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Canadian Nuclear Energy Policy

Canadian Nuclear Energy Policy: Changing Ideas, Institutions, and Interests

G. Bruce Doern
Arslan Dorman
Robert W. Morrison
Copyright Date: 2001
Pages: 384
  • Book Info
    Canadian Nuclear Energy Policy
    Book Description:

    Focusing on the federal government, but with special attention given to key changes in Ontario, the analytical core of this book identifies five key nuclear energy choices and challenges that face the federal government and other Canadian policy makers.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-7226-0
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Preface
    (pp. vii-viii)
    G. Bruce Doern, Arslan Dorman and Bob Morrison
  4. Abbreviations
    (pp. ix-2)
  5. Chapter One Precarious Opportunity: Canadaʹs Changing Nuclear Energy Policies and Institutional Choices
    (pp. 3-33)
    Bruce Doern, Arslan Dorman and Robert Morrison

    Canadian nuclear policies, institutions, and interests have changed markedly in the past two decades and enter the twenty-first century in a situation of precarious opportunity. ʹPrecarious opportunityʹ is a useful starting term because there are in essence two main scenarios typically advanced for Canadaʹs nuclear energy future. On the one hand, some offer the view that the nuclear energy industry can prosper and make an important contribution to energy and the environment in this age of climate change policy (Hancox, 1999; Doucet, 1999; Watson, 1998). Other recent international studies also express cautious optimism about nuclear energy in the early decades...

  6. Chapter Two Global Nuclear Markets in the Context of Climate Change and Sustainable Development
    (pp. 34-51)
    Robert Morrison

    This chapter explores key changes in, and features of, global nuclear and uranium markets in the context of issues of climate change and sustainable development. Increasingly, global market realities and the export potential of the Canadian nuclear industry are becoming crucial features of the nuclear political economy. These forces are interacting in complex ways and need to be understood at several different levels. They embrace the structure of electricity markets, changing nuclear reactor technologies, the ageing stock of reactors, the changing economics and technology of alternative supply sources, the strategies of industrializing countries (which are the main buyers of nuclear...

  7. Chapter Three Nuclear Power and Deregulation in the United Kingdom
    (pp. 52-73)
    Steve Thomas

    When the Conservative Party was re-elected in Britain in 1987, its manifesto contained two pledges of relevance to the nuclear power sector. It promised to privatize the electricity supply industry with a competitive generation structure, and it promised to continue developing civil nuclear power in the United Kingdom. Government supporters and enthusiasts for nuclear power believed that a sharp dose of market discipline would force the nuclear industry to become competitive and that further nuclear power orders would be feasible. Sceptics (Holmes, Chesshire, and Thomas, 1987) believed it would bring about a steep and irreversible decline in the contribution of...

  8. Chapter Four Transforming AECL into an Export Company: Institutional Challenges and Change
    (pp. 74-95)
    Bruce Doern, Arslan Dorman and Robert Morrison

    Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) is the core agency in the Canadian nuclear industry, which is generally considered to be one of the most important high-tech components of the nationʹs economy. In the past decade, AECL has focused increasingly on the CANDU reactor business, with a deliberate emphasis on exports. In this chapter we examine this transformation of AECL from a research institution into a commercial entity with an international outlook. By concentrating on some of the key changes in the past decade, we provide a focused look at one of Canadaʹs key S&T-based agencies, which, like other federal...

  9. Chapter Five Nuclear Regulation in Transition: The Atomic Energy Control Board
    (pp. 96-112)
    David Jackson and John de la Mothe

    The advent of a new century is an especially appropriate time to examine the Atomic Energy Control Board (AECB). This agency is just reaching the end of a long transition process; in the past fifty years it has evolved from a legal entity used by government to control and promote nuclear technology, into a fully independent regulatory agency. A new act has been passed to replace the 1946 act under which it has always operated; with the act now proclaimed, the AECB has been reborn as the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC).

    Further timeliness is added by the ongoing difficulties...

  10. Chapter Six Nuclear Fuel Waste Policy in Canada
    (pp. 113-128)
    Peter A. Brown and Carmel Létourneau

    Like any energy source, nuclear energy generates some waste, in this case mostly radioactive waste. A cornerstone of Canadaʹs approach to addressing nuclear waste issues is the federal governmentʹs 1996 Policy Framework for Radioactive Waste, which has established the approach for dealing with all radioactive waste from the nuclear fuel cycle (i.e., nuclear fuel waste, low-level radioactive waste, and uranium mine and mill waste). The policy framework defines the respective roles of the government and waste producers and owners. It also sets the stage for developing institutional and financial arrangements to implement long-term waste management solutions in a safe, environmentally...

  11. Chapter Seven Ontarioʹs Role in Nuclear Energy
    (pp. 129-146)
    Rick Jennings and Russell Chute

    The future of nuclear energy in Canada is an important and timely topic. Ontario, the principle user of nuclear generation and the home of twenty of the twenty-two commercial reactors in Canada, has invested heavily in this technology. In fact, one point of view is that the future of nuclear energy is the future of Ontarioʹs electricity industry. A contrary point of view holds that the nuclear industry represents thepastof Ontarioʹs electricity industry. From either perspective, there is no doubt that the nuclear industry is now and will remain a key influence on the electricity industry restructuring process...

  12. Chapter Eight The Future of Nuclear Power in a Restructured Electricity Market
    (pp. 147-173)
    Donald N. Dewees

    For an economist, the future of nuclear power in a restructured electricity market depends in the first place on the economics of nuclear generation in such a market.¹ If we regulate the environmental effects of nuclear and non-nuclear forms of generation in order to achieve the right balance between cost and environmental protection, then the decision about the operation, refurbishment, or construction of nuclear units or any other units should depend primarily on the cost of the power from that operation or construction in comparison with the cost of other competing sources of power. This is a big ʹifʹ of...

  13. Chapter Nine Power Switch: The Ontario Energy Board in the New Electricity Regime
    (pp. 174-198)
    Bruce Doern

    Canadaʹs nuclear power industry will function in the early twenty-first century in a very different regulatory regime from the one that has dominated most of the postwar period. This is because of changes in the Ontario energy and electricity regulatory system and its impact on Ontario Hydro, which is by far the main owner and operator of CANDU reactors. As a result of major changes between 1997 and 1999, for the first time in its history Ontario Hydro will be overtly and formally regulated rather than ʹmanagedʹ by the state; thus, in a sense, the electricity sector – including nuclear...

  14. Chapter Ten Conclusions
    (pp. 199-216)
    Bruce Doern, Arslan Dorman and Robert Morrison

    The central contribution of this book is that it provides an integrated examination of how Canadian nuclear energy policy has changed, shaped by a complex interplay among changing ideas, institutions, and interests. In broad structural terms, the analysis has proceeded chapter by chapter from a global level, to key aspects of federal policy and institutions, and finally to the crucial changes in Ontario, centred on the new competitive electricity market in Canadaʹs main nuclear province. We have seen at each level how an array of ideas and paradigms have been brought to bear on nuclear energy policy and also on...

  15. Contributors
    (pp. 217-220)