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UPDATE: Saint John chapter raises concerns about Point Lepreau nuclear station

The Telegraph-Journal reports, “The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission is holding public hearings this week ahead of the application by NB Power for approval to reload fuel and restart the Point Lepreau nuclear generating station some time next fall. Presentations for and against the restart of the plant are being held at the Delta Hotel in Saint John starting at 9 a.m. on Thursday and will continue all day and into Friday. …According to the schedule provided by the CNSC, presenters, known as intervenors, include residents of the area surrounding the plant, union members, first nations’ groups, government agencies and environmental organizations.”

In their written submission, “The Saint John chapter of the Council of Canadians is opposed to the relicensing of the Point Lepreau Nuclear Generating Station. …The devastation of the Japanese Pacific Ocean fishery by the Fukushima accidents makes us realize how vital our fishery is to the food supply and the danger an operating nuclear plant at Point Lepreau poses to it. …We are concerned about the unsolved problem of nuclear waste. …With the refurbishment, we have been told, the quantities of radioactive waste have been found to be higher than expected, so some is being sent to Oak Ridge, Tennessee to be burned to make it smaller, and sent back here as radioactive ashes to be stored. Some low-level radioactive waste has even been sent to the local landfill. We do not agree with these decisions.”

They also note, “Our chapter participated in provincial energy hearings. In our presentation we pointed out the problem of climate change, the need for energy security, and the need to switch from fossil fuels and nuclear power to conservation, energy efficiency, and renewable sources of energy. We told the energy commission that building large fossil fuel plants and the nuclear plant was a mistake. …Our province is rich in wind, water, wood and solar energy sources which are more suitable for our energy generation, and do not leave us with dangerous radioactive waste or the risk of a devastating nuclear accident.”

The newspaper report adds, “(The power plant) was taken offline in March 2008. Originally scheduled to take 18 months and cost $1.4 billion, technical problems delayed the project, which is expected to be finished three years late and $1 billion over budget.”