The following is excerpted from Canada, the Provinces, and the Global Nuclear Revival: Advocacy Coalitions in Action by Duane Bratt.
The other external shock was the March 2011 Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear accident. Although it is still too early to determine its full effects, the early results reveal a couple of things. First, the accident will be used as evidence by both nuclear coalitions to support their respective policy beliefs. The anti-nuclear coalition will use it to highlight pre-existing concerns over reactor safety, radiation exposure, and nuclear waste disposal, and these attacks will be rebutted by the pronuclear coalition, which will stress the relative absence of death and injury resulting from the nuclear accident, especially in contrast to the earthquake and tsunami. Second, it does not appear to have altered the nuclear agenda of any of the policy brokers in Canada. Ottawa still went ahead and sold off aecl’s reactor division to SNC-Lavalin, Ontario went ahead with the public hearings that were required for its new nuclear build project, and Point Lepreau is still being refurbished. Both the Alberta and the Saskatchewan government reiterated their previous nuclear stance, although with a lot more enthusiasm in Saskatchewan. Only in Quebec was there an apparent policy reversal resulting from Fukushima-Daiichi when the Charest government delayed the refurbishment of Gentilly-2 pending more analysis. However, even in Quebec, this simply reflected a stronger anti-nuclear sentiment that had existed in the province before Fukushima-Daiichi. For example, in 2008 only 22 percent of Quebecers supported nuclear energy in their province. This support plummeted even lower to only 17 percent in polls taken in June 2011. Quebec has, by far, the lowest support for nuclear energy in the country.
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