TORONTO, June 30 (UPI) -- The government in the Canadian province of Ontario canceled a deal for the first North American nuclear power facility in three decades on cost concerns.
George Smitherman, the energy minister in the Ontario provincial government, called the $22.4 billion price tag "a substantial challenge" to a bid from Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. on the reactor, the Financial Times reports.
Ontario has expressed reservations over dealing with AECL. The government canceled two AECL reactor projects in 2008 because of malfunctions and in May closed an AECL reactor used to produce more than 30 percent of the world's medical isotopes.
Smitherman, however, said the government would reconsider the reactor project if the costs are reconsidered.
Ontario had served as an industrial hub, looking to secure more nuclear technology by 2018. The province gets roughly half its electricity from nuclear power.
The North American nuclear energy sector, meanwhile, stalled 30 years ago following a meltdown at a reactor at Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania.