Re: Time to rethink AECL's meltdown, Tom Adams, Feb. 26
After reading Tom Adams' dismal portrayal of AECL and CANDU, I felt compelled to respond to your readers with a different perspective.
Having come from the U.S. nuclear industry, I am new to Canada and new to AECL as its chief technology officer. I joined after a great deal of careful investigation of the company I was being asked to join.
Although I was well aware of the international reputation for safety, performance and reliability CANDU has earned, I knew less about AECL itself, other than a reputation for its critical mass of technical talent and leadership.
Contrary to Mr. Adams' assertions, upon closer inspection I found that AECL is a public policy success story of which all Canadians can be proud.
Since being incorporated in 1952, AECL has received almost $8-billion in funding from the Government of Canada. This in turn has generated more than $160-billion in GDP benefit from the production of electricity, leading-edge research and development, international sales of CANDU plants, uranium mining and refining, medical radioisotopes and a wide range of professional services.
The window of opportunity is here. More than 200 reactors are planned to be built in the next 20 years and Canada is already in discussion with potential customers like China, Argentina, India, Jordan, Romania and other Eastern European countries who see the advantages of CANDU for their country.
Dr. Anthony De Vuono, senior vice-president and chief technology officer, AECL, Mississauga, Ont.