Despite the nuclear lobby's promises that the cost over-runs and delays of past would never happen again, the Toronto Star reported this morning that Bruce Power’s attempt at refurbishing and restarting the Bruce A nuclear station is behind schedule and $300 million over budget.
What’s notable is that just two month’s ago Bruce Power CEO Duncan Hawthorne told the Star that the project was “on time and on budget."
A $300 million cost over-run in only two months is by no means trivial. The completion of the project has also been pushed from 2009 until 2010 so who can guess how much more the costs will balloon.
In the same article Mr. Hawthorne called the Bruce A refurbishment project a “…destiny issue for the industry. The success of this project spawns other projects and the failure of this probably means that we wouldn't want to do it again."
Mr. Hawthorne has made similar statements to this repeatedly over the past few years.
In 2005 he told the Ontario Energy Association that "If we can't do this, don't talk nuclear again in this province," adding that the province was considering the Bruce project a "test case" for proceeding with future nuclear projects.
What remains to be seen is if Ontario will call into question its $ 40 billion nuclear plan, or if the McGuinty government will believe the nuclear industry’s next recycled promise that it’ll never happen again.