Fredericton — After years of perseverance, New Brunswick has finally discovered its next fiasco that will lose billions of taxpayer dollars.
Last week, Premier Blaine Higgs signed an agreement with Ontario and Saskatchewan to develop small modular reactors (SMR’s) — a new nuclear technology in its infancy.
Now, the New Brunswick government is pledging to spin up the experimental nuclear lab literally right next door to the Maritimes’ only nuclear reactor — Point Lepreau.
“It took a while, but I think we really nailed it,” Higgs said, smiling widely at the media scrum. “I pledge that New Brunswick once again will be a world leader in billion-dollar fuck-ups before the next election!”
New Brunswick has a singular history of high-risk energy project clusterfucks costing taxpayers billions of dollars in losses:
- In 2001, NB Power spent $2.2 billion ($3 billion in 2019 dollars) to retrofit of Coleson Cove to burn orimulsion — a dirty fuel sole-sourced from politically unstable Venezuela. The deal fell apart leaving taxpayers on the hook for the already-completed refurbishment.
- In 2008, NB Power started an experimental $1.4-billion project to refurbish Point Lepreau — a project that delivered 3 years late and $1 billion over budget.
- In 2014, NB Power announced that the Mactaquac Dam’s lifespan is 40% less than planned, and will cost at least $2 billion to refurbish due to crumbling concrete.
“Honestly, we were looking to smart meters or Joi Scientific to be the next billion-dollar blunder,” explained Higgs. “But, neither of those turned out to be good candidates. Sure, they would waste millions of dollars — maybe hundreds of millions! But, we had to admit that they weren’t going to hit that billion-dollar range that we’re famous for.
“New Brunswick can’t just buy stuff when it’s already proven to work. We won’t be losing a billion dollars that way! Only SMR’s can go FUBAR enough to drop-kick taxpayers in the crotch all over again.”
When asked if it was safe to develop an experimental nuclear technology next to an operating nuclear reactor, Higgs said, “Honey, we’re engineers. We know what we’re doing.”