Campaign for nuclear phaseout

Nuclear Power – CANDU Exports – China
November 6, 1996

Canada Is “Exporting Disaster”
New study critical of imminent CANDU export deal to China

Ottawa — A study released today by the Campaign for Nuclear Phaseout (CNP) says CANDU exports have no economic benefits and high moral costs. It is expected that Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. (AECL) will announce the sale of two CANDU reactors to China sometime this month.

The new study, Exporting Disaster: The Cost of Selling CANDU Reactors, by David H. Martin of Nuclear Awareness Project, states that domestic reactor sales in Canada have dried up, and in the case of China, export sales are being made on a break-even basis at best. Sales cannot possibly hope to recoup the $13 billion subsidy already given to AECL by Canadian taxpayers.

Elizabeth May, Executive Director of the Sierra Club of Canada, demands “full disclosure on the financing and terms of the CANDU sale to China.” She adds, “AECL is a crown corporation and the Canadian government is backing a rumoured $1.5 billion loan to China. Since Canadian taxpayers will be holding the bag if China defaults, the Canadian public deserves to know the truth.”

The study finds that regardless of non-proliferation agreements, CANDU reactor sales carry the potential to aid in the production of nuclear weapons. China has repeatedly given aid to states on the brink of building the bomb. “Even the United States does not allow its nuclear companies to sell reactors to China because China is selling nuclear technology to Pakistan „ a ‘threshold’ state, known to be building the bomb,” says Marc Chénier of the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility.

CNP’s study also reveals that the ethical cost of CANDU sales is too high. Pursuing such exports has effectively led to the abandonment of a meaningful human rights policy. “Potential CANDU customers such as China, Indonesia, and Turkey are among the worst human rights violators in the world. Canada should not be selling them nuclear reactors,” says Campaign for Nuclear Phaseout’s coordinator, Kristen Ostling.

CANDU exports have also repeatedly involved bribery, as has been documented by the Auditor General of Canada. According to Dave Martin, “Corruption and CANDU go together like plague and pestilence. This industry needs to be cleaned up, and the first step is public disclosure about the terms of CANDU deals, and all expenses for marketing and agent fees.”

The study concludes that in order to sell CANDU reactors, Canada looks the other way when it comes to economics, human rights violations and nuclear weapons proliferation.

– 30 –


For more information, contact:

Kristen Ostling, Campaign for Nuclear Phaseout (613) 789-3634
Elizabeth May, Sierra Club of Canada (613) 241-4611
David H. Martin, Nuclear Awareness Project (905) 852-0571
Marc Chénier, Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility (514) 527-2712

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