC/4708465/ ) ... Go Saskatchewan!!! Congratulations to Premier Brad Wall and his team! keep up the good work! http://news.nationalpost.com/2011/11/07/brad-wall-scores-another-victory-in-saskatchewan-election/
Nov 12: CANDUs can be more flexible than natural gas-fired & hydro generation: "New nuclear build in Ontario will be highly manoeuvrable with a dispatchable power range wider than gas or coal and could even have dispatching preference over hydro. See Appendix which describes the operation of the Ontario grid." read more: http://canadianenergyissues.com/2011/11/09/ontarios-nuclear-electric-generation-can-be-more-flexible-than-natural-gas-fired-generation/
Nov 12: SNC-Lavalin is forecasting profits for its Candu Energy sector next year: "SNC-Lavalin is forecasting operating profits for its Candu Energy sector next year, a month after completing the acquisition of the commercial division of the Atomic Energy of Canada. “Despite the challenge we face, we are confident that Candu Energy is well-positioned for 2012 given the opportunities in this sector as well as the quality and professionalism of our new 1,400 personnel,” CEO Pierre Duhaime said Friday in a conference call. The company took on more workers than originally forecast, in part, because it won a contract to upgrade Argentina’s 27-year-old Embalse generating station. The $440-million deal followed five years of discussions. The total refurbishment will cost more than US$1.3 billion and take some five years to complete. Additional projects are possible in Ontario and Quebec, along with new build construction opportunities in Romania, Jordan and Ontario." read more: http://www.canadianmanufacturing.com/design-engineering/news/snc-bullish-on-nuclear-division-46511
Nov 14: Cobalt-60 at 60: The Legacy of Saskatchewan’s Innovative Cancer Treatment, an open-house event on December 4, 2011... seems a great event with a great panel discussion after the official opening ceremony: "Following the formal opening ceremony, the WDM has organized, in partnership with the University of Saskatchewan, a discussion by a panel of experts from the field of nuclear medicine on the legacy of the cobalt bomb. Speakers will include Dr. Paul Babyn, Dr. John Root and Dr. L. Dean Chapman from the U of S in Saskatoon, and Dr. David Pantalony from the Canada Science and Technology Museum, Ottawa."... check out the details: http://wdm.ca/stoon/cobalt_opening.html
Nov 16: Candu Energy Inc has put development of ACR technology on hold, but "Patrick Lamarre, who heads Candu Energy Inc., told the Toronto Board of Trade there’s plenty of business for the company to go after with its existing technology. And he urged the Ontario government to commit soon to building new Candu reactors at the Darlington nuclear station in order to boost Candu’s credibility with foreign buyers." read more: http://www.thestar.com/business/companies/article/1077147--candu-energy-seeks-ontario-boost ... the full address could be found as a pdf file here: http://www.bot.com/AM/TemplateRedirect.cfm?template=%2FCM%2FContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=7481
Nov 20: nuclear-powered Mars Rover ready for launch: "it’s does not have solar panels, and that’s because it does not need them. NASA has opted for a more reliable miniature nuclear battery to serve as Curiosity’s main power source."... "A few days before the rover's scheduled launch on November 25, NASA scientists will install the Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator. The generator is equipped with thermocouples that convert the heat generated from the natural decay of the plutonium dioxide into electricity. The power supply can provide Curiosity with a constant 110 watts of electricity that will allow the rover to travel farther than previous rovers and use more powerful analytical tools, all while continuously recharging its batteries." http://www.pcworld.com/article/242302/the_next_mars_rover_is_nuclearpowered.html , see also: http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/NN_One_week_to_go_for_nuclear_rover_1811111.html
Nov 20: Jeff Lynn wins Presidential Rank Award for his many contributions to condensed matter physics. Congratulations Jeff, this is richly deserved! http://www.ncnr.nist.gov/news/Lynn_Presidential_Rank_Award.html
Nov 20: The NIST Center for Neutron Research: Over 40 Years Serving NIST/NBS and the Nation: This is a great document describing the history of the NIST reactor and neutron program over the past 50 years, the full pdf could be found at: http://www.ncnr.nist.gov/NCNRHistory_Rush_Cappelletti.pdf by Jack Rush (a NIST Senior Fellow (Emeritus) and was the leader of neutron scattering research at the NCNR for 35 years) and Ron Cappelletti (Professor of Physics (Emeritus), Ohio University, has worked as a physicist at the NCNR since 1999): "This brief history will attempt to place the NBSR and its evolution into the most heavily used and productive neutron source in the United States within the perspective of events of the last half of the twentieth century which greatly influenced the need for large facilities in American science and technology (and at NBS)."
Nov 22: Parliament session: Nov. 21, 2011, neutron scattering at CRL is mentioned in a speech by the Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke member of Parliament, Mrs. Cheryl Gallant: http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Mode=1&Pub=hansard&Language=E This is the part related to neutron scattering: "Using the technique that Brockhouse pioneered, the NRC Canadian Neutron Beam Centre at NRU today enables scientists from across Canada and around the world to investigate new materials with neutrons. In fact, after the tragedy with the space shuttle Challenger, NASA commissioned the Canadian Neutron Beam Centre to determine whether or not it was a seal that caused the accident. Dr. Dominic Ryan, president of the Canadian Institute for Neutron Scattering, outlined that the NRC-CNBC in Chalk River is Canada's scientific hub for research using neutron beams as probes of materials. Since everything is made of material, even our own bodies, materials research using neutron beams has a broad range of applications."
This is the full speech: "Mrs. Cheryl Gallant (Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, CPC): next intervention
Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for Willowdale.
It is my pleasure on behalf of the people of Renfrew--Nipissing--Pembroke to speak in support of the legislation before us, the keeping Canada's economy and jobs growing act.
The decision by the people of Canada to vote in favour of a strong, stable, majority government was our mandate to get on with the job of providing Canadians with good government.
My constituents recognize that providing sound financial leadership means making the right decisions to keep Canada on track as the best place to live in the world. If Canada is to maintain its standard of living in today's world, we need to anticipate tomorrow's economy and the jobs that will be required for that.
Energy to power our needs in the future is recognized by our government as where we need to be proactive. Our budget continues to provide significant financial investment in the Canadian nuclear industry.
Bill C-13 contains elements of restructuring efforts of AECL dating back to 1993. The process is recognized as ongoing, which is where I would like to focus my comments today.
The Chalk River laboratories of Atomic Energy of Canada Limited represent the retained assets of the crown corporation in our restructuring efforts to strengthen, diversify and support the thousands of jobs associated with this industry.
Our government has provided financial support to AECL that was necessary after many years of neglect by the old government.
Just like a car that needs service and proper maintenance to keep it running smoothly and safely, the same is true of Canada's nuclear assets. For example, even though corrosion on the containment vessel in the NRU, Canada's research reactor, had been observed, the former government decided to follow a policy that would have resulted in the loss of thousands of jobs and the hollowing out of an industry in which Canadians are recognized as world leaders. It viewed Chalk River laboratories as nothing more than an isotope factory, when in fact the science of nuclear medicine is but one of the lifesaving discoveries that have been made on site.
On November 16, 2011, Dr. Robert Walker, president and CEO of AECL nuclear laboratories, was pleased to report that we have a new five year licence at the Chalk River site. That is a demonstration of Canadian confidence in the nuclear labs at Chalk River.
The keeping Canada's economy and jobs growing act means supporting science, research and development for the jobs of tomorrow.
The former government did not foresee the increased demand for clean, affordable, sustainable energy.
The possible use of nuclear energy for electric power production was discussed in the early years of the nuclear research program, but the first definitive key decision came early in 1953 when it was stated in this very chamber:
Here in Canada we believe that the time has come to undertake the development of atomic power in this country, and discussions are going on as to ways and means of bringing about that development. We feel that the production of power is the concern of those who distribute power, organizations like the Hydro Electric Power Commission of Ontario, or the major privately-owned power companies.
Half a century after Rutherford demonstrated for the first time the existence of the atomic nucleus, Canada launched into the 20th century of high technology.
The pursuit by W.B. Lewis, an outstanding scientist of world stature, and his colleagues at AECL Chalk River laboratories of the neutron economy resulted in low fuel costs for Candu, which stands for Canada deuterium uranium reactors, and this became a significant factor in their success. In 1987, the centennial of engineering in Canada, the Candu reactor was ranked as one of the country's top ten engineering achievements.
The former government did not recognize the achievements of Chalk River laboratories, such as in its role in radiation therapy.
In 1951, at the Chalk River plant in Ontario, a group of scientists isolated a source of radiation even stronger than X-rays. It was, and still is, widely used to treat cancer patients. The source of this radiation was the radioactive isotope cobalt-60. The production of this radioactive isotope and the required nuclear activity was carried out in Canada four years before it was repeated in any other country.
The Canada Student Loans Act is assisting young scientists who are studying neutron scattering. The former government forgot about the pioneering work conducted by Bertram Brockhouse, which laid the foundation for the field of inelastic neutron scattering, and for which he shared the 1994 Nobel prize in physics.
A beam of neutrons can be directed onto a specimen of material. By measuring how the beam is reflected, scientists can learn a great deal about the structure of a specimen at the atomic level.
Using the technique that Brockhouse pioneered, the NRC Canadian Neutron Beam Centre at NRU today enables scientists from across Canada and around the world to investigate new materials with neutrons. In fact, after the tragedy with the space shuttle Challenger, NASA commissioned the Canadian Neutron Beam Centre to determine whether or not it was a seal that caused the accident.
Dr. Dominic Ryan, president of the Canadian Institute for Neutron Scattering, outlined that the NRC-CNBC in Chalk River is Canada's scientific hub for research using neutron beams as probes of materials. Since everything is made of material, even our own bodies, materials research using neutron beams has a broad range of applications.
With regard to spin-offs from Chalk River, the Chalk River Laboratories act as a science and technology catalyst for innovation contributing to industry success both domestically and internationally. It has mastered the transfer of bench-top science through to practical applications, on to commercialization and manufacturing. That means jobs.
Another aspect of Chalk River is the security. In addition to maintaining and growing Canada's capability in the nuclear energy industry, improving reliability in the supply of medical radioisotopes and improving the understanding of the effect of radiation on human health, Chalk River Laboratories is ensuring the safety and security for Canada.
A key technology developed at AECL is used by United Nations inspectors to verify that countries are complying with the international Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and are not developing nuclear weapons.
Known as the Cerenkov viewing device, it allows the UN International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, safeguard inspectors to examine nuclear fuel to confirm it is not being diverted from civilian to military purposes.
AECL Nuclear Laboratories recently patented the state-of-the-art advancement of this technology which allows for total automation of this vital task for the very first time. With millions of shipping containers around the world and over 45,000 trucks crossing North American borders every day, one of the significant challenges for port and border inspection agencies is the detection of illicit nuclear material in transportation containers.
Accurate and expedient results are not only vital to ensure the security of our borders but also ensure the efficient flow of goods and services between the two trading partner nations.
AECL Nuclear Laboratories, in collaboration with Defence Research and Development Canada, the Canadian Border Security Agency, Health Canada and several Canadian universities have recently patented a detection technology similar to CAT scan machines used in hospitals.
Instead of producing an internal image of a patient, it indicates the presence of nuclear material such as uranium and plutonium that may be hidden in shipping containers.
In parallel, AECL is currently working with a Canadian company developing low powered, inexpensive, pocket-size radiation detectors for infield use for practical radiation detection of nuclear materials. That, in addition to 3,300 AECL jobs, spells more jobs.
Chalk River Laboratories is also improving nuclear and related technology safety. It has developed technology to absorb the excess hydrogen and reduce the risk. It is called the passive autocatalytic recombiner. The technology uses no moving parts and is making our reactors safe here in Canada and around the world.
The domestic Canadian nuclear industry has specifically benefited from this technology and it is addressed as a requirement that the federal nuclear regulator placed on the industry to address the hydrogen hazards. AECL technology is also mitigating nuclear accidents.
I see that I am out of time, so I will answer any questions."
Nov 26: Nuclear-powered rover Curiosity, the most complex and powerful robotic space vehicle ever built for research on distant planets, will be launched to Mars on Saturday! The price tag only $2.5-billion (more than what it takes to build a research reactor): http://news.nationalpost.com/2011/11/24/nasa-set-to-launch-2-5-billion-car-sized-mars-rover-to-search-for-life-on-the-red-planet/ ... also see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P4boyXQuUIw&feature=relatedNuclear-powered rover Curiosity launched at 10:02 am today reaches earth orbit, congratulations to everyone involved at NASA! http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150381742358091&set=a.101382733090.91717.86505458090&type=1&theater ..., http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/msl/news/milestones.html and here is the live feed: http://spaceflightnow.com/atlas/av028/status.html
Nov 28: did you know: "Nuclear power now accounts for nearly 14% of electricity generated in the world with 440 active reactors in 30 countries, according to the World Nuclear Association (WNA). Six countries, the United States, France, Japan, Russia, Germany and South Korea, account for three-quarters of the energy so generated." see nice graphics here: http://news.sympatico.cbc.ca/world/contentposting/the_role_of_nuclear_power_in_the_world/bcb64876
Dec 4: A point of view on the wind turbines for electricity production: "There are many hidden truths about the world of wind turbines from the pollution and environmental damage caused in China by manufacturing bird choppers, the blight on people’s lives of noise and the flicker factor and the countless numbers of birds that are killed each year by these blots on the landscape. The symbol of Green renewable energy, our saviour from the non existent problem of Global Warming, abandoned wind farms are starting to litter the planet as globally governments cut the subsidies taxes that consumers pay for the privilege of having a very expensive power source that does not work every day for various reasons like it’s too cold or the wind speed is too high." read more: http://toryaardvark.com/2011/11/17/14000-abandoned-wind-turbines-in-the-usa/
Dec 4: Dec. 2 1942, a double milestone for nuclear research: first man-made sustained nuclear chain reaction was created this day 69 years ago ( http://aps.org/publications/apsnews/201112/physicshistory.cfm ) and then 15 years later in 1957, the first full-scale nuclear power plant went online. This is a nice write up about bothe events: http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/news/2008/12/dayintech_1202 ... also see: http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/fermi-produces-the-first-nuclear-chain-reaction , see also: http://www.wbez.org/blog/john-r-schmidt/2011-12-02/december-2-1942-enrico-fermi-and-atomic-chicago-94361 This is also a nice summary of the history of uranium: http://www.virginiaenergyresources.com/s/UraniumFacts.asp?ReportID=138056
Dec 6: A national energy strategy must be established before it is too late, a national dialouge is a good start!: "The federal government must start playing a more active role in establishing an energy strategy and coordinating with Canadian provinces. If they don’t, we will leave it up to industry and our American partners to define what this strategy should be."... "We need to address nuclear energy issues such as nuclear waste management and the future role of Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL), the exploration of inter-provincial energy and electricity interconnectedness and opportunities, technology developments and R&D investments for cleaner energy generation and extraction. We also need to deal with energy supplies and security in northern communities and the risks of deep water and Arctic drilling for oil and gas resources."... read more: http://www.hilltimes.com/policy-briefing/2011/12/05/we-need-a-coordinated-national-strategy-more-than-any-in-the-world/29012
Dec 6: Companies should think nuclear: "Imagine if a Hamilton company won a contract to build a supertanker in its port. Now imagine if there was a contract to build 90 supertankers throughout southern Ontario. The multimillion-dollar refurbishment of the Darlington nuclear power plant scheduled to start in 2014 has the equivalent potential to boost the province’s economy."... "“There does need to be some internal discussion around (the importance of nuclear),” she said about government departments. “People have to stop tiptoeing around nuclear.”"... read more: http://www.thespec.com/news/business/article/634825--backers-urge-area-companies-to-think-nuclear
Dec 6: Now that the restructuring of AECL is completed is the time to make decisions about new nuclear builds in Ontario as well as the future of Chalk River Labs including building a new research reactor to replace the aging NRU: "To win internationally we have to win domestically”. The need for collaborative efforts between the Canadian nuclear industry, its partners and all levels of government is needed to encourage growth and development in the Canadian Nuclear industry, an industry expert told local business and industry representatives..." ..."Mr. Lamarre noted that to win internationally we have to win domestically and the decision to build CANDU in Ontario would send a powerful signal to the global nuclear marketplace that Ontario has a leading energy-generating manufacturing technology. Mr. Lamarre said that support of Durham Region is essential to CANDU and the future of the industry in Ontario and Canada and that we all need to be ambassadors for this technology. Mr. Lamarre finished by identifying the need for collaborative efforts between the Canadian nuclear industry, its partners and all levels of government in encouraging growth and development in the industry. Mr. Lamarre identifying the potential of the creation a ‘nuclear cluster’ in southern Ontario, incorporating existing nuclear industries and offering opportunities for future expansion. A clearly defined national nuclear energy strategy is supported by the Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce." read more: http://www.oshawachamber.com/What-s-New/building-candu-in-ontario-would-send-powerful-signal.html
Dec 6: U of Saskatchewan must see videos: "about the cobalt-60 legacy, new U of S initiatives that advance nuclear medicine, and former or current U of S scientists who’ve made advances in medical imaging and nuclear medicine research. Some of these videos are produced by the U of S and some are produced by others." http://www.usask.ca/cobalt60/videos.php
Dec 7: US steps up efforts on producing HEU-free medical isotopes (I am not sure whether there are any plans or efforts already on the way to convert the HEU medical isotopes at NRU or not): "An agreement by the US Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) to fund $2.3 million in development work at NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes could lead to creation of a domestic supply for molybdenum-99, the most widely used medical radioisotope. The cost-shared cooperative agreement will help the Madison, Wisconsin, company with development of its accelerator-based process for manufacturing the isotope by bombarding targets of the naturally occurring isotope 100Mo with gamma rays." ... "the US is without a domestic source of 99Mo, an isotope with a 66-hour half-life whose decay product, metastable technetium-99 (99mTc), is used in 8 out of 10 nuclear medicine procedures—about 16 million imaging procedures annually in the US. For decades, roughly half the world’s output of 99Mo has been provided, and most of the US demand has been met, by the Canadian company Nordion, which processes HEU targets irradiated at the aging National Research Universal (NRU) reactor in Chalk River, Ontario. In recent years the NRU has been forced to shut down for extended periods, which produced severe shortages of 99Mo. In October NRU operator Atomic Energy of Canada reaffirmed previous commitments to halt medical isotope production in 2016." ... "In addition to its cooperative agreement with NorthStar, the NNSA is funding different novel approaches to 99Mo production at three other US companies: GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy has received $2.25 million to develop neutron capture technology; Babcock and Wilcox Technical Services Group has been provided $9.1 million to develop a low-enriched uranium (LEU) technology in which the fuel and target material are both dissolved in a solution that also provides the moderator; and the Morgridge Institute for Research has received $500 000 to develop accelerator technology to fission LEU. Each company is at least matching the government funding.
Separately, GE Hitachi and Exelon announced on 12 September a feasibility study of producing 99Mo at Exelon’s Clinton nuclear power station in Illinois. The two companies will develop a system to extract irradiated material from the reactor on a weekly basis. GE Hitachi also announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding with NorthStar and with NuView Life Sciences in Denton, Texas, for the two companies to process and purify 99Mo from the Exelon reactor targets. Today, reactors in Belgium, the Netherlands, South Africa, and Australia also produce 99Mo. The Global Threat Reduction Initiative, part of the NNSA, has provided $25 million to help the South African Nuclear Energy Corp (Necsa) begin converting to all-LEU production, and an NNSA official said that the US remains willing to support the conversion efforts of Canadian and European suppliers. In June the NNSA reported that 99Mo produced exclusively with LEU fuel and targets was then supplying about one-third of the US demand for it. Necsa, the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organization, and Lantheus Medical Imaging, a US distributor of 99Mo, were delivering record amounts of the LEU-based isotope, the NNSA said. The Australian organization’s Opal reactor, which began operations in 2007, is the world’s only current 99Mo source that was designed for all-LEU operation." http://physicstoday.org/resource/1/phtoad/v64/i12/p32_s1
Dec 12: Ontario’s Long Term Energy Plan (OLTEP) allocates 46 per cent of future grid space to nuclear generation, see here for the full plan in pdf: http://www.energy.gov.on.ca/en/ltep/ ... A recent report by Ontario Sustainable Energy Association (OSEA) just released suggests there is no business case for nuclear power and without subsidies the industry would not survive in Ontario... The report, Nuclear Power: Where’s the Business Case can be found here: http://www.ontario-sea.org/Page.asp?PageID=122&ContentID=3483 ). It argues that nuclear power retains an unfair advantage over renewable power generators because of federal and provincial subsidies and also that no nuclear project has ever been delivered on time and on budget in Ontario ... There is a must read review of this report on Renew Canada pointing out the reports shortcomings: http://renewcanada.net/2011/osea-ontario-doesnt-need-nuclear/ : "However, the report fails to explain why a significant investment in nuclear reactors from OPG will actually affect Hydro One’s ability to invest in local distribution systems. The report cites the construction of the Bruce to Milton transmission line as a $650 million subsidy to nuclear power(because Bruce Nuclear required the transmission line to feed power from the newly refurbished reactors at its site), but fails to mention that this transmission line is serving a dual purpose–it also allows major wind farms a connection point for grid access. While it is true that the project is primarily for Bruce Nuclear, the report does not make it clear that major renewable generators will also gain increased transmission access. OSEA further suggests that Ontario does not require nuclear power for baseload supply because of the availability of hydroelectricity and the opportunities for major industries to adopt Combined Heat and Power (CHP) systems. Yet, the report does not provide any numbers showing how much energy will be required in the future. The OLTEP suggests, under its medium growth forecast, that the province will require approximately 160 TwHs of electricity per year. With no reference to these kinds of numbers in its report, OSEA has a hard time proving that Ontario will not require additional baseload power. In addition, there are no numbers showing the potential available megawatts of power from hydroelectric and CHP projects. This, again, makes it difficult to assert that Ontario will not require additional baseload power." ... "While the report does accurately describe the reasons why nuclear power is an incredibly expensive and heavily subsidized form of energy, it does not prove that renewable energy can replace nuclear. By failing to show how much energy could be generated by the suggested baseload replacements, or how much energy Ontario will require in the future, the report fails to demonstrate that Ontario does not need nuclear power."
Dec 12: Is safe disposal of nuclear waste from new nuclear power reactors without cost to taxpayers possible? The UK seems to have a solution: "From the start of generation, operators of new nuclear power plants will be required to set aside enough money to meet this expected cost. A cap has also been set, giving operators certainty of the maximum that they would pay, and this is set at about three times the current estimate." ... "What this boils down to is a charge per unit of electricity generated. An operator can expect to pay £0.20 ($0.31) per MWh if the facility is built to current cost estimates with a cap of £0.71 ($1.11) per MWh. These compare to current prices of electricity for a large industrial user of about £83 ($130) per MWh."... read more: http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/WR_Waste_costs_for_UK_new_build_0912111.html
Dec 12: TRIUMF continues to pursue the production of technetium-99m by medical cyclotron technology... even if this will be viable route, let's not forget that a new reactor replacing the aging NRU not only could produce medical isotopes but also it could allow neutron scattering to continue for many years more... here is a recent report by TRIUMF on their activities: http://www.triumf.ca/headlines/workshops-conferences/triumf-global-isotopes-conversation ... "This week, Dr. Thomas J. Ruth is participating in a 3-day "Moly-99 Topical Meeting" in Santa Fe, New Mexico, organized by the U.S. DOE's National Nuclear Security Administration. Tom is one of only three Canadians invited to the workshop (the other being from the Government of Canada and Nordion). The meeting features leaders from the major U.S. laboratories and research organizations as well as nuclear-medicine companies and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Tom is speaking about the NISP program he leads with support from Natural Resources Canada that is demonstrating how existing, conventional medical cyclotrons can be modestly upgraded to become viable suppliers of Tc-99m for locall urban regions. "
Dec 12: This is a great read by Rod Adams as to why nuclear power plants might cost several times more than they should in initial capital investments: http://atomicinsights.com/2011/12/examples-of-regulatory-costs-for-nuclear-energy-development.html
Dec 13: Do small modular reactors hold the key to future nuclear power generation in the US? a study released earlier this month from the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC) concludes yes indeed: http://news.uchicago.edu/article/2011/12/13/small-reactors-could-figure-us-energy-future "“Clearly, a robust commercial SMR industry is highly advantageous to many sectors in the United States,” concluded the study, led by Robert Rosner, institute director and the William Wrather Distinguished Service Professor in Astronomy & Astrophysics. “It would be a huge stimulus for high-valued job growth, restore U.S. leadership in nuclear reactor technology and, most importantly, strengthen U.S. leadership in a post-Fukushima world, on matters of nuclear safety, nuclear security, nonproliferation, and nuclear waste management,” the report said. The SMR report was one of two that Rosner rolled out Thursday, Dec. 1, at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C. Through his work as former chief scientist and former director of Argonne National Laboratory, Rosner became involved in a variety of national policy issues, including nuclear and renewable energy technology development. The reports assessed the economic feasibility of classical, gigawatt-scale reactors and the possible new generation of modular reactors. The latter would have a generating capacity of 600 megawatts or less, would be factory-built as modular components, and then shipped to their desired location for assembly." ..., here is the link to the full report: https://epic.sites.uchicago.edu/sites/epic.uchicago.edu/files/uploads/EPICSMRWhitePaperFinalcopy.pdf
Dec 14: A must read interview with Dr. Ted Hsu, recently elected Liberal MP for Kingston and the Islands, about science policy in Canada published in the July-Sept. 2011 issue of Physics in Canada (http://www.cap.ca/en/article/interview-ted-hsu-liberal-mp-kingston-and-islands-conducted-june-2-2011 ), well said Dr. Hsu: "I would like to see Canada build a new research reactor. This is not something that is party policy. Personally as far as nuclear power is concerned I would like nuclear power to compete on a fully-costed basis and leave it at that. By fully-costed I mean making sure we take into account the full cost of decommissioning and waste disposal and the risk of something going wrong. But a research reactor is a different thing. It’s easy in the physics community to say “Let’s build a research reactor. You know it’s not the same as a power reactor” and physicists understand that but the general public doesn’t. There is still a certain element of fear of nuclear anything, so I think it will require some good communication to explain that no, Canada has a Nobel prize in neutron scattering and we had a world-leading facility in Chalk River that brought industrial and basic researchers from all over the world to collaborate with Canadian scientists, to train Canadian students and bring leading-edge research to Canada. That this reactor is very old and it’s going to break down in a few years again and we are after all made of nuclei but people tell me the average voter may not even know that or be able to vocalize that. So if you want to study matter then you need a source of neutrons and if you want to make medical isotopes you need to have a reactor and if nuclear energy is going to be part of the energy mix in the future, then you need to study how materials are affected by radiation. I think there is a very good case to be made that Canada should commit to build a new research reactor and commit to being in the lead again in research in that area. So that’s something that I would like to see."
Dec 15: 115 years ago, in 1896 Henri Becquerel while investigating phosphorescence in uranium salts accidentally discovered radioactivity. He was born on December 15, 1852. In honour of his birthday, here is a good historical read on this life changing discovery: http://ansnuclearcafe.org/2011/12/13/henri-becquerels-discovery-of-radioactivity/ ... "The Nobel Prize in Physics 1903 was divided, one half awarded to Antoine Henri Becquerel "in recognition of the extraordinary services he has rendered by his discovery of spontaneous radioactivity", the other half jointly to Pierre Curie and Marie Curie, née Sklodowska "in recognition of the extraordinary services they have rendered by their joint researches on the radiation phenomena discovered by Professor Henri Becquerel": http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/1903/ ... and also: http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/1903/becquerel-bio.html
Dec 16: Listen to Premier Brad Wall, Government of Saskatchewan, answering the question whether Saskatchewan will build a nuclear power plant on December 13, 2011. Paraphrasing: 1. Saskatchewan continues to find ways to add value to uranium mining in the province, 2. Saskatchewan is working with private sector and UofS establishing the nuclear research centre there, 3. Saskatchewan is working with Hitachi on developing small reactor technology, 4. Saskatchewan continue working on nuclear medicine reclaiming its leadership position in that field: http://www.sunnewsnetwork.ca/video/1325532118001
Dec 19: Aside from using a language that seems biased against nuclear power and aside from making it like a sensational story, this series of articles seem to be an in-depth reporting on the issue: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/Canada+nuclear+cleanup+will+cost+billions+dollars+take+decades+complete/5874209/story.html ... see also: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/atomic-wasteland/index.html .... let us not forget that other energy sources also have hazardous implications for thousands of years and beyond (CO2 greenhouse effect, global warming which could be irreversible)... to stop using the nuclear technology that is clean compared to other sources of energy as well as its other benefits such as medical isotopes and neutron scattering because of the waste seems to be shortsighted... Nuclear waste has been and continues to be stored safely... quoting McCauley, the director of the uranium and radioactive waste division at Natural Resources Canada in the article: "My view is that we’ve got a pretty good story ... to tell in terms of radioactive waste management. I’m not saying that it’s not a big challenge for us, but I do think we’ve got the framework in place that we can be successful."
Dec 20: 60 years ago, on December 20, 1951, the world’s first nuclear reactor generated electricity to power four light bulbs! This is a nice write up about the history and the future of nuclear energy: http://energy.gov/articles/60-years-nuclear-turned-lights "At 1:23pm on December 20, 1951, Argonne National Laboratory director Walter Zinn scribbled into his log book, “Electricity flows from atomic energy. Rough estimate indicates 45 kw.” At that moment, scientists from Argonne and the National Reactor Testing Station, the forerunner to today's Idaho National Laboratory, watched four light bulbs glow, powered by the world’s first nuclear reactor to generate electricity. Fifteen years later, in Arco, Idaho, President Johnson stood at this same site and designated the reactor a national historic landmark. He said, “We have moved far to tame for peaceful uses the mighty forces unloosed when the atom was split. And we have only just begun. What happened here merely raised the curtain on a very promising drama in our long journey for a better life.”" also see http://www.inl.gov/ebr/ for more info on this first reactor EBR-1: http://www.inl.gov/ebr/