CANDU export to China imminent

November 11, 1996


The Campaign for Nuclear Phaseout (CNP) is expecting the Chrétien government to announce the conclusion of the sale of two CANDU reactors to China at the end of this month.

A special cabinet meeting was held on November 6th to pass a regulation undermining the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and its application to projects outside Canada. The impetus for this new regulation was to avoid a full environmental assessment of Canada’s CANDU exports to China. However, the regulation is not specific to CANDU exports and has gutted the environmental assessment process for all time.

We urge you to send your message now (fax and/or telephone) opposing the export of CANDUs to China to Prime Minister Chrétien; Lloyd Axworthy, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Art Eggleton, Minister for International Trade. You can use the enclosed model letter or you can write your own. Please send your message before November 21st and forward a copy to CNP.

On November 6th, CNP released a new study entitled Exporting Disaster: The Cost of Selling CANDU Reactors. This study opposes CANDU exports on economic grounds; points out the connection between CANDU exports and nuclear proliferation; and raises serious concerns about human rights violations and corruption in CANDU client countries. The Executive Summary of the report is enclosed. You can order the full 70 page study from CNP for $10.

Thanks for your help.


Kristen Ostling

Please send your message to:

Prime Minister Jean Chrétien: fax (613) 941-6900 tel (613) 992-4211
Lloyd Axworthy, Minister of Foreign Affairs: fax: (613) 995-9926 tel:(613) 995-0153
Art Eggleton, Minister of International Trade: fax: (613) 996-8924 tel: (613) 941-6339

Model Letter

November 1996

Dear _______________________

Canada is currently preparing to finalize the sale of two CANDU nuclear power reactors to China. The export of CANDU reactors to China places the Government of Canada in an indefensible economic, political, ethical and environmental position:

– China’s documented disregard for the environment, raises serious concerns about what China will do with the nuclear waste it generates, which will remain dangerous for hundreds of thousands of years. A special cabinet meeting was held on November 6th to pass a regulation undermining the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act and its application to projects outside Canada. The impetus for this new regulation was to avoid a full environmental assessment of Canada’s nuclear exports to China. However, the regulation is not specific to CANDU exports. Therefore, the Chrétien cabinet has gutted the environmental assessment process in order to promote the interests of the Canadian nuclear industry.

– All nuclear reactors produce plutonium which can be used to make bombs. The United States refuses to sell nuclear reactors to China due to China’s history of nuclear assistance to countries with clandestine nuclear weapons programs, such as Pakistan.

Thus, by selling reactors to China, the Chrétien government is sending the world a message that Canada cares more about selling reactors than it cares about preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

– China’s human rights violations are extensive and well-documented not only at home but also in Tibet where China admits to dumping nuclear waste from its own nuclear weapons program. It is unethical for the Canadian government to turn a blind eye to the atrocities of the Li Peng régime in order to conclude a sale on behalf of the Canadian nuclear industry. Moreover, if China will not abide by its UN obligations to respect human rights, there is no reason to believe it will abide by its nuclear safeguard obligations. Both sets of obligations are unenforceable, depending entirely on good faith.

– $1.5 billion of the CANDU deal with China will be financed by the Export Development Corporation (EDC) and backed by the Canadian government. Thus, the Canadian government will be using Canadian taxpayer money to lend to China. Should China default on this financial obligation, as it has refused to honour other debts, Canadian taxpayers will have to pay off the loan.

I urge you to take steps to ensure that Canada immediately withdraws from all arrangements concerning financial and technical assistance to China for nuclear reactor technology. In addition, I call upon you to ensure that the Government of Canada does not finance or subsidize the sale of CANDU reactors to China, or any other country. CANDU exports are irresponsible given the environmental and economic concerns related to nuclear power.

I look forward to your response.


Signature: _____________________________
Name: _____________________________
Address: __________________________________

Action Alert – French
le 11 novembre, 1996



Chers amis,

La Campagne contre l’expansion du nuclaire (CCEN) a appris que le Premier ministre Jean Chrétien sera de passage en Chine dans une dizaine de jours pour la signature officielle d’un contrat de vente de deux racteurs CANDU. Dans ce contexte, une runion spciale du Cabinet a eu lieu le 6 novembre dans le but d’adopter un rglement qui minerait la Loi canadienne sur l’valuation environnementale et l’application de celle-ci aux projets hors-frontires. Cette nouvelle rglementation arrive prcisment au moment o l’exportation des racteurs CANDU vers la Chine doit tre soumise une tude d’impact sur l’environnement en bonne et due forme. Le rglement n’est pas spcifique l’exportation des racteurs CANDU et vient donc saboter le processus d’valuation environnementale tout jamais.

Nous vous encourageons fortement adresser ds maintenant un message (par tlphone ou tlcopieur) au Premier ministre Jean Chrétien, au ministre des Affaires extrieures, Lloyd Axworthy et au ministre du Commerce international, Art Eggleton, afin de leur faire part de votre opposition cette vente de racteurs la Chine. Utilisez cette fin le modle de lettre en annexe, ou mieux encore, crivez votre propre lettre. Nous vous prions de transmettre votre message avant le 21 novembre et de nous en envoyer une copie.

Le 6 novembre, la CCEN lanait une tude indite intitule ÇExporter un chec: les cots lis la vente des racteurs CANDUÈ. L’auteur s’oppose a la vente des CANDU la Chine pour des raisons d’ordre conomique; il fait aussi tat de l’indissociable rapport entre l’exportation des CANDU et la prolifration des armes nuclaires et soulve d’importantes proccupations concernant les droits humains et la corruption dans les pays acheteurs de CANDU. Vous trouverez en annexe le sommaire de cette tude. Pour obtenir une copie del’tude de 70 pages (en anglais), faites parvenir un chque de 10$ la CCEN.

Merci de votre collaboration.

Kristen Ostling

P.S. Adressez votre message:

Jean Chrétien, Premier ministre: tlcopieur (613) 941-6900 ; tlphone (613) 992-4211
Lloyd Axworthy, ministre des Affaires extrieures : tlcopieur (613) 995-9926; tlphone (613) 995-0153
Art Eggleton, ministre du Commerce International: tlcopieur (613) 996-8924; tlphone (613) 941-6339


This entry was posted in Nuclear Economics, Nuclear Plant Security, Nuclear Power, Towards Shutdown and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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