Statement by Denise Carpenter, President and CEO of the Canadian Nuclear Association, on the acquisition of the CANDU Reactor Division of Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL)

OTTAWA, June 29, 2011 /CNW/ -

"Since the Government of Canada announced plans to restructure AECL in 2007, the Canadian Nuclear Association (CNA) has been consistent and clear that we support a structure that will advance the nuclear energy industry in Canada and make it more competitive. Today's decision marks the turning of an important corner for Canadian nuclear technology. SNC-Lavalin, like AECL, is a valued member of the CNA and we wish them success in this new venture. Great opportunities lie ahead.

The CNA represents the future of all nuclear technologies in Canada.  We want to grow the benefits those technologies can bring to the lives of Canadians. Our industry supports changes that will open up opportunities to expand those benefits and the excellent, high-knowledge jobs that go along with them. We have also emphasized that research is at the heart of our industry.

For Canada to remain a competitive player in the global nuclear industry we need investments in science, technology and innovation to maintain our expertise which is known around the world. The next step, in our view, is for the Government to review the governance and future of nuclear science and technology in Canada.

The division of AECL that is not being divested is central to the nuclear S&T sector in Canada.  That sector also consists of major facilities in Vancouver, Saskatoon and Laval plus various private companies and more than a dozen universities across the country.  We urge the Government to strike an expert panel as soon as possible to consider the governance and future of this sector.

CANDU reactor designs are intrinsically safe and proliferation-resistant.  They exceed federal standards, and operate safely in at least six countries including some of the largest future markets for nuclear:  China, India and South Korea.  With their excellent record of operating performance, these designs - and the group of Canadians who stand behind them - potentially have a large role to play in meeting the needs of these and other emerging markets.

So do the rest of the roughly 100 companies in our industry and the people who work there, spreading the benefits of nuclear technologies - from medicine, to food safety, to crop science, to advanced manufacturing - around the world.

On behalf of the Canadian nuclear industry, we congratulate SNC-Lavalin as they renew and grow their role in Canada's commercial reactor sector."

Denise Carpenter
President and CEO
Canadian Nuclear Association

About Nuclear Power in Canada

Nuclear energy provides a clean and reliable source of power and, with minimal greenhouse gas emissions, is an important part of Canada's clean energy portfolio. Currently, nuclear energy provides 15% of the electricity produced in Canada, and 55% in Ontario, serving the needs of millions of families and businesses. Because nuclear power plants produce large amounts of continuous power, they provide the "base load" capacity that enables the use of complementary renewable energy sources such as wind and solar.


For further information:

Kathleen Olson
Director of Communications

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