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Tuesday, June 23, 2009 

Public Consultations 'Be Damned' - Premier Wall Wants Nuclear Reactor Built In Saskatchewan

"The Saskatchewan Party government isn't waiting for the outcome of public consultations on the future of the uranium industry to pitch the province as a potential place to build a nuclear research reactor that could produce medical isotopes."
Regina Leader-Post

Premier Brad Wall's government simply can't resist the construction of a nuclear power reactor - under any guise - for purely ideological reasons

During the 2007 provincial election, Wall's election campaign platform said that if elected, he would investigate ways to add value to Saskatchewan's uranium resources but would consult widely with the public before any action occurred.

Public consultations have started but Wall is being criticised for the rapid timetable of the process.

Now, out of the blue - without Legislative approval or budgetary allocation of any kind - Wall has proclaimed that he wants to build a reactor (public consultations be damned), so that Saskatchewan can save the planet with the manufacture of medical isotopes. Right!

"Mr. Wall told the Globe and Mail on Friday the reactor would produce medical isotopes, topping up shortfalls created by the closing of Ontario's Chalk River facility. But the statement comes as the provincial government is holding public hearings to gauge public sentiment on reactor construction. Many people involved in those hearings said yesterday that Mr. Wall's comments suggest the public consultations are token efforts."
The Globe & Mail

The research reactor model suggested by the UDP report is the Australian OPAL reactor, which has been plagued by long delays and large cost overruns.

Not to mention the fact that Canada has two reactors capable of producing a comparable number of isotopes running only at 50% capacity, the Maple reactors.

Maybe Mr. Wall should talk to his old buddy Steve about getting those up and running for relatives cents on the dollar it would cost to build more new ones here.

In this instance Wall seems like that person who rushes into the water to pull the drowning girl out without realizing it's a movie set, and misses the obvious cameras/crew. He wants to be the nuke hero, so I'd say Bruce Power is promising him some mayjah post-political positions for getting nuclear plant built.

just my 2 cents.

Nuclear costs billions more than renewable energy.

Speaking of the MAPLE reactors they were designed (each one) to produce all the isotopes the world needs. Their shut down and the termination of the project was unnecessary and arbitrary. As the manager of the project says:

"I repeat: the tests did not fail. The tests were measuring contributions from various sources and the test
series was interrupted and terminated prematurely. The Maple reactor design is probably the safest
reactor design in existence since it actually has three shutdown systems, two fast and one slower."

His full (and obviously pissed off statement is here:
http://www.mds.nordion.com/documents/Nuclear_Eng_Int_Article.pdf

The significant difference I see is this. There actually 'IS' a New Democratic Party and it has a long history in this province of wrestling with complex issues in the whole Uranium debate. The will of the Party is not minor and its Leader simply would not put him/herself in open defiance of the party.

Wall, on the other hand. has a party that convenes and does not deal with policy or resolutions.

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