July 10, 2008
Life sciences company MDS Inc. has launched a $1.6 billion lawsuit against Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. and the federal government after a decision to cancel a 12-year-old project to build new nuclear reactors for producing medical isotopes.
Norm Rubin, director of nuclear research at Energy Probe, said any deal the federal government makes to privatize AECL will probably involve taxpayers taking on any potential liabilities from the lawsuit.
“We already have precedents of the Crown hanging onto the liabilities while selling what’s left. They sell the jewels and keep the garbage,”* he said.
He added, however, that the MDS lawsuit could make it more difficult for AECL to sell its next-generation Candu reactors in Ontario and elsewhere around the world.
“This is one more day that everyone is going to remember the Maple debacle, and that it wasn’t small. That’s got to hurt them.”
*The original report lists garage instead of garbage.