This bizarre idea of using nuclear energy to get oil out of the Canadian tar sands surfaces again. Or is this just a way for Alberta to get its own nuclear industry subsidized by the oil industry?
Shell possible customer for atomic energy
Renato Gandia, May 22, 2007 (Fort McMurray Today)
Royal Dutch Shell PLC subsidiary Sure Northern Energy Ltd.; Energy Alberta Corp., Wayne Henuset, president; Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd.; Regional Issues Working Group, Jacob Irving, executive director.
Alberta oil: Not exactly a well (click to enlarge)
Sure North, holder of the most expensive oil sands lease ever, is reportedly considering using nuclear energy to generate the electricity necessary to develop oil out of the bitumen deposits.
- Sure North took the lease last year.
- Rumors about the use of nuclear energy electricity for oil development were unconfirmed on May 22.
- Last week, an Energy Alberta open house won acceptance for the nuclear plan from all but 3 of 300 attendees.
- Development of the Sure North lease is not expected until after 2010.
- The leasehold is 100 kilometers northwest of Fort McMurray in Alberta.
- The highly approving open house was in Whitecourt in central Alberta, where the nuclear reactor may be located. It may also be located in Peace River, an Alberta town closer to the oil fields.
- Rumors about the use of nuclear energy electricity came out of talks confirmed by Energy Alberta with the other companies.
- Husky Energy confirms interest in partnering with Royal Dutch on the development of nuclear energy electricity to work the tar sands oil.
- Natural gas is the primary energy used in working the hard to get oil out of the tar sands. Steam and electricity from natural gas plants drive the process at Syncrude Canada and Suncor Energy. But natural gas supplies may be dwindling.
- Energy Alberta claims nuclear would be cheaper and would cut back greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
- Development of the tar sands will require a lot of electricity.
where oil sands are, where nuclear will be (click to enlarge)
- Henuset: “But we don’t have any contract with any oilsands company…We’re proposing to bring Candu Canadian technology, to become the lowest cost provider of energy for the oilsands producers in the region…”
- Irving: “It’s not in the Regional Issues Working Group’s position to allow or disallow the use of specific energy source…Supply of natural gas is always an issue and individual companies look at their own ways of fixing the problem…”