Friday, December 14, 2007

No assurances

Just so we're clear: AECL - under now-former CEO Michael Burns - gave assurances that the Chalk River nuclear reactor could safely operate in violation of safety regulations. And it was those claims which apparently encouraged the Harper government to overrule the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission and put the plant back into operation.

But AECL's promise was delivered just before Burns himself resigned - presumably over his own lack of foresight which put the plant on the wrong side of the law in the first place.

If there's anything that could make AECL's self-serving statement less reassuring, it's the fact that the promise was delivered under the authority of a CEO whose previous planning led to his dismissal - which also leads to a complete lack of accountability if the new assurance proves to be wrong. And while there may well have been understandable reasons to get Chalk River running again, there looks to be ever more reason for concern that the cure for a shortage of medical isotopes may prove more damaging than the disease.

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