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Page added on August 29, 2007

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Nuclear just too hot for Alberta

Why Would Oilsands Court More Controversy?

After at least a decade of trying to gain a foothold in Alberta, Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. has teamed up with an obscure private company with a mystery customer to launch a gigantic nuclear power plant — the first one in Western Canada — to fuel the oilsands.

At a press conference yesterday, Wayne Henuset, a former car dealer, wine merchant and oil-services entrepreneur who is now the president and co-chairman of the start-up, Energy Alberta Corp., argued the province is ready to take the leap into nuclear
“We’re now at the point where we need more energy — a lot more — if Alberta is to remain the economic engine of Canada,” he said after his company filed an application with the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission to locate the plant near Peace River, a bustling oil and gas town in northwestern Alberta.

“While fossil fuels will remain a cornerstone of the economy, at least for the foreseeable future, Alberta is running out of conventional oil and natural gas. We need to develop new energy sources.”

Maybe so. Yet the company would be naive not to expect an uphill battle to convince already energy mega-rich Alberta that it can’t do without another energy project, another potential environmental disaster, another multibillion scheme to further heat its economy, or that the leap that really needs to be taken is energy conservation.

Financial Post



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