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Darlington expansion on hold

Ontario balks at huge cost and ‘uncertainty’ over future of AECL despite lowest bid

Ontario is indefinitely postponing its much-touted plan to build new nuclear reactors at Darlington in part because the cost is “billions” of dollars too high, Energy Minister George Smitherman announced this morning.

Smitherman said Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. delivered the best bid for the contract for reactors that were to have been built for 2018, but said Ontario is also concerned about “uncertainty” at the troubled nuclear company owned by the federal government.

He called on the federal government “to clarify the future ownership of AECL,” which may be put up for sale, before Ontario will proceed.

Ontario would like more new nuclear reactors to replace its aging fleet but “not at any cost,” said Smitherman, noting “price is a substantial challenge” in the AECL bid.

He would not reveal how much the bid came in at.

Toronto Star



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