Canadian Manufacturing

Candu says decision to close Quebec nuclear plant made hastily

Decision made 'before all options were considered,' according to company president

MISSISSAUGA, Ont.—Candu Energy is speaking out on the Québec government’s decision to close the province’s Gentilly-2 nuclear plant.

“Candu Energy Inc. believes the government’s decision to close the Gentilly-2 nuclear facility was made before all options were considered,” Candu president Kevin Wallace said in a statement about the decision to close the plant in Bécancour, just across the river from Trois-Rivières, at the end of 2012.

According to Wallace, a balanced mix of energy sources “provides stability and price certainty to Québec’s economy.”

The statement was issued Oct. 4, two weeks after Premier Pauline Marois announced the closure of the aging reactor.

Hydro-Québec confirmed in a release Oct. 3 the facility is slated to close Dec. 28.

The decommissioning of Gentilly-2 will cost $1.8-billion over more than 50 years, according to Hydro-Québec.

The provincial power provider said refurbishment of the 29-year-old reactor would cost about $4.3-billion.

Marois said the closure will create a $200-million fund to diversify the region’s economy.

But according to Wallace, more options should be explored before a decision is made.

“This issue would benefit from the exploration of other options to save this facility and the jobs associated with it,” he said. “One possibility would be engaging in a lease agreement with a partner to refurbish, operate and potentially decommission the plant.”

-With files from The Canadian Press

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