One sees eerie similarities here in Canada to the cozy relationship between regulator and utilities in ‘pre-Fukushima’ Japan. Such ties are hardly limited to Canada though. The chronic degradation of real commitments to continued improvements in reactor safety systems and a decline in overall safety culture that discourages critical design reviews and willfully ignores well justified, safety critical hardware upgrades, has created alarming conditions that are likely inching us towards another nuclear disaster. Operating CANDU reactors are now close to being obsolete but have barely seen any substantive severe accident related risk reduction upgrades nine years after Fukushima, hoopla in Canada around some minor improvements and premature closure of even otherwise sparse and what were really weak regulatory ‘Fukushima Action Items’ notwithstanding.

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