Nordion lowers damages claim by 85%

Courtney Symons
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After losing its arbitration battle with Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. in a September ruling, Nordion Inc. (NYSE:NDZ TSX:NDN) is still pursuing damages from the nuclear energy company – albeit 85 per cent less than it was originally seeking.

(Stock image)

Local medical isotope provider Nordion filed an amended statement of claim on Monday requesting damages in the amount of $243.5 million from AECL, down from the $1.6 billion Nordion originally sought.

The arbitration decision in September, which ruled against Nordion by a two-to-one margin, ended part of the three-year fight over the MAPLE nuclear reactors that AECL decided to mothball, citing a design flaw that Nordion argued was manageable.

But the decision does not prevent Nordion from going forward with its ongoing lawsuit against AECL under its Isotope Production Facilities Agreement.

Because of the majority opinion in the arbitration, Nordion’s amended statement of claim under the IPFA no longer includes the federal government and the damages claimed are substantially lower. Nordion and the federal government have agreed to the discontinuance of the action against the government without costs, according to a press release issued by the company.

The amended statement of claim, filed to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, seeks damages against AECL for “negligence and breaches of the IPFA, among other things, during design and in construction supervision and quality assurance,” the release states.

The matter is expected to go to trial in mid-2014.

Nordion’s legal costs associated with arbitration and the pursuit of the lawsuit against AECL are currently expected to be approximately $2 million in fiscal 2013, according to the company.

The local firm may also be on the hook for part of the $46 million in arbitration fees claimed by AECL. A decision on the matter will likely be made in the second quarter of fiscal 2013.


Organizations: AECL., Ontario Superior Court

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Recent comments

  • fdgboy
    January 29, 2013 - 18:10

    Perhaps the greatest design flaw (by today's standards) is that the Maples were designed to use HEU for fuel and Mo99 targets. The world is moving away from HEU for both uses, plus the supply of HEU from the US will end in 7 years. So even if they worked, they would have to undergo substantial redesign to use LEU for fuel and Mo99 targets. The LEU targets are 1/5 as productive as the HEU targets, so even by a major miracle all this does work the Maples would only be 1/5 as productive as originally designed. So isn't this all akin to flogging a dead horse? Not to be totally naive as I know how lawyers like to keep busy, but perhaps they should also reexamine the IPFA and its legality, as these actions appear to be the tail wagging the dog. My apologies to PETA.