Cameco Annual Report 2011


Table of Contents

31. Commitments and Contingencies

  1. (a)On February 12, 2004, Cameco, Cameco Bruce Holdings II Inc., BPC Generation Infrastructure Trust ("BPC") and TransCanada Pipelines Limited ("TransCanada") (collectively, the "Consortium"), sent a notice of claim to British Energy Limited and British Energy International Holdings Limited (collectively, "BE") requesting, amongst other things, indemnification for breach of a representation and warranty contained in the February 14, 2003, Amended and Restated Master Purchase Agreement. The alleged breach is that the Unit 8 steam generators were not "in good condition, repair and proper working order, having regard to their use and age." This defect was discovered during a planned outage conducted just after closing. As a result of this defect, the planned outage had to be significantly extended. The Consortium has claimed damages in the amount of $64,558,200 being 79.8% of the $80,900,000 of damages actually incurred, plus an unspecified amount to take into account the reduced operating life of the steam generators. By agreement of the parties, an arbitrator has been appointed to arbitrate the claims.

    The Consortium served its claim on October 21, 2008, and has amended it as required, most recently on August 7, 2009. BE served its answer and counter-statement on December 22, 2008, most recently amended on March 25, 2010, and the Consortium served its reply and answer to counter-statement on January 22, 2009, most recently amended on August 7, 2009.

    The Unit 8 steam generators require on-going monitoring and maintenance as a result of the defect. In addition to the $64,558,200 in damages sought in the notice of claim, the claim seeks an additional $4,900,000 spent on inspection, monitoring and maintenance of Unit 8, and $31,900,000 in costs for future monitoring and maintenance, as well as repair costs and lost revenue due to anticipated unplanned outages as a consequence of the defect in Unit 8. The initial claim had also sought damages for the early replacement of the Unit 8 steam generators due to the defect shortening their useful operating lives. However, subsequent inspection data and analysis of the condition of the Unit 8 steam generators indicates that they will continue to function until the end of the Consortium's lease of the Bruce Power facility in 2018, as was expected at the time the MPA was entered into. The claim for early replacement was thus abandoned via an amendment to the claim on August 7, 2009. The arbitration hearing was completed on November 23, 2010 and final oral arguments were heard July 19 through 21, 2011 and a decision is pending.

    In anticipation of this claim, BE issued on February 10, 2006, and then served on Ontario Power Generation Inc. ("OPG") and BPLP a Statement of Claim. This Statement of Claim seeks damages for any amounts that BE is found liable to pay to the Consortium in connection with the Unit 8 steam generator arbitration described above, damages in the amount of $500,000,000, costs and pre and post judgment interest amongst other things. Further proceedings in this action are on hold pending completion of the arbitration hearing.

  2. (b)Annual supplemental rents of $30,000,000 (subject to CPI) per operating reactor are payable by BPLP to Ontario Power Generation Inc. ("OPG"). Should the hourly annual average price of electricity in Ontario fall below $30 per megawatt hour for any calendar year, the supplemental rent reduces to $12,000,000 per operating reactor. In accordance with the Sublease Agreement, BALP will participate in its share of any adjustments to the supplemental rent.
  3. (c) Cameco, TransCanada and BPC have assumed the obligations to provide financial guarantees on behalf of BPLP. Cameco has provided the following financial assurances, with varying terms that range from 2012 to 2018:
    1. i) Guarantees to customers under power sales agreements of up to $19,000,000. At December 31, 2011, Cameco's actual exposure under these agreements was $10,800,000.
    2. ii) Termination payments to OPG pursuant to the lease agreement of $58,300,000. The fair value of these guarantees is nominal.
  4. (d) Under a supply contract with the Ontario Power Authority ("OPA"), BPLP is entitled to receive payments from the OPA during periods when the market price for electricity in Ontario is lower than the floor price defined under the agreement during a calendar year. On July 6, 2009, BPLP and the OPA amended the supply contract such that beginning in 2009, the annual payments received will not be subject to repayment in future years. Previously, the payments received under the agreement were subject to repayment during the entire term of the contract, dependent on the spot price in future periods. BPLP's entitlement to receive these payments remains in effect until December 31, 2019 but the generation that is subject to these payments starts to decrease in 2016, reflecting the original estimated lives for the Bruce B units. During 2011, BPLP recorded $498,000,000 under this agreement which was recognized as revenue with Cameco's share being $157,000,000.