Nuclear report called ‘fraudulent’

Environmentalists are calling an Alberta government document aimed at giving people an unbiased look at the possibility of nuclear power in the province “fraudulent.”

CALGARY — Environmentalists are calling an Alberta government document aimed at giving people an unbiased look at the possibility of nuclear power in the province “fraudulent.”

The report, released Thursday, doesn’t make any recommendations on the hotly contested question but is a “factual report” that allows a fully informed discussion, said Energy Minister Mel Knight.

Not so, said Gordon Edwards, president of the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility.

“It’s a fraudulent report,” he said. “It purports to be describing not only the technology but the risks and the benefits, and it does no such thing.”

The report touches on the province’s rising need for electricity, as well as the various options available to meet it.

It mentions advances in safety and in the disposal of radioactive waste, as well as the environmental plus that nuclear power “does not release carbon dioxide.”

Both Knight and Premier Ed Stelmach have said the government will not take a stance on nuclear power until citizens have been fully consulted.

They’ll roll out that process next month with focus groups made up of people plucked at random from the voters’ list, online or mail-in forms and a public opinion poll.

The government won’t be holding town hall-style meetings.

Bruce Power Alberta has picked a site about 30 kilometres north of Peace River as its preferred option for a potential power plant in the province should the government give the OK. The proposed $10-billion facility is being touted as capable of producing enough electricity to power two million homes by 2017.

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