Will Ford, Higgs and Moe spend $27 billion on reactors?

Posted By: Erik Stolpmann 0 Comment

December 2, 2019 (Ottawa) –  While the world is focussed on the UN Climate Change Conference, three Canadian Premiers who have challenged Canada’s Carbon Tax announce their own scheme to get off coal and other dirty energy by using Small Modular Nuclear Reactors (SMNRs).

Last week, it was revealed that Premier Ford’s decision to shut down renewable energy installations will cost Ontario taxpayers more than $231million.  Now, he’s part of the trio planning to use unproven technology with a $27 billion price tag.

“Unless the governments of Ontario, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick are prepared to give SNC Lavalin $27 billion for their cooperation on Small Modular Nuclear Reactors (SMNRs), this is just another attempt to distract the public from inaction on climate change,” says John Bennett, Senior Policy Advisor, Friends of the Earth Canada. “The cost to taxpayers in the three provinces would be far greater than the carbon tax.”

SNC Lavalin bought Atomic Energy Corporation Ltd (AECL) the crown agency responsible for Candu reactor sales and services for $15 million in 2011 when then Prime Minister Harper decided to privatize it.

So where does the $27 billion price tag come from? Friends of the Earth has obtained information on the Nuclear Insider’s survey on the subject of Small Modular Nuclear Reactors (SMNRs) in which Canadian experts say Canada is committing $27 billion to develop small modular reactors. It also says the investment in SMNRs is seen as “government/public finance” (46%) followed by “industry finance” (24%) with a sliver of financing from the traditional financial sector (14).  So industry is only prepared to provide less than one-quarter of the investment money required!

The survey is part of the lead-up to a major International Summit on the same topic to be held April 8-9 2020 in Atlanta Georgia USA. The survey results are based on the views of 100 “experts” in the SMNR “industry”.