Company wants to build nuclear power plant in Alberta

Bruce Power plans to buy Energy Alberta Corporation

The Edmonton Sun - November 29, 2007

PEACE RIVER _ An Ontario-based company that operates Canada's first private nuclear electricity generating plant wants to build a similar facility in Alberta.

Bruce Power has announced it plans to buy Energy Alberta Corporation.

Energy Alberta has begun preliminary work on a proposal to build a nuclear plant in the Peace River area about 350 km northwest of Edmonton.

"In the Peace Country region, where an application has already been made to site a nuclear plant, we have a community that wants to learn more about our technology," said Bruce Power president Duncan Hawthorne in a release Thursday.

"This is a valuable first step, but more information needs to be shared. Our partners are serious investors and we are a proven operator, but any decisions we make will rely heavily upon having a willing host community."

Bruce Power is owned by a group of partners including TransCanada Corp. (TSX:TRP) and Cameco Corp. (TSX:CCO) and provides more than 20 per cent of Ontario's electricity.

Some Albertans have been vocally opposed to the idea of building a nuclear generating plant in the province.

The proposal has sparked protests, including one earlier this month that saw 200 people, ranging from families to environmental activists, rally on the steps of the Alberta legislature.

They waved placards that said "Keep Alberta Nuclear Free" and "Forever Deadly Toxic Waste."

A local group, the Peace River Environmental Society, has said it fears a proposed reactor would taint local water supplies and pose a health risk to northern Alberta residents.

A Bruce Power official in Ontario said that once the deal is closed, the corporation would begin work on an environmental impact assessment on the proposal.

The official said that if the project is approved, it could take eight to 10 years for the plant to be built.

As part of the deal with Energy Alberta Bruce Power would acquire exclusive rights to use CANDU nuclear reactor technology in Alberta.

Energy Alberta founder Wayne Henuset said his firm filed a site license application in August on land near Lac Cardinal, about 30 km west of the town of Peace River.

Alberta Energy Department officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

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