Cyberwanderer’s Blog

June 19, 2009

Scientist Came Out Against Harper’s MAPLE Shutdown

Filed under: Canada,Politics — cyberwanderer @ 6:17 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

AECL CEO Hugh McDiarmid announced the sudden shutdown of MAPLE reactor few months after being appointed by Harper. Few months later, privatization of AECL was announced. The nuclear physicist who headed the MAPLE project, along with independent scientist with expertise in the field, are now coming out against Harper and AECL CEO, claiming the decision was made without consulting the scientist and there’s no technical basis to it. MAPLE project leader told MPs today that they were 4 months away from fixing the problem. They also noted that Harper and Raitt’s statement about MAPLE not having produced isotope is “abosulutely wrong”.  (Source: National Post, Montreal Gazettte)

Harper slightly back tracked on MAPLE with his minister Lisa Raitt claiming they might privatize MAPLE to get it working again. Looks like the government is intent on making AECL goes the way of our oil. We have it but foreign company control it and profit from it.

Common refrain from some bank and privatization friendly media is that Canada’s nuclear dream would die if AECL is not sold to their competitor. Kind of silly. Once sold to American or French competitor it won’t be a Canadian dream anymore but American or French dream. They’ll be getting the profit from the expected nuclear renaissance without their pesky AECL competitor standing in the way, especially on access to Canadian market.

The scientist who came together beg the MPs not to let AECL’s MAPLE goes the way of Avro Arrow, a breakthrough fighter plane developed by Canada and destroyed by then Conservative Prime Minister John Diefenbaker. John cancelled the Avro and purchased missile and plane from the U.S. instead.

I’ve recently blogged about how this isotope crisis could affect our Health Care system in general. I am glad to see Toronto Star ran an opinion piece also warning of the long term effect. Hope other media and opposition MPs would highlight this concern.



  1. How privitizing MAPLE “may make it work again”? Initially they claim to be Engineering/Regulatory issue
    (the simplicistically claimed to be +ve void coefficient)? Then, they will tell you Cost/Overbudget $MM. Ignoring simple facts: Firstly, CANDU safety is addressed with controlling “POWER CEFFICIENT” which contains among 5 or 6 parameters the void coeeficient Some can be +ve and some -ve ,but the overall is -ve or zero for all postulated accident scenarios . If for any reason the reactivity kept rising we have two key independent SD systems plus ECI. And it is working fine in Korea. But to play the political Harper game like the old Mulroony an they look for one parameter. Secondly, The uncontrolled over-cost is again an old political game. The Ontario Gov’t delayey DN in the middle of its construction of DN for over 1.5 yrs in the name of nuclear safety hearing (during a major recession) keeping purchased supply and equipment out of use, and worker collecting salaries, then few years later politician screamed about Ontario Hydro can’t run a project on budget,and they put all nuclear maintenance activities on the shelves to maintain the cost of the power to Ontarians frozen. Few years afterward american consultants were invited by the dozens to run our nuclear stations and to tell us “what is wrong with them!!!!!”. Now, you see how politician play the dirty game with nuclear energy and research.

    Comment by Sami — June 19, 2009 @ 7:38 pm | Reply

  2. The public needs to know the entire truth. Harper does not care what it is. He would sell his mother, if she belonged to the Crown. He hates this country.

    Comment by Cari — June 19, 2009 @ 9:57 pm | Reply

  3. Yeah its kind of a travesty when government doesn’t consider the long-term ramifications of letting something like the AECL or CANDU fail. But then again it’s never been in a minority governments mandate to do something that has positive results 5-10 years down the road. This conservative government has shown itself to be unable to support anything unless it has direct impact on voters inclinations and sadly we have short attention spans so swing voters base their basis on very immediate issues that affect them in the short term. You seem to support keeping our CANDU reactors national so please go and sign the petition to do so here.

    Comment by enviralment — June 25, 2009 @ 8:51 am | Reply

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