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Dec 12,2007
Canadian PM overrules nuclear watchdog
by UPI

OTTAWA -- Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper overruled the country's nuclear watchdog agency and ordered a closed atomic plant reopened.

Last month, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission ordered the 50-year-old facility at Chalk River, Ontario, closed because a backup power supply system resilient to earthquakes hadn't been installed.

The facility is one of the largest global suppliers of medical and cancer treatment radioactive isotopes, which Harper used as justification for reopening the facility in a Parliamentary session in Ottawa Tuesday night, the Globe & Mail reported.

"There will be no nuclear accident," the Conservative Harper told Parliament. "On the contrary, what we do know is that the continuing actions of the Liberal-appointed Nuclear Safety Commission will jeopardize the health and safety and lives of tens of thousands of Canadians."

The emergency legislation introduced by the Conservatives passed unanimously after four hours of debate, the report said. The bill allows the plant to restart immediately and run for 120 days.

Copyright © 2007, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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