Public hearings are underway to determine the future of Atlantic Canada’s only nuclear generating plant, and whether an unmatched 25-year license renewal should be granted.

NB Power is requesting the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission to extend the Point Lepreau nuclear plant’s operating license to 2047.

The Point Lepreau CANDU nuclear reactor began producing electricity in 1983, and is located about 35 minutes west of Saint John, NB

A staff report from the commission is recommending a 20-year extension.

The three-day public hearings in Saint John will consider intervening presentations, both oral and written, from individuals, organizations, and municipalities.

“Many interventions in this hearing discuss possible future developments, such as the construction of a small modular reactor or the transportation of nuclear waste to an offsite waste facility,” said Rumina Velshi, president of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, prior to presentations starting Tuesday .

“It is important to remind the participants that such activities are not part of this renewal application.”

“Authorization for such activities will come before the commission, be subject to the commission’s hearing process and review in due course.”

The commission’s renewal process for Point Lepreau began in January, with license application hearings in Ottawa. The facility’s current five-year license expires on June 30.

This is a developing story and it will be updated.

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