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

Red Deer to get new plan to end homelessness as problem persists

Despite some successes there’s ‘a long way to go,’ says manager

Canada ranks 16th on World Economic Forum’s annual gender gap list

TORONTO — Canada has landed the 16th spot in the World Economic… Continue reading

Steel, aluminum tariffs impacting one-third of Canadian exporters: poll

OTTAWA — More than one-third of Canadian exporters say they have been… Continue reading

Canada has fifth biggest AI workforce, but still lacks diversity: study

TORONTO — Canada has the globe’s fifth largest artificial intelligence workforce, but… Continue reading

Air passenger rights: Six things about what the Liberals are offering in draft rules

OTTAWA — The Liberals will publish the draft text of their long-promised… Continue reading

Chabot scores overtime winner to lift Senators over Predators 4-3

OTTAWA — Thomas Chabot saw an opening and he took it. And… Continue reading

Canadian Marielle Thompson earns World Cup ski cross bronze in season opener

AROSA, Switzerland — Canada’s Marielle Thompson captured bronze at the opening World… Continue reading

Canada doesn’t make Oscars short list for best foreign language film

LOS ANGELES — Canada is no longer in the running for best… Continue reading

Warrant issued for arrest of ‘Schwimmer lookalike’ suspect

LONDON — A British judge has issued an arrest warrant for an… Continue reading

Moneywise: Canadian workers unhappy with pay, want pension plans

Many working Canadians are feeling underpaid and are so worried about their… Continue reading

Brazil police say faith healer has turned himself in

RIO DE JANEIRO — A celebrity faith healer accused of sexually abusing… Continue reading

B.C. hockey coach creates ‘gear library’ to remove cost barrier of sport

VANCOUVER — Nicola Froese says she has always loved playing sports, but… Continue reading

Canada’s Kim McRae finishes seventh at luge World Cup in Lake Placid, N.Y.

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. — Canada’s Kim McRae finished in seventh place at… Continue reading

Most Read