Report urges Saskatchewan to build nuclear reactor

Fri Apr 3, 2009 6:34pm EDT
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By Rod Nickel

SASKATOON, Saskatchewan (Reuters) - The province of Saskatchewan, home to much of the world's uranium reserves, would be a good place to build Western Canada's first nuclear reactor, according to a report released Friday by a government advisory panel.

The panel told the Saskatchewan government that a 3,000 megawatt nuclear power plant would meet the province's needs and offer export opportunities.

"We know there's strong demand," said Richard Florizone, who chaired the provincially appointed panel.

The Saskatchewan government is planning a series of public meetings before deciding the province's next step in nuclear development.

Saskatchewan is the world's largest producer of natural uranium, accounting for more than one-fifth of global production. That's one of the reasons Western Canada is a great place for a reactor, said Armand Laferrere, a panel member and president of French mining giant Areva Canada.

"Western Canada has a long-term trend of economic growth ... (and) it has a welcoming business atmosphere," he said.

Bruce Power, owned by uranium producer Cameco Corp, pipeline company TransCanada Corp and BPC Generation Infrastructure Trust, is looking for a site in central Saskatchewan to build a 1,000 megawatt reactor, although it would need government approvals and upgraded energy transmission lines.

Bruce Power currently operates Ontario's Bruce nuclear generating plant on Lake Huron, northwest of Toronto.   Continued...