Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Not Just Medicine

By D'Arcy Hande, The StarPhoenix

When under scrutiny, the Sylvia Fedoruk Canadian Centre for Nuclear Innovation and its CEO Neil Alexander like to put on their suits of shining armour as the champions of nuclear medicine.

So Alexander's letter (Appropriate work, March 26) comes as no surprise. But in a StarPhoenix interview in December, he had on his more business-like jousting suit and proclaimed how SFCCNI's research could facilitate building small nuclear reactors for deployment in Saskatchewan. The core funding of $30 million for the centre at its inception in 2011 came from the Saskatchewan government. The centre's original business framework stated: "The province expects nuclear power to be considered in the range of energy options available for baseload generation capacity in the medium and long term after 2020 and that the CCNI will be able to serve as a source of expertise to inform decisions in this area."

More than half the Fedoruk Centre's board of directors has connections to the uranium and nuclear industry.

Alexander states that the centre "has no role in the mining or sale of uranium." However, research and development for the nuclear industry is a different story. A check of projects approved for funding by SFCCNI over the past three years demonstrates that there is inevitably money granted toward research on nuclear reactors and aspects of uranium mining.

Obviously the Uranium Development Partnership agenda of 2009 is still alive and well at the University of Saskatchewan's Fedoruk Centre.

D'Arcy Hande

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