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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.┬áIt 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.