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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Premier Jason Kenney and Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw addressed vaccine uptake and the COVID-19 situation in the province Tuesday. (File photo by Government of Alberta)
Red Deer down to 817 active cases of COVID-19

Province reports 1,449 new cases

Red Deer Rebels goalie Chase Coward tries to find a loose puck during WHL action at the Centrium earlier this season. (Photo by ROB WALLATOR/Red Deer Rebels)
Changes on the horizon for Red Deer Rebels next season

New coach, roster adjustments among top priorities for Sutter this offseason

Renovations and construction have begun at Red Deer Dream Centre. (Photo contributed)
Renovations underway at Red Deer Dream Centre

Christian-based addictions treatment centre

Red Deer County's municipal planning commission gave approval for a new directional sign for a business located near Elnora.
(Image from Red Deer County)
Red Deer County garden centre and winery gets sign approved

Delidais Estate Winery and DA Gardens is located near Elnora

(Advocate file photo)
Red Deer County approves home-based hair salon

Salon would be located in rural residential area just west of Innisfail

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Here is a list of latest COVID-19 restrictions in effect in Alberta

New mandatory health restrictions are now in effect in Alberta. Additional restrictions… Continue reading

Labour Minister Harry Bains arrives at B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, June 26, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. pledges to introduce permanent paid sick leave program in January

B.C. pledges to introduce permanent paid sick leave program in January

In this June 8, 2017, file photo, fresh nuts, bolts and fittings are ready to be added to the east leg of the pipeline near St. Ignace, Mich., as Enbridge prepares to test the east and west sides of the Line 5 pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac in Mackinaw City, Mich. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Dale G Young/Detroit News via AP, File
‘Massive and potentially permanent disruption’: Canada’s bleak view of Line 5 closure

‘Massive and potentially permanent disruption’: Canada’s bleak view of Line 5 closure

A Suncor logo is shown at the company's annual meeting in Calgary, Thursday, May 2, 2019.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Oilsands producer Suncor and utility Atco to pursue ‘world-class’ hydrogen project

Oilsands producer Suncor and utility Atco to pursue ‘world-class’ hydrogen project

A street sign along Bay Street in Toronto's financial district is shown on Tuesday, January 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
North American stock markets rally to pare early losses over inflation concerns

North American stock markets rally to pare early losses over inflation concerns

This photo provided by World Food Prize shows Shakuntala Haraksingh Thilsted.  On Tuesday, May 11, 2021, Thilsted was named this year's recipient of the $250,000 World Food Prize, which was created by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Norman Borlaug in 1986 to recognize researchers who have improved the quality and availability of food. (Finn Thilsted/World Food Prize via AP)
World Food Prize goes to nutrition expert for fish research

World Food Prize goes to nutrition expert for fish research

FILE - Norman Lloyd, executive producer of Hollywood Theater, a series of high-class dramatic shows seen on affiliated stations on the Public Broadcasting Service, poses for a photo on Dec. 26, 1974, in Los Angeles. Lloyd, the distinguished stage and screen actor known for his role as a kindly doctor on TV's "St. Elsewhere," has died at 106. Manager Marion Rosenberg said the actor died Tuesday, May 11, 2021, at his home in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles. (AP Photo/George Brich, File)
‘Saboteur,’ ‘St. Elsewhere’ star Norman Lloyd dies at 106

‘Saboteur,’ ‘St. Elsewhere’ star Norman Lloyd dies at 106

A Palestinian man inspects the rubble of a partially destroyed residential building after it was hit by Israeli missile strikes, at the Shati refugee camp in Gaza City, early Tuesday, May. 11, 2021. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
Israel, Hamas trade deadly fire as confrontation escalates

Israel, Hamas trade deadly fire as confrontation escalates

Heidi Illingworth, federal ombudsman for victims of crime, takes part in an interview at her office in Ottawa on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Watchdog worries federal benefit for parents of missing, murdered kids going unused

OTTAWA — The federal ombudsman for victims of crime says she remains… Continue reading

Most Read