This is from the Globe and Mail. Suddenly nuclear power is becoming almost green rather than an environmental disaster in waiting. Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, etc. are forgotten and before people wake up we will need something like The Fort MacMurray meltdown. No doubt Alberta will need to pass a special law limiting the nucler industry's liability for accidents. This has already happened in Ontario where the Bruce group is operating.
Ontario Hydro will be liable for a maximum of $75 million - say two hundred dollars per person affected....
Alberta's nuclear reactor plan doubles to four
Bruce Power gets lift from federal rules on emissions; Peace River venture rejects exclusive technology deal with AECL
GLOBAL ENERGY REPORTER; With files from reporter Katherine O'Neill in Edmonton
March 14, 2008
OTTAWA -- Ottawa's new climate change rules have provided an important boost to Bruce Power's expanded nuclear ambitions in northwestern Alberta, Duncan Hawthorne, the company's chief executive, said yesterday.
Bruce, a private sector consortium that operates a nuclear site in Ontario, revealed a bold $10-billion plan to build as many as four reactors and bring nuclear power to a province that is run on fossil fuels.
The plan, outlined in a filing with the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, also calls for the dumping of Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. as a preferred technology supplier and opens up the project to competitive bidding to build Western Canada's first nuclear reactors.
The news came as Bruce Power completed its purchase of Energy Alberta Corp., a startup company that was working with AECL on a bid to build a project less than half the size of Bruce's new application, which calls for as much as 4,400 megawatts of power at a site 30 kilometres west of Peace River.
Bruce Power estimated it could cost $10-billion to build the four reactors, though costs in the nuclear industry - as with virtually all major construction projects - have been climbing rapidly.
Mr. Hawthorne, who conducted a series of town hall meetings in the area yesterday, acknowledged the firm faces some resistance to nuclear power in Alberta. The province relies on coal for 50 per cent of its nearly 12,000 megawatts of electrical generating capacity, and natural gas for another 40 per cent.
But he said federal Environment Minister John Baird provided a boost to the nuclear option when he announced this week that Ottawa would prohibit the building of coal-fired power plants after 2011 unless they capture emissions of carbon dioxide and sequester the gas in permanent underground storage.
Mr. Hawthorne said a clean-coal plant with sequestration could be as much as 50 per cent more expensive to build per megawatt of capacity than nuclear plant.
"It certainly does make it more realistic to think of nuclear as alternative. It could be a straightforward commercial debate," he said.
Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach refused to say yesterday whether the provincial government would endorse Bruce Power's plan to build a nuclear power plant in the province.
He said Alberta's recent election, which concluded last week with the Conservatives winning their 11th successive majority, delayed the province's plans to assemble a panel to help study the matter.
"We are speaking to them, we are interviewing them and it's just a matter of putting the group together," Mr. Stelmach said. "But it's something that will be advanced - this total picture for energy. The globe is changing around us. We've got to have that information at hand."
Mr. Hawthorne noted that booming Alberta has seen a sharp rise in electricity demand, which has climbed 29 per cent since 2000. The province's electricity planning authority has forecast a shortfall of 5,000 megawatts by 2017.
"I think the odds are pretty high that Alberta will come to the view that nuclear could and should play a role."
The rapid expansion in the oil sands is a major factor in that expanding demand, and Bruce Power is looking to sign a long-term power contract with project operators to help finance the construction of the power plants.
The company would also look to sell power to the broader electricity market.
While Energy Alberta was seen as an upstart with no nuclear operating experience, Bruce Power has an established track record in Ontario. It operates six Candu reactors at the Bruce facility on Lake Huron near Kincardine, Ont., is refurbishing two more and is looking to add another two reactors, though it has not chosen a reactor design.
Bruce Power is owned by Calgary-based TransCanada Corp., Saskatoon-based Cameco Corp. and the BPC Generation Infrastructure Trust, a trust established by the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System, the Power Workers' Union and the Society of Energy Professionals.
AECL spokesman Dale Coffin said the Crown corporation welcomed the decision by Bruce Power to proceed with an expanded version of the Energy Alberta project. "We're confident the ACR1000 will be the best choice for Alberta," he said.