Manifesto Multilinko
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Saturday, January 28, 2006
the merits of nuclear power

Energy Probe has just released a study [PDF] of Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. (AECL). ...

Their basic thesis is that federal subsidies to AECL since its inception in 1952 amount to $74.9-billion of today's federal government debt, or about 12 per cent of the entire outstanding amount.


And that's not all. AECL is a Crown corporation, which means the taxpayer is also on the hook for a huge whack of contingent liabilities, stuff such as eventually having to pay for the decommissioning and disposal of radioactive wastes in a facility that will have to keep them safe for thousands of years; or the $1.5-billion loan issued in 1997 to the Chinese government so it could buy a couple of Candu reactors on a turnkey basis (AECL is on the hook for any cost overruns) for a fraction of the amount it cost to install one here, like, say, at Darlington.


Of all the myriad wayward Crowns, AECL is one of the federal government's more egregious money pits, which is really saying something. It has always been good at extracting money from governments: "You say it's a massive, really expensive way to boil water, but it also makes toxic waste that lasts for millennia? Who do we make out the cheque to?"

Globe and Mail - First order for new PM: Chainsaw the deadwood Crowns - Friday, January 27, 2006