Green groups pushingfor heavy water replacement

Shawn Berry, Legislature Bureau
Date published: 
Wed, 2012-02-15


FREDERICTON -- Two environmental groups say radioactive  heavy water that is being reused at the Point Lepreau Nuclear  Generating Station should be drained and replaced with  uncontaminated heavy water.  

The Atlantic Chapter of the Sierra Club and the Canadian  Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility have written to officials at  NB Power and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, and  to the provincial government to demand the change.

  They say that, unless new heavy water is used, radiation  exposures for Lepreau workers and radioactive emissions  will be unnecessarily elevated for the remaining life of the  reactor.  

"They should drain all this heavy water back out again and  not use it in the reactor -- use fresh, non-radioactive heavy  water for the benefit of the workers and the environment  together," said Gordon Edwards of the Canadian Coalition  for Nuclear Responsibility.  

NB Power is standing by its decision.   "As we were approaching refurbishment, NB Power looked at  the option of reusing the heavy water in the moderator system  and we choose (sic) that option, as it can be managed safely  and effectively, as well as being cost effective," utility  spokeswoman Kathleen Duguay said.  

She said the utility will be responding in writing to the two groups.


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