Alberta is one-step closer to becoming nuclear-powered.
Energy Alberta has teamed with Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) in an application to bring two nuclear twin-units to the province by 2017.
Wayne Henuset, president and co-chairman of Energy Alberta, said Alberta is more than ready for a clean, safe and reliable nuclear power plant.
“There is no doubt in my mind that Alberta needs a large, reliable and clean power source to meet its future needs,” Henuset said yesterday, of the proposal to build the $6.2-billion plant about 30 kilometres west of Peace River.
But the plans have been met with fierce opposition from environmental groups who say nuclear power creates many risks the province should steer clear from.
“Nuclear Power is not safe, not green, not clean, and not economical,” said Leila Darwish of the Sierra Club.
“It is an unnecessary risk for Alberta. Nuclear power plants leave a deadly legacy for future generations,” she said.
Premier Ed Stelmach weighed in on the application yesterday, saying public opinion will help decide if the project is approved.
“I’m waiting for full public discussion on it and that’s a commitment I made during the leadership (campaign),” Stelmach said.
“The public will have an opportunity for input — full input into the question. It is a very important issue and that’s why all Albertans should have the opportunity for input.”
If approved, the plant will produce 2,200 megawatts of electricity, which could power up to 20 per cent of the province’s current peak load, according to Henuset.
“Alberta’s power needs are growing by 400 megawatts every year and that’s just from population growth. We’re at a point where we need more energy.”
Energy Alberta would initially build one twin-unit ACR-1000 to produce 2,200 megawatts of electricity with a targeted in-service date of early 2017.