Randall Kahgee, former Chief of Saugeen Ojibway Nation and negotiator on DGR to give Keynote at Future of Nuclear 2015

PSTBiosIndivid-RandallWe are excited to announce that Randal Kahgee, former Chief of the Saugeen Ojibway Nation, Partner at Pape, Salter Teillet LLP, and First Nations negotiator on the DGR near Kincardine, Ontario, will give the keynote speech at this year’s Future of Nuclear conference on November 10, 2015!

Kahgee served four terms as Chief of the Saugeen Ojibway Nation and is a specialist in aboriginal rights law and government-government negotiations.  He has extensive first-hand experience with negotiations between First Nations communities and federal and provincial governments on the construction of nuclear plants, transmission lines, and wind farms, and is currently involved in the negotiations on OPG’s deep geological repository, which is located on Saugeen Ojibway land.

To learn more about the conference speakers and topics, and to register to attend, click the link below:
https://future-of-nuclear-2015.eventbrite.ca

Westinghouse and OPG agreement a watershed moment for Canadian nuclear industry

With little fanfare, an unassuming tweet came across my screen yesterday afternoon while attending the global carbon leakage seminar at Bennett Jones. Apparently, Westinghouse and OPG had signed an agreement to collaborate and work on selling their nuclear expertise, products, and services in global markets. Under the agreement, the companies will consider a diversity of nuclear projects including refurbishment, maintenance and outage services, decommissioning and remediation of existing nuclear facilities, and new nuclear power plants.

This agreement could represent a watershed moment for Ontario’s economy, certainly for the nuclear industry. Like a sportscaster that tries to call the definitive momentum shifting play in a game, we won’t know for a while yet. But this agreement could be a gamechanger. Let me tell you why. Ontario has been built on the back of cheap energy, first from Niagara Falls and then nuclear. It is cheap energy that allows us to mine economically and manufacture cars with the best the world has to offer. Similarly, in Quebec, the vast hydro projects underpin their economy. In Alberta, oil and gas are key drivers. Any robust economy in the world has an abundant, secure source of energy.

Ontario’s CANDU technology has been a global leader and a gamechanger for many countries in the world. However, as in all technology driven industries, there is great innovation happening, it happens relentlessly,  and CANDU is not the only nuclear technology that growing nations are considering. The thriving economies of the world, China, India and others, are craving cheap, abundant, clean, safe energy. While Ontario does not have the demand to build new reactors now, other countries do. The challenge for our nuclear industry has been to somehow get our tens of thousands of nuclear related jobs serving the global market, not just maintaining our stable domestic market. This means being able to support the multiple and diverse nuclear technologies that are evolving in the global marketplace today.

The significance of the Westinghouse deal is that it ties OPG to a global leader in a non-CANDU technology. OPG is a globally recognized leader in operating nuclear power generating stations. It has an unblemished safety record that is the envy of the world. What a glorious opportunity this represents to market that operating expertise and enter other markets being served by emerging nuclear technologies. There is certainly a place for CANDU in the future. However, Westinghouse has their APS-1000 line of reactors that are making inroads in several countries. Kudos to OPG for seizing this opportunity and diversifying how they deploy their expertise.

Kudos also to Westinghouse. Westinghouse recognizes that in the 21st century the world will need more nuclear energy if it is to stem the effects of GHG driven climate change. In a post Chernobyl world there has been a relative shortage of young engineers and trades trained in the nuclear sciences. Ontario has almost 300 companies in the nuclear supply chain. There are more than 25,000 jobs related to the nuclear industry. There are nine universities that have courses in some sort of nuclear science. We have Chalk River and AECL, world leading nuclear research in medical isotopes and other applications beyond energy. And we have the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) which is increasingly being viewed as an innovator and leading exemplar in nuclear regulation by emerging economies and jurisdictions that need to model their own regulatory regimes.

Ontario’s Green Energy Act has spurred wind and solar energy. Cumulatively, renewables represent a single digit percentage of our energy mix. There are thousands of jobs related to renewables, depending on how you count them. This is wonderful news as renewable energy represents an important part of the energy mix. The Westinghouse OPG agreement reminds us that Ontario’s existing nuclear industry, expertise and workforce are an order of magnitude larger than the current renewable industry.

The full press release may be viewed at http://bit.ly/1m7nPmg .

Henry Vehovec
Chair, Future of Nuclear Advisory Board
President, Mindfirst Inc.

ADM Rick Jennings to speak re LTEP at Future of Nuclear Seminar on January 21

Rick Jennings, Assistant Deputy Minister, Ministry of Energy, Ontario, will speak about Ontario’s recently released Long Term Energy Plan (LTEP) and the role of nuclear energy as part of that plan at this year’s first Future of Nuclear Seminar on January 21. The LTEP report entitled Achieving Balance addresses the growing role of renewables in the energy mix, the ongoing need for safe, reliable base load energy and the export business development potential for the nuclear industry. This session is targeted at senior executives and stakeholders that would like an opportunity to engage in a private dialogue regarding important nuclear energy issues in an objective, collaborative learning environment.

The Future of Nuclear Advisory Board has organized a series of six seminars to be held through 2014 to discuss important nuclear energy issues. The dates for the 2014 seminars are January 2, March 4, May 6, June 24, September 23 and November 4. Topics and speakers for each session will be announced on this Future of Nuclear website, the Future of Nuclear Conference Facebook page, the @futureofnuclear twitter feed and via our direct newsletter which you may register for by clicking here.  Seminars are conducted during lunch in meeting rooms at Torys, 79 Wellington St. W, 30th Floor, Toronto, ON. You may register for the first event by clicking here. Subscriptions for the entire six seminars are available, please Contact Us if interested.

The Future of Nuclear Series is funded by the registration fees of participants, revenues from resultant reports and the support of sponsors. Supporters to date include Babcock and Wilcox, Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC), McMaster University, Ontario Power Generation (OPG), Power Workers’ Union, Torys, University of Toronto, and Westinghouse. The Seminar Series is organized by Mindfirst Inc. under the direction of Future of Nuclear Advisory Board chaired by Henry Vehovec, Adjunct Professor, University of Toronto, Innovations in Technologies and Organizations in Global Energy Systems. Seminars are conducted under Chatham House Rule format. If interested in volunteering as part of the Mindfirst team, part of the Advisory Board, or sponsoring the Future of Nuclear Seminar Series please contact us.