Saturday, 25 February 2012

More on government's recent announcement for expression of interest from private companies for Chalk River Labs

More on the government's recent announcement for expression of interest from private companies for Chalk River Labs: "“This process will allow the government to benefit from the experiences of organizations, domestic or international, involved in the management or restructuring of nuclear science and technology or radioactive waste management,” read a statement posted on the National Resources’ website.
“The information gathered through this process will help inform the restructuring process, a critical step to further strengthen Canada’s nuclear industry while reducing taxpayers’ exposure to financial risks in this sector.”
Gordon Tapp, president of the Chalk River Technicians and Technologists, said this is a fishing expedition, and a possible prelude to the privatization of AECL and Chalk River labs.
“They (the government) are trying to see who is interested and the range of the interest” in the company, he said. “They are trying to look at all the options available to them.”
The goal is to not necessarily sell AECL outright, but to eventually have the private sector take over running the operation.
“The federal government doesn’t want to be in that business, and haven’t been overly supportive of R and D in general,” Mr. Tapp said. “They would like to see someone else come in and invest in it.”
He said what is driving this is the government’s determination to shed costs anyway they can, due to the worsening economy and government deficit, coupled with the philosophy there are a lot of things the private sector should be doing that the Crown is doing using tax dollars.
What he is concerned about is if there is insufficient interest shown from the industry for what AECL has to offer, there have been indications the government may scale back or even shut down the active parts of the site.
“We could see Chalk River reduced to just a waste management and decommissioning site,” Mr. Tapp said, as it decommissions facilities and deals with a wide variety of buried and stored radioactive waste left on site.
AECL has been having a rough go of it over the years, facing criticism for the millions of dollars spent on the company, an investment with its critics claim has little to show for it.
The cancelation of the MAPLE 1 and 2 reactor project, the extended shutdown of the 55 year old National Research Universal reactor due to heavy water leakage and the bumpy ride of the next generation of CANDUs, the ACR 1000, which has stalled due to a lack of sales and high costs, together hurt the company at the worst possible time. "

No comments:

Post a Comment