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Canada

Anti nuclear group warning on Asia

A push to bring more nuclear power to Asia is under way, warns a Canadian anti-nuclear group. In January a trade delegation of 400 people, led by Canada's Prime Minister Jean Chretien, toured the Philippines, South Korea and Thailand -- and the entourage included two top executives from Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. The anti-nuclear group Energy Probe Research Foundation warns that, with South Korea and Taiwan already using a great deal of nuclear power, other fast developing countries may well follow suit, making the Third World a dumping ground for unsafe western technology. Not enough is being done to reduce demand or to promote renewables such as wind or solar, says the anti-nuclear group. For example, Thailand's demand for electricity is accelerating by 15% yearly while the government's state run generating authority is adamantly pro-nuclear -- apparently despite public opposition. In fact, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia predicts that by 2010 South Korea will have 26,000 MW of nuclear, China will have 15,000 MW and India 10,000 MW. Recently Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd and the China National Nuclear Corporation signed a contract for the construction of two 700 MW Candu reactors, reports trade magazine Modern Power Systems. The reactors, worth $2.99 billion, will built at Quinshan, Zhejiang Province and Canada is providing $1.1 billion in financing, adds the magazine. The agreement opens the possibility of selling a further eight Candu units to China.

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