Canada to seek partners for nuclear reactor firm

Thu May 28, 2009 11:31am EDT
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OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada said on Thursday it wanted major international firms to buy some or all of the nuclear reactor business run by government-owned Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd.

Natural Resources Minister Lisa Raitt told a news conference she accepted the conclusions of a official review that said AECL could not thrive in its current form.

The review said the alliance would run the commercial activities of AECL's Candu nuclear reactor division, which it said was too small to survive by itself. Ottawa could retain either a majority or a minority stake, it added.

It listed Areva, Westinghouse, GE-Hitachi, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Russian state-owned Rosatom as major international firms.

The review recommended splitting off AECL's Chalk River nuclear operations, a major source of medical isotopes, into a separate entity.

(Reporting by David Ljunggren; editing by Rob Wilson)