Wednesday, June 29, 2011

On selloffs

Sure, it takes some effort to pull a sweetheart deal out of the wreckage of AECL. But we probably shouldn't be surprised that the Cons seem to have pulled off the feat:
Versant Partners analyst Neil Linsdell told CBC News there's still a market for the existing reliable Candu technology in the developing world.

"SNC is really a great partner for [Ottawa] because of their international expertise in working with emerging economies," he said before the sale was officially announced. [Ed. note: no, this is not comforting.]

Even excluding any new sales, the servicing side of AECL's reactor business is profitable, Linsdell said. "The service business is going to be a good one," he said. "SNC is going to get a good deal out of this thing."
And all this while the Cons commit to spending five times more to support SNC Lavalin's newly-severed business than they'll recoup from the sale price.

Which of course raises the question: why in the world would the Cons be willing to take virtually nothing in exchange for a genuinely profitable part of AECL, while continuing to saddle the public with all of its liabilities?

Yes, that's a rhetorical question. And I suppose the more important one is: why are the Cons still in a position to hand out goodies to the corporate sector?


  1. This is the Avro Arrow all over again. They are allready planning to close down the research centers in Ontario. There will never be another Candu reactor built. We had the best, safest tech. For those that dont know CANDU used unrefinded uranium, therefore the waste was much less toxic, and because each fuel rod was in its own vessel, meltdown was less likely, and finally due to heavy water design, all the pumps could fail but the water could still take the heat.

  2. Of course, part of the problem for some time has been that purchasers haven't been all that interested in CANDU reactors - making it moot if they're capable of being safer than other models. But it's indeed worth noting the possible loss of research, particularly in the context of recent news about Canada's woeful R & D performance.