Like the phoenix of ancient mythology, Canada’s nuclear sector- long thought dead for decades, has experienced a revitalization both at home and abroad in recent weeks.
First on December 1st, the Premiers of three provinces (Ontario, New Brunswick and Saskatchewan) announced a joint Memorandum of Understanding to build Small Modular Nuclear Reactors in order to both tackle fossil fuel emissions, as well as deal with the crisis of “green energy” which is both hugely costly, unreliable and incapable sustaining any heavy agro-industrial policy. While Ontario ended its use of coal in 2014, 15% of New Brunswick’s energy stems from coal while in Saskatchewan that number is 30%. All three premiers have made the point that other provinces are welcome to join the coalition, although no others have yet signed on.
One day later, SNC Lavalin signed a major deal with China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) to build an Advanced CANDU Heavy Water Reactor in 2021 in the Qinchan reactor zone. This important breakthrough comes in the wake of a major scandal which has nearly destroyed SNC Lavalin’s entire operation on Canadian Soil due to the company’s bribery of Libyan officials in order to build Qaddafi’s Great Manmade River (destroyed by NATO in 2011). This important deal both propels Canada into much needed participation with the Belt and Road Framework and also introduces a new Canadian technology which allows China to use spent fuel from its Light Water Reactors instead of burying it as waste. SNC Lavalin’s Nuclear Sector President Sandy Taylor said optimistically “this is a game changer in the nuclear industry and a great endorsement of our expertise and CANDU nuclear technology from the largest nuclear market in the world. Each new building China and anywhere in the world will benefit Canada in terms of job creation, innovation and nuclear research and development.”
Overcoming the Fear of Nuclear
Although many people imagine three eyed fish, mushroom clouds, and Homer Simpson (like electric fences around their minds) when the words “nuclear energy” are spoken, the fact is that Canada’s last nuclear build occurred over 3 decades ago with the Darlington-3 plant in 1985. When looking at the abysmal decay of cultural and economic affairs from that moment to the present (loss of infrastructure investment, heavy industry collapse and a growth in speculation), we can see that this turn away from nuclear was in no ones’ benefit. A similar abandonment of the pro-nuclear trend occurred in parallel across the USA and European nations.
In the 1960’s it was largely taken for granted that the pro-industrial growth model which defined the post-WWII world would not be abandoned and energy experts were unanimous that nuclear power would become the world’s dominant form of energy and fusion energy would follow quickly thereafter. However, that industrial model was abandoned in the early 1970’s as the “post-industrial society” was proclaimed by zero-growthers who took over western governments during that period as “the new golden age of civilization”. No longer would energy policy be dictated by the belief in heavy industry and population growth as outsourcing “dirty” production to cheap labour markets would bring in a white collar age of consumerism and population decline.
Strong not only endorsed the Nuclear Moratorium Initiative of 1977 while he headed Petro Canada, but also worked tirelessly alongside Rhodes Scholar Premier Bob Rae of Ontario to destroy Canada’s nuclear energy sector during his time as President of Ontario Hydro from 1991-1994). With Nuclear considered dead, the heirs and loyalists to Maurice Strong’s distopian vision for the world took control of Ontario and Canada ensuring that all plans for new builds were cancelled (with the final 2 plans cancelled in 2012) and the remaining active reactors that supply Ontario over 50% of its energy to be decommissioned.
With fossil fuel plants also shut down, “green energy” programs fueled by vast tax-payer subsidies (they can exist no other way) spread cancerously across all provinces, raising energy costs dramatically. This depressing anti-growth atmosphere resulted in the government’s decision to sell it’s nuclear construction monopoly to SNC Lavalin for the fire sale price of $15 million in 2011 with the hopes Asian nations not ready to commit suicide on the alter of zero-growth utopianism would find a use for the tech.
The Current Revival of Nuclear Power
SNC Lavalin’s agreements with China began taking hold in 2014 with a cooperation agreement with the BRI signed in Vancouver, followed by an important 2016 agreement with CNNP and Shanghai Electric Group to develop the Advanced Fuel CANDU Reactor thus closing the fuel cycle. Nuclear features prominent in China’s long term growth objectives as it currently has 35 reactors in operation, and 20 under construction with plans to double its nuclear capacity by 2021 and triple it by 2030.
China already has vastly increased the scope of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) begun in 2013 as it began to export its development model internationally, lifting hundreds of millions out of poverty and processing more steel in concrete in a decade than the USA had over the previous century. This return to a pro-technological/industrial growth paradigm necessitates the quality of energy that only nuclear power can provide as the Silk Road extends to the Arctic and space.
While SNC Lavalin remains mired in scandal at home, the announcement of provincially-led Small Modular Reactors growth policy both fills the vacuum which SNC unfortunately cannot, and lends itself to Canada’s re-emergence as a nation committed to industrial growth, and Arctic Development for the first time since the days of C.D. Howe and Prime Minister John Diefenbaker. As Small Modular Reactors are ideal for Arctic development, their emergence will qualify Canada as a useful partner in the China-Russia Polar Silk Road which was unveiled this year.
Of course, these positive developments are not occurring without a fight.
While the healing of Canada-China relations is now beginning to be felt with the re-establishment of diplomatic channels in the wake of the ouster of Chrystia Freeland as Foreign Minister on November 20, and her replacement by pro-Chinese (and pro-Nuclear advocate) Francois-Philippe Champagne, there is still Sino-phobic resistance from the corridors of Canada’s Deep State from all sides of the political aisle. The most dangerous of those threats to cooperation includes the anti-Beijing Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act which has been introduced by two Conservative Senators and which calls for sanctioning Chinese officials under the precedent set by the Magnitsky Act passed under Freeland’s lead in 2017. This “Canadian Magnitsky Act” follows hot on the heels of the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act passed last week in Washington tearing US-Chinese relations to new lows unseen since the dark days of the Cold War.
 Other positions occupied by Strong included Vice President of Power Coorporation (1961-1966) where, according to his own words in Elaine Dewar’s interview published in Cloak of Green, he sat on the selection committee that picked up Pierre Trudeau as a talent to use in the post industrial society agenda which was imposed on the first day of Trudeau’s Prime Ministership in 1968. Strong left Power Corporation to become the founder of the Canadian International Development Agency which transformed Canada’s lending to the developing sector from a policy of technology sharing and growth towards debt slavery and IMF conditionalities. Strong then became a co-founder of the Club of Rome in Canada alongside Trudeau, first Chair of the UN Conference on Population and the Environment that created a new standard for NGOs to replace the functions of nation states, after which he was rewarded by being made Vice President of the World Wildlife Fund under Prince Philip. Always loyal to oligarchs committed to population control (like another cutout named George Soros), Strong’s entire life and wealth was never truly his own.