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Serial offenders: Darlington already over budget July 9, 2014

Posted by Maury Markowitz in AECL, nuclear.
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One of the major problems for AECL and their customers was their complete inability to budget their designs. Every single reactor installed has gone over, and every refurb has too.

And so now it is with no great surprise that we learn that the Darlington refurb hasn’t even started, and it’s already $300 million over budget. Well, at least according to two 3rd party firms contracted to oversee the work, OPG says it’s “only” $235 million.

Seven more years to go…

Darlington B nuclear plant cancelled October 11, 2013

Posted by Maury Markowitz in AECL, nuclear.
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The Darlington power plant

Darlington as it is and will ever be

I missed it when it first came over the wire, but last night Energy Minister Bob Chiarelli announced that the Darlington B project is dead. As the only ongoing development project in Canada, this represents a sort of mid-life point for nuclear power in the country.

Although Chiarelli didn’t close the door on re-examining the decision in the future, given the history of similar decisions around the world is that this is basically that. Vogtle may prove to hold the unlikely banner as last nuclear plant built in North America.

It’s interesting to read the few news reports that covered this. In Durham Region, home to Pickering and Darlington, the news was presented in a surprisingly neutral light, referring mostly to the governments oft-announced plans to keep nuclear around 50% of the energy mix. In the Owen Sound area, home to the Bruce plant, the news was greeted with a very positive spin, noting that the cancellation almost certainly means a round of refurbs at that plant.

The fork stuck: nuclear power in Canada is dead December 21, 2009

Posted by Maury Markowitz in AECL, nuclear.
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I guess Mr. Harper reads this blog after all… on Thrusday the government stated that AECL’s reactor business is officially on the block. Here’s a pithy quote that puts it all in perspective:

“The Government of Canada is open to a range of options up to, and including, (an outside investment of) 100 per cent,” said Jocelyne Turner, spokeswoman for Natural Resources Canada, which oversees the federal nuclear file.

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Darlington B continues July 9, 2009

Posted by Maury Markowitz in AECL, nuclear.
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It’s been a little over a week since George Smitherman’s announcement that Darlington B was being put on hold, pending clarification from the feds about their intensions regarding AECL. It took a while for the stories to start making sense, but now that they do I’m worried by what I see.

Its seems pretty clear that OPG was being told to buy AECL in spite of any problems, including a price tag that even AECL said would make them unattractive. Smitherman’s position is pretty clear; he wants the feds to pony up cash. Win-win for the Ontario government I suppose – they get their reactors at the market price, and keep all the design jobs in Ontario by getting the Canadian taxpayer to pay their salaries. Awesome.

Now of course it’s equally clear that the feds, and Harper personally, consider AECL to be a money sink and are more than willing to kill it. Smitherman’s delay puts them in a tough position. If they go ahead and sell it off, the Ontario Libs will beat them over the head with it, with all that Avro Arrow talk. But if they want to avoid that, they’re going to have to come up with cash, precisely what they’ve made it clear they don’t want to do any more.

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