HYNESIGHT by James G. Hynes

Anyone who thought Ontario’s next venture into the wonderland of nuclear reactor building might be less of a nightmare than the last one has just had hopes dashed. Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL), that international paragon of nuclear expertise, will be the inevitable supplier of the reactors, and there was some reason to expect better performance from a new design they have developed. A new, improved AECL, capable of living up to its promises, delivering on time and on budget? Dream on. AECL has now announced that it has given up on its ten-year effort to build two small reactors at Chalk River. Taxpayers who poured hundreds of millions into these projects should take some comfort, I suppose, from the fact that they're getting two boondoggles for the price of one. Look on the bright side: by dropping both shoes at once, AECL is economizing on its international embarrassment, showing its first glimmer of economic savvy in many a decade. But will this latest evidence, nay, confirmation, of AECL's irredeemable incompetence be enough to persuade the government to finally put it and taxpayers out of our collective misery? Of course not. AECL and its pals at Ontario Power Generation will live to make many more hundreds of millions disappear in the years to come. After all, AECL has always been better at atomizing money than uranium, and that hasn't killed it yet. Or maybe it really died a natural death long ago, but thanks to an endless river of cash from Ottawa, it soldiers on, undead. Yes, that's it; AECL, the Dracula of nuclear reactor builders. Has anyone checked whether you can see the CEO's reflection in a mirror?

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