Saskatchewan opposes nuclear power idea

A new report has found that most Saskatchewan residents oppose building a nuclear power plant in the province, but that doesn’t mean the idea has hit a dead end, according to the government.

LUMSDEN, Sask. — A new report has found that most Saskatchewan residents oppose building a nuclear power plant in the province, but that doesn’t mean the idea has hit a dead end, according to the government.

The 166-page report released Tuesday gathered reaction from public consultations held on the future of uranium development in Saskatchewan. There were more than 1,400 responses specifically on the nuclear power issue and 84 per cent were opposed the idea.

Energy Minister Bill Boyd suggested that’s not a sign to stop, but says his “foot is off the accelerator.”

“When I look at this report, it’s neither a green light nor a red light for the future uranium development. It’s more like a yellow light — take any next steps with great caution,” said Boyd.

“There’s no question there’s strong opposition, I’ve never said that there wasn’t. Of the people that attended the meetings, there was a very strong concern about the future in this area.”

Saskatchewan is the world’s largest producer of uranium, the key component in nuclear power generation, but mining the raw material is as far as the province has gone in the nuclear cycle.

Last year, the government appointed a 12-member panel, known as the Uranium Development Partnership, to study the nuclear cycle from mining through to disposal. That report released in April recommended that Saskatchewan open the door to nuclear power and also said storage of nuclear waste would be a good economic option for the province, but it must have community support.

Dan Perrins was appointed to gather the reaction from industry, environmental groups and the public.

“The majority of people participating in the public consultation process oppose the province moving towards nuclear power generation because of health and safety concerns, concerns about environmental impacts, and the costs associated with nuclear power,” Perrins wrote in his report.

“Many specify that they would not want a nuclear power plant in their area of the province.”

Most people also took issue with the Uranium Development Partnership report itself, saying “they did not trust the report — or the partnership — at all,” wrote Perrins.

The partnership panel included the presidents of the Areva, Cameco (TSX:CCO) and Bruce Power — all big players in the nuclear industry.

Last November, Bruce Power released its own feasibility study identifying a region from Prince Albert west to Lloydminster as a good spot to build a nuclear power plant. The study suggested the plant could be in operation by 2018 and contribute 1,000 megawatts of electricity to the province by 2020.

Bruce Power spokesman Steve Cannon said Tuesday that the company had just received the report with the findings from the public consultations and needed more time to review the information before commenting.

Boyd says the province will also need a few weeks to review the report and its recommendations.

Premier Brad Wall has said no one should be surprised that his Saskatchewan Party government is interested in uranium value-added opportunities, noting it was part of the party’s campaign platform in the 2007 provincial election. Wall has said a decision about whether the province is interested in having a nuclear power plant would be made by the end of the year.

Just Posted

Man causes mischief with axe in Ponoka

Arson and attempted break and enter charges laid

Red Deer RCMP look for fraud suspect

Red Deer RCMP are looking for public assistance to identify a fraud… Continue reading

Blood donations needed in Central Alberta: Canadian Blood Services

357 donors are needed before Aug. 26 at the Red Deer clinic

WATCH: Red Deer man shaves beard for Mustard Seed

‘I have spent 30 years of my life being addicted to both alcohol and drugs’

Oilpatch fears delays as U.S. judge orders further review of KXL pipeline route

CALGARY — Potential delays in the completion of the Keystone XL pipeline… Continue reading

‘Queen of Soul’ Aretha Franklin dies at 76

NEW YORK — Aretha Franklin, the undisputed “Queen of Soul” who sang… Continue reading

Arrests in Burnaby, B.C., as order against Kinder Morgan protest camp enforced

BURNABY, B.C. — The RCMP arrested protesters Thursday as officers enforced a… Continue reading

‘Hot and dirty work:’ Commander describes fighting massive Ontario wildfire

BRITT, Ont. — From a helicopter flying over a smouldering swath of… Continue reading

Calgary Fire Department logs record opioid overdose calls in July

CALGARY — The Calgary Fire Department says there were a record number… Continue reading

RCMP in Burnaby, B.C., say Kinder Morgan protest camp to be dismantled

BURNABY, B.C. — The RCMP arrested protesters when officers enforced a court… Continue reading

Study: Smokers better off quitting, even with weight gain

NEW YORK — If you quit smoking and gain weight, it may… Continue reading

Italy says death toll will mount in Genoa bridge collapse

GENOA, Italy — The death toll from the collapse of a highway… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month