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Sunday, March 30, 2008

French firm Areva eager to build nuclear power plant in Alberta, Canada

Areva SA is eager to build Western Canada's first nuclear power plant, the president of the French nuclear giant's Canadian wing said Friday.

Ontario power plant operator Bruce Power said earlier this month that it wants to build a four-reactor nuclear complex near Peace River, Alta., at a cost of more than $10 billion.

"Our design is one of the designs that Bruce Power is looking at for Northern Alberta. We're competing for their attention," Armand Laferrere told reporters in Calgary.

The proposed 4,000-megawatt facility would be the largest of its kind in the world and could be up and running as early as 2017.

Bruce Power has indicated it would open up bidding for the mega project to private international companies other than Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd., the Crown corporation that designed the Candu reactor.

Possibilities could include GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy and Westinghouse Electric Co.

When asked whether Areva was in talks with nuclear providers other than Bruce Power for construction projects in Alberta, Laferrere said: "The answer is yes and I will not say one more word."

Demand for power in Alberta is growing faster than any other jurisdiction in North America and will need another 10,000 megawatts of electricity in the next two decades, Laferrere said.

The growth is being propelled largely by the oilsands industry in northeastern Alberta, which currently consumes enormous amounts of natural gas to power its operations.

(read more)

(Source: The Canadian Press)

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