Firing back, MP Gallant told the Daily Observer there are line by line items in the budget that have not been determined yet, however, at this time no funding has been specifically allocated. Nevertheless, she repeated Ottawa's intent to replace the NRU with a multi-purpose reactor that is capable of different functions beyond the production of medical isotopes.Gallant had previously stated that she hoped some of the AECL budget funds from this year were to support a new reactor at Chalk River. So she is retreating from that. As she should. Minister of Natural Resources Christian Paradis was asked about those funds at the Natural Resources Committee meeting on the 18th and he confirmed that there are no funds for a new reactor in the budget:
"We are going to have to have a replacement for the NRU," MP Gallant said from Ottawa.
At the House of Commons Natural Resources Committee, Mr. Regan asked Natural Resources Minister Paradis, “Is anything in the 2010 budget set aside to lay the groundwork for a new research reactor at Chalk River?” Minister Paradis’ minister’s reply was: “No.”Gallant still seems to be engaged in wishful thinking and raising the hopes of her constituents in stating that it is her government's intent to have a replacement reactor for the Chalk River NRU. That's a big expectation to be putting out there unless there's something to back it up.
For more on this topic, see: Blog Post Index: Medical Isotope crisis & Chalk River shutdown.