Mr. Speaker, the Canadian government will have to pay $40 million to decommission one plutonium contaminated building at the Chalk River nuclear facility.
How much will it cost to decommission other nuclear facilities operated by Atomic Energy of Canada Limited? Future decommissioning costs could be very high and AECL expects the federal government to cover the costs as they arise.
Therefore, the auditor general has expressed concern about AECL's poor accounting practices. He estimated the total decommissioning bill for the federal government to amount to $850 million. An amount of this magnitude calls into question the credibility of this crown corporation.
One appreciates the Minister of Natural Resources' difficulties in intervening, yet ways must be found to make AECL adopt, as a minimum, sound accounting principles, and I ask the minister to urge AECL to comply with the auditor general's recommendations.