Nuclear role in oilsands 'still possible' (external - login to view)
Industries need to 'get together,' says AECL CEO
By Dan Healing, Calgary Herald September 24, 2011
"I think nuclear has a role to play in the exploitation of Canada's oilsands resources," said AECL president and chief executive Hugh MacDiarmid during a presentation at the Global Business Forum.
"The nuclear industry and the oilsands industry need to get together and find a solution that works and be part of that dialogue . . . I remain convinced that nuclear can be a very important of the long-term exploitation of that resource."
However, Murray Edwards, vicechairman of Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., which opened the 110,000 barrel per day Horizon mine and upgrader near Fort McMurray in 2009, said in an interview at the forum that nuclear is not being considered at the moment.
"I think the industry is right now focusing on more important or more immediate priorities in terms of ways to, one, make sure we have appropriate markets for our production and, two, continue to show Canadians continuous improvement on the environmental side," he said.
"In terms of the issue of power generation by nuclear energy . . . with current natural gas prices, it's tough to look at other options such as nuclear."
MacDiarmid, speaking as part of a panel looking at key trends in energy supply and demand, had finished his presentation and Robert Stan, chairman of the Coal Association of Canada, had just started his when the lights went out in the meeting room at the Fairmont Banff Springs conference centre.
While hotel staff scrambled to open doors to let in light, the panel members, including Robert Gardner of ExxonMobil and moderator Ali Velshi of CNN, traded jibes over the suspicious timing of the outage.
Power was restored shortly after the conference ended, around 4 p.m.