Nuclear industry testimony supports compensation bill

Canadian nuclear-industry officials testified before the Senate last week in Ottawa to support the passage of Bill C-22.

If approved, this legislative proposal would raise nuclear accident liability to $1 billion from $75 million.

“This legislation would improve the nuclear liability framework, bringing it in line with international standards,” John Barrett, president and CEO of the Canadian Nuclear Association, said. “It would protect Canadians and improve the industry’s ability to manage risks responsibly.”

The passing of Bill C-22 would replace the 1976 Nuclear Liability Act (NLA) with a Nuclear Liability and Compensation Act (NLCA). If accepted, the NLCA would function as an international treaty and provide restitution for foreign damage caused by Canadian nuclear operators.

“The treaty will provide further protection in the case of an international accident. It will also improve the industry’s ability to export Canada’s significant nuclear expertise,” Barrett said.

A study by the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters, the Canadian nuclear industry directly employs roughly 60,000 direct and indirect Canadian workers. The growing industry generates just shy of $7 billion in economic activity, exports $1.2 billion in goods and services, and pays $1.5 billion in both federal and provincial taxes.