CNSC renews the power reactor operating licence for the Point Lepreau Nuclear Generating Station for a 10-year period

June 22, 2022 at 9:54 am  Federal, Politics

June 22, 2022 – Ottawa

Today, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) announced the Commission’s decision to renew, for a period of 10 years, the power reactor operating licence held by New Brunswick Power Corporation (NB Power) for the Point Lepreau Nuclear Generating Station (PLNGS). This decision follows a 2-part public hearing held virtually on January 26, 2022, and from May 10 to 12, 2022, in Saint John, New Brunswick. The renewed licence authorizes NB Power to continue operating the PLNGS with no changes to the authorized activities.

In making its decision, the Commission considered oral and written submissions from NB Power, CNSC staff and 243 intervenors. The CNSC also made participant funding available through its Participant Funding Program, and invited interventions from Indigenous Nations and communities, members of the public, and stakeholders. A funding review committee, independent of the CNSC, reviewed the funding applications received and made recommendations on the allocation of funds. Based on the committee’s recommendations, the CNSC awarded up to approximately $177,000 to 7 applicants.

After reviewing all submissions, the Commission concluded that NB Power is qualified to carry on the activities that the renewed licence will authorize. It also concluded that NB Power will make adequate provision for the protection of the environment, and the health and safety of persons. Regarding NB Power’s request for a 25-year licence, the Commission concluded that a 10-year licence was appropriate, noting factors such as the strong public interest in the hearing process and the need to advance reconciliation with Indigenous Nations and communities. In addition, the Commission has directed NB Power and CNSC staff to each present a comprehensive update to the Commission on the licenced activities at the PLNGS, including key issues raised during the hearing, at the mid-point of the 10-year licence term. This update will take place at a meeting conducted in the community in proximity to the PLNGS and will allow for the participation of members of the public and Indigenous Nations and communities.

A summary record of decision is being issued at this time in light of the pending expiry of the current licence. The summary reflects the substance of the Commission’s decision with respect to this licence renewal and the applicable licence conditions. The detailed reasons for the Commission’s decision and its assessment of all the submissions made in relation to the application will be provided in a detailed record of decision, to be published at a later date.

The summary record of decision is available on request to the Commission Registry at interventions@cnsc-ccsn.gc.ca. The summary decision will also be posted in both official languages at nuclearsafety.gc.ca at a later date. All submissions, hearing transcripts and the hearing webcast are also available on the CNSC website or on request.

The CNSC regulates the use of nuclear energy and materials to protect health, safety, security and the environment; to implement Canada’s international commitments on the peaceful use of nuclear energy; and to disseminate objective scientific, technical and regulatory information to the public. The Commission is a quasi-judicial administrative tribunal set up at arm’s length from government, independent from any political, government or private sector influence.

Timeline

  • On June 30, 2021, NB Power applied for a renewal of its operating licence.
  • In August 2021, the CNSC made funding available through Participant Funding Program to support Indigenous Nations and communities, members of the public and stakeholders in presenting their views to the Commission.
  • The Commission held a 2-part public hearing virtually on January 26, 2022, and from May 10 to 12, 2022, in Saint John, New Brunswick.
  • The renewed licence is valid until June 30, 2032.

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