Canada invites bids on Candu reactor division

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The federal government of Canada has invited investors to submit proposals for Atomic Energy of Canada Limited’s (AECL) commercial Candu reactor division, as the next step in restructuring the Crown Corporation.

“Nuclear energy is an emission-free source of power that is experiencing a renaissance around the world,” said Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, Lisa Raitt. “AECL’s Candu reactor division needs strategic investors to take full advantage of this opportunity, strengthen its global presence and reduce the financial risks carried by taxpayers.”

The Canadian government said that the top priority continues to be restarting the National Research Universal (NRU) reactor at Chalk River, Ontario as quickly as possible.

The government said that the proposals will be assessed based on how well they meet set objectives, including: ensuring that Canadians have nuclear power as a safe, reliable, and economic clean energy option; controlling costs to the government while maximizing the return on the taxpayers’ investment; and positioning the nuclear industry in Canada to seize domestic and global opportunities.

The Minister of Natural Resources started reviewing AECL’s structure in November, 2007 and had decided to move ahead with the restructuring in May.

"This industry employs 30,000 highly skilled Canadians, and our government is committed to making sure these jobs are retained and more are created," Raitt said. “The government of Canada, in partnership with the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, will continue its role in maintaining the safety, security and environmental stewardship of the nuclear industry.”