The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) has agreed to renew the operating licence of NB Power’s Point Lepreau NPP until 30 June 2022. The current licence expires at the end of June.
CNSC said it found NB Power, "in carrying on that activity, will make adequate provision for the protection of the environment, the health and safety of person and the maintenance of national security," as well as follow international obligations. The commission said it considered issues and submissions related to NB Power's qualifications to receive an extended licence, including an environmental assessment and emergency plans in the event of a nuclear emergency.
Although the environmental assessment found that "adequate measures are in place to protect the environment and human health”, CNSC noted a lack of transparency and public availability of emergency planning documents and directed the utility to disclose them. NB Power spokesperson Paul Doucet said in a statement to CBC News that the plant could "confirm that it will be making its nuclear emergency technical planning basis document, Technical Planning Basis - Radiation Emergency, publicly available by August 2017."
The commission also considered the information presented at two public hearings in January and May, including submissions from members of several Indigenous groups. It said it was satisfied that the licence renewal would have “no adverse impacts to any potential or established Aboriginal and/or treaty rights and that the duty to consult was not triggered in this matter”. However, the submissions had said the plant was built on traditional and ancestral territories, and the facility "adversely affected their Aboriginal and treaty rights”. CNSC recognised that indigenous groups were not consulted when the plant was built, but acknowledged the engagement efforts and commitments made by NB Power.
Point Lepreau, a 660MWe Candu-6 reactor unit, has been in commercial operation since 1983.