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Thursday
May312012

Gordon Edwards: "SNC-Lavalin and the Demise of CANDU Competence"

Dr. Gordon Edwards, President of the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility (CCNR), has written this essay, "SNC-Lavalin and the Demise of CANDU Competence." SNC-Lavalin, a Quebec-based multi-national corporation, recently took over Atomic Energy of Canada, Ltd.'s (AECL) CANDU reactor division for the bargain basement price of just $15 million. Its situation since can only be described as in meltdown. Its stock value has plummeted, with $1.5 billion in losses, prompting a shareholder class action lawsuit. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police raided its Montreal headquarters, related to $56 million in "untraceable and un-accounted for payments, presumed to be bribes." And a former SNC-Lavalin vice president, with close ties to the Gadhafi family in Libya, which he used to land a controversial Libyan prison contract, is now in a Swiss prison himself, charged with "fraud, money-laundering, and corruption of officials." Another SNC-Lavalin consultant is now in a Mexican jail, charged with "consorting with organized crime, falsifying documents, and human trafficking." Meanwhile, CANDU nuclear engineers are leaving the company in droves, and remaining nuclear engineers are threatening a major strike, due to deep cuts in pay and pensions threatened by SNC-Lavalin. Dr. Edwards warns this dangerously undermines CANDU competence -- and an attached news article shows how the strike and departures could well impact CANDU operations in New Brunswick and Ontario, Canada, as well as a number of overseas countries with CANDUs.