I have a story in today’s Toronto Star that pegs the price of two 1,200 megawatt ACR 1000 reactors from Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. at $26 billion, including all balance of plant costs. That would put the cost at $10,800 (Canadian) per kilowatt, far beyond previous projections. Really far. The story was based on information supplied by sources close to the bidding, including one directly involved on a bidding team. It also found that the Areva bid — involving two 1,600 EPR reactors — came in at $23.6 billion, or roughly $7,400 per kilowatt. It was deemed non-compliant, however, likely because Areva wouldn’t guarantee the price (which explains the lower price, maybe?).
I can understand the Areva price (apparently it’s based on a similar bid for a plant being planned in Maryland), but like many I’m personally shocked at the high amount of the AECL bid. Yes, I wrote the story but like many have a difficult time believing such a high number. My sources, however, are quite credible.
I’ve yet to get any reply from the government or industry that denies or confirms these numbers. Premier Dalton McGuinty was scrummed by reporters earlier this morning and he didn’t refute the numbers, saying only that the process is confidential. McGuinty could have said something general like “The numbers are far off” or “Not even close” to dispute the article, but he didn’t. The $26 billion figure, by the way, almost completely consumes the budget for Ontario’s 20-year nuclear expansion strategy, as estimated in 2007 by the Ontario Power Authority. That budget was to cover a new build at Darlington and at least two refurbishment projects.