Friday, December 14, 2007

Wow! So, the Tories want to sell off AECL after shutting down Chalk River, and CNSC is making that harder?!?!?

Well, good thing the nuclear safety regulator is under fire day after day! How fortuitous for the government that this crisis has arisen! Things couldn't have worked out better if they'd have PLANNED this!

Galloping Beaver has a great story on the Chalk River/Isotope fiasco which detalis information, and raises questions that I haven't heard about before!

Here are the top three paragraphs, imho (though, by all means go read the whole post!!!):

The Chalk River reactor and AECL have been getting a long, hard look from the Harper regime. Natural Resources minister, Gary Lunn has been in negotiations with General Electric in an effort to sell off a large chunk of AECL. The sudden and unexpected shut-down of Chalk River, not to mention the fact that two MAPLE reactors, (owned by medical isotope supplier MDS Nordion), are not yet commissioned, would give GE a moment of pause when considering a purchase.

Until AECL can get the MAPLE reactors running safely (they appear to have a problem with that), the only medical radioisotope supplier is the NRU facility at Chalk River. Once (if?) the MAPLE reactors are commissioned, AECL has every intention of shutting down the NRU Chalk River reactor permanently. When the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission demanded a safety upgrade it probably ran afoul of AECL's plans - and the plans of the Harper government to sell off AECL. The CNSC was calling for a fairly expensive upgrade to a reactor AECL would rather not be operating. The same regulator will not issue licenses for the MAPLE reactors until safety concerns with them are rectified.

How do you reassure a prospective buyer that the regulator will not be a problem? Push the regulator out of the way.

There is every possibility this is a manufactured crisis. If it isn't the Harperites don't have their eye on the ball and have tried to cover their own incompetence at not knowing what's going on in their own departments.

(emphasis added)

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