MOLTEX: undermine Canada's NPT policy?

MOLTEX: undermine Canada's NPT policy?

Postby Oscar » Fri Jun 11, 2021 9:19 am

A nuclear start-up company could undermine Canada’s global non-proliferation policy: experts

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Important national and international issues are at stake, and conscientious Canadians should sit up and take notice. Parliamentarians of all parties owe it to their constituents to demand more accountability. To date however, there has been no democratic open debate or public consultation over the path Canada is charting with nuclear energy.

(PHOTOS: The federal government recently supported the Moltex project with a $50.5-million grant, announced on March 18 by Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc, right, in Saint John. At the event, Mr. LeBlanc and New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs described the Moltex project as 'recycling' nuclear waste. The Hill Times photographs by Andrew Meade)

The recent effort to persuade Canada to sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) has stimulated a lively debate in the public sphere. At the same time, out of the spotlight, the start-up company Moltex Energy received a federal grant to develop a nuclear project in New Brunswick that experts say will undermine Canada’s credibility as a non-proliferation partner.

Moltex wants to extract plutonium from the thousands of used nuclear fuel bundles currently stored as “high-level radioactive waste” at the Point Lepreau reactor site on the Bay of Fundy. The idea is to use the plutonium as fuel for a new nuclear reactor, still in the design stage. If the project is successful, the entire package could be replicated and sold to other countries if the Government of Canada approves the sale.

On May 25, nine U.S. non-proliferation experts sent an open letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressing concern that by “backing spent-fuel reprocessing and plutonium extraction, the Government of Canada will undermine the global nuclear weapons non-proliferation regime that Canada has done so much to strengthen.”

The nine signatories to the letter include senior White House appointees and other U.S. government advisers who worked under six U.S. presidents: John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard Nixon, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama; and who hold professorships at the Harvard Kennedy School, University of Maryland, Georgetown University, University of Texas at Austin, George Washington University, and Princeton University. . . . . . .

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