Press Conference Questioning the Restart of Point Lepreau

21 November, 2011


The Lepreau Decommissioning Coalition invites New Brunswick, and regional and national media representatives to a press conference that will take place at:


10 a.m. on Wednesday, November 30th in Room 1 of the Saint John Public Library, Market Square in uptown Saint John.


We’ll be introducing our panel of experts, including:


Michel Duguay, Ph.D. in nuclear physics, professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Laval University, and Director of MSQN (Movement for a Nuclear-Free Quebec);


Gordon Edwards, Ph.D. in mathematics and President of the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility (CCNR:;


Sharon Murphy and Chris Rouse of CCNB Action (Saint John/Fundy chapter).


On December 1 and 2 these panelists, among others, will bring their concerns about the safety of operating the Point Lepreau reactor after its refurbishment to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC), which is conducting hearings on those days about NB Power’s application to refuel and restart the Lepreau reactor in 2012 and renew its operating license for 5 more years.


The safety issues our panel will address reveal a pattern of NB Power and the CNSC working together and very often underestimating, downplaying or ignoring important safety problems in their public statements.


Our panel will show how official reassurances of safety at Lepreau have dodged or avoided critical questions about the potential for large earthquakes. They will highlight the fact that Lepreau’s long and troubled refurbishment has failed to address a number of critical design and reactor control problems. They will also point out that there is nothing on the public record to indicate that NB Power or the CNSC take the potential threat of operator/human error seriously in calculating the risk that Point Lepreau imposes on our communities and on our Maritime environment, including the Bay of Fundy.


Our coalition will also bring up another set of concerns: the policies and procedures of the CNSC are inadequate and unfair, and they result in a strong bias in favour of proposals from reactor operators and the nuclear industry. We are calling for a rigorous and thorough Environmental Assessment to replace the CNSC’s biased, fast-tracked hearings prior to any restart of the Point Lepreau reactor.


We also support the nationwide call for a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Future of Nuclear Power in Canada. We think our country should follow the examples of Germany, Switzerland, Italy and other countries that have reassessed the risks of nuclear power in the wake of the Fukushima disaster and have resolved to phase out nuclear power quickly so it can be replaced by wind, solar, co-generation, tidal and other sustainable sources of energy.


Please join us for this media update. We will note for reporters the scheduled times during the next two days of CNSC’s Saint John hearing on Lepreau when speakers from various organizations will present important information about the risks that operating the refurbished Point Lepreau reactor would pose to the health and security of New Brunswick communities and ecosystems.    


Sponsors of this press conference include: UNB Saint John, the Council of Canadians/Saint John chapter, CCNB Action/Saint John-Fundy chapter, the Sierra Club  Canada/Atlantic Canada Chapter, and other organizations affiliated in the Lepreau Decommissioning Coalition.

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For further information please call (506) 849-0285 or 635-1297 (in Saint John), or (506) 529-4982 (in St. Andrews).



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