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E-M:/ Energy Probe: Safety coverup at Bruce

Enviro-Mich message from kcumbow <kcumbow@greatlakes.net>

Date: Fri, 28 Mar 2003 00:19:18 -0500

Dear Enviro-Michers,

The Bruce nuclear complex in Ontario, sits right on the shores of Lake
Huron, with Michigan some 50 miles or so away. More information available at 

1) Energy Probe    www.energyprobe.org 
type in Bruce nuclear in the "site search" area

2) Bruce Center for Energy Research and Information

From: kcumbow <kcumbow@greatlakes.net>
Subject: Energy Probe: Safety coverup at Bruce


Electricity Daily March 24/2003 Safety Cover-Up Alleged at Candu Nuke An
incorrectly installed reactor instrument disabled a crucial nuclear
shutdown system at a Candu reactor at the Bruce B nuclear station for
several weeks late last year, as British Energy left the Bruce Power
partnership (ED, Jan. 7), and there appears to have been a cover-up with
regard to the incident. 

Tom Adams of public interest group Energy Probe, and some commissioners of
the Ottawa-based Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC), question
whether the new plant operating partners can maintain nuclear safety as BE

The six public commissioners of the CNSC say that the CNSC staff withheld
information about the incident from them for a month. They learned of the
problem on Feb. 12, after holding hearings that approved the restart of two
units of Bruce A. CNSC Commissioner Letha MacLachlan said the safety
oversight "shakes my confidence in the assertions" by Bruce Power of the
quality of their safety management. The six commissioners indicated they no
longer accepted assurances that the six reactors would be operated safely. 

The Bruce complex is the largest nuclear facility in the world, and
consists of the Bruce A and Bruce B stations, with eight Candu reactors
totaling some 6,000 MW. The four reactors of Bruce A, and Pickering A, were
shut down by
Ontario Hydro due to the financial crisis which led to its breakup in 1999.

Hydro's scion Ontario Power Generation Inc. leased the Bruce complex in
2001 to the British Energy-led Bruce Power partnership, which has
profitably operated the Bruce B station. But British Energy then had to
sell its stake due to its own financial crisis in the U.K. The sale of
British Energy's stake in Bruce Power, brokered last year, closed on Feb.
14. The hurried $598 million deal was widely considered a "fire sale"
bargain for the new partners  a pension fund, uranium company Cameco, and
TransCanada PipeLines  who have no history or experience in nuclear safety
or nuclear operations. 

Preparations for the restart of the two Bruce A reactors by this summer are
now proceeding. Restart is considered essential to lower the costs and
maintain the reliability of the power-short Ontario electricity system.
Whether the alleged cover-up of safety information at Bruce B will delay
restart is not known. 			

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