Canada puts its nuclear pride on the block

Friday, December 18, 2009 – Globe and Mail
BILL CURRY, KAREN HOWLETT AND ANNA MEHLER PAPERNY

OTTAWA and TORONTO — Stephen Harper travelled the world pitching Canada’s “state-of-the-art” – and state-owned – nuclear reactor technology, but finding no takers at home or abroad and facing record budget deficits, the Prime Minister is selling off the Crown-owned Candus.

The Harper government confirmed yesterday it is calling for bids on the reactor wing of Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd.

With interest coming from a mix of foreign and domestic firms, opposition critics say they’re concerned technology created at public expense is at risk of leaving the country.

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Chalk River shutdown: Nuclear inaction puts half-century of innovation at risk

Saturday, June 20, 2009 – Globe and Mail
ANNA MEHLER PAPERNY

TORONTO — Chalk River is the reason Thad Harroun came to Canada.

The biophysicist and California native had worked with experts in his field on both sides of the Atlantic. But it was Canada’s NRU reactor in Chalk River, Ont., that drew him north. Prof. Harroun did postdoctoral work there and got a teaching position at Brock University. He travels regularly up to the reactor to shine high-powered neutron beams at bits of cell membranes and see what happens.

Or, at least, he did.

Now, he’s stuck in St. Catharines, Ont., research stymied by the same shutdown that has caused a worldwide isotope shortage. And he’s at a loss.

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