Point Lepreau Generating Station

Point Lepreau Nuclear Generating Station licensing period April 4, 2017 The CNSC determines authorization from Fisheries and Oceans Canada required August 31, 2017 The CNSC distributes notification letter to interested Indigenous groups March 15, 2018 Periodic safety review basis document submitted to the CNSC May 28, 2018 CNSC staff complete review of Fisheries Act Authorization application September 30, 2018 CNSC acceptance of PLNGS periodic safety review basis document September 30, 2019 CNSC review of PLNGS periodic safety review – safety factor reports December 31, 2020 CNSC review of global assessment report and integrated implementation plan June 30, 2021 CNSC acceptance of the integrated implementation planPLNGS environmental risk assessment completePLNGS submits licence renewal application July 2021 Licence application review by the CNSC August 2021 Notice of public hearing and participant funding program To be confirmed NB Power hosts an open house November 2021 Deadline to apply for the participant funding program To be confirmed The CNSC hosts an open house (Saint John, NB) To be confirmed Point Lepreau licence renewal hearing, part 1 (Ottawa, ON) To be confirmed Deadline for public intervention To be confirmed Point Lepreau licence renewal hearing, part 2 (Saint John, NB) To be confirmed Decision announcement

Point Lepreau Generating Station

Point Lepreau Nuclear Generating Station (PLNGS) currently holds a five-year operating licence, which expires at the end of June 2022.

New Brunswick Power Corporation (NB Power) owns and operates PLNGS, which is located on the shores of the Bay of Fundy, approximately 40 km west of Saint John, New Brunswick. NB Power also operates a nuclear waste management facility at the station. The CNSC site office at PLNGS has permanent CNSC staff who perform inspections to evaluate operations and to verify compliance with regulatory requirements and licence conditions.

View of the Point Lepreau Generating Station

Plant Information

Location: Point Lepreau, New Brunswick
Operator: NB Power
Reactor type: CANDU (CANada Deuterium Uranium)
Vendor: Atomic Energy of Canada Limited
Number of units: 1 reactor
Installed capacity: 705 MWe
Status: Operating
Licence issued: July 1, 2017
Licence expires:June 30, 2022
Start of commercial operation: February 1, 1983
Return to service following refurbishment: November 23, 2012
Reactor building containment: Low-pressure containment, pre-stressed concrete vessel
Licensing documentation: Request a copy of the Point Lepreau licence and licence condition handbook by email

Public Commission hearings and the Participant Funding Program

The CNSC held a two-part public hearing to consider an application from NB Power to renew its nuclear power reactor operating licence for the PLNGS. NB Power was granted a new licence on July 1, 2017.

The CNSC invited members of the public, Indigenous groups and other stakeholders who expressed interest or concerns related to the operation of PLNGS to intervene on NB Power’s licence application. The CNSC also offered funding through its Participant Funding Program to assist in reviewing NB Power’s application and associated documents and providing topic-specific interventions or expert opinion to the Commission.

Emergency preparedness

The CNSC requires nuclear power plants to conduct a full-scale emergency exercise every three years to test emergency response plans, decision-making functions, response capabilities and interoperability. The goal is to test the licensee, response agencies, and municipal, provincial and federal government responders’ ability to mitigate the impact of a nuclear accident.

If you live within approximately 20 km of the Point Lepreau Nuclear Generating Station, you will have received information about what to do in the unlikely event of a nuclear accident from NB Power. For more information, visit NB Power’s Nuclear Preparedness Guide.

When you receive this information, read it carefully and store it in an easily accessible place. You can also attend public information sessions held by local authorities and NB Power. For more information on nuclear emergency preparedness, consult the Province of New Brunswick’s Point Lepreau Nuclear Off-Site Emergency Plan.

For more information on CNSC requirements, consult REGDOC-2.10.1, Nuclear Emergency Preparedness and Response.

As with any emergency, you can prepare your family by:

Periodic safety review

A periodic safety review (PSR) is a comprehensive review of plant design and processes. Considered an international best practice, the CNSC adopted it in 2015. The purpose of a PSR is to compare current design with modern codes and standards in order to identify reasonable and practical plant or program modifications for enhancing safety and enabling safe, long-term operation. As part of the licensing conditions set out by the CNSC, licensees for all Canadian nuclear power plants are required to conduct PSRs every 10 years at each facility.

The licensees conduct PSRs in addition to reviews of the overall safety performance of their facilities, a practice that incorporates reviews of several safety factors.

CNSC regulatory document REGDOC-2.3.3, Periodic Safety Reviews, requires the PSR to be conducted in four phases. PLNGS is currently undergoing a PSR. NB Power submitted a PSR basis document on March 15, 2018 for PLNGS, which is currently undergoing CNSC staff reviews and comments. (phase 1).

CNSC staff thoroughly review all phases of the PSR submissions before proceeding to the subsequent phase; the PSR phases are as follows:

  • Phase 1: review and acceptance of the PSR basis document, an agreement between NB Power and the CNSC on how the PSR will be conducted
  • Phase 2: conduct of the safety factors reviews and identification of findings
  • Phase 3: analysis of the findings and their global impact on the PLNGS safe long term operation (global assessment report or GAR)
  • Phase 4: preparation of the safety improvements plan (integrated implementation plan)

To request the following CNSC acceptance letters pertaining to PSR, please contact cnsc.info.ccsn@canada.ca.

Date Milestone
2018-09-30 CNSC Acceptance of PLNGS periodic safety review basis document
2019-06-30 CNSC review of PLNGS periodic safety review – safety factor reports
2020-12-31 CNSC review of global assessment report and integrated implementation plan
2021-06-30 CNSC Acceptance of the integrated implementation plan

Environmental risk assessment

An environmental risk assessment (ERA) is a systematic process used to identify, quantify and characterize the risk posed by contaminants and physical stressors in the environment to biological receptors, including humans.

The ERA for PLNGS assesses the potential risks for the current whole-site operation and additional facilities, to determine the potential risks to the environment and human health from current operations.

This ERA is underway and will be submitted to the CNSC for review upon completion, along with the application for the renewal of the power reactor operating licence.

To view the following CNSC review letters pertaining to the ERA, please contact cnsc.info.ccsn@canada.ca.

Date Milestone
2020-06-30 Application for the renewal of the power reactor operating licence
2020-06-30 NB Power: PLNGS environmental risk assessment

Fisheries Act authorization

In accordance with the Nuclear Safety and Control Act, CNSC staff continuously review impacts to the environment, including impacts to fish and fish habitat. The CNSC ensures that its reviews take into consideration the requirements of the revised Fisheries Act, per a memorandum of understanding with Fisheries and Oceans Canada. Based on NB Power’s 2013–15 fish monitoring results, CNSC staff submitted its review to Fisheries and Oceans Canada on the effects due to impingement and entrainment at the PLNGS facility. Fisheries and Oceans Canada then determined that PLNGS requires an authorization under section 35 of the Fisheries Act, in which NB Power is to assess and implement measures to mitigate the death of fish due to impingement and entrainment at the station’s cooling-water intake .

PLNGS Fisheries Act authorization timeline

Completion date Milestone (completed or anticipated Lead
2017-04-04 CNSC determined operations requires authorization from Fisheries and Oceans Canada CNSC
2017-07-05 Fisheries and Oceans Canada notified NB Power of the requirement for authorization in order to comply with the Fisheries Act Fisheries and Oceans Canada
2017-08-31 CNSC distributed notification letter to interested Indigenous groups. The letter pertains to the application for authorization from Fisheries and Oceans Canada and includes information on the review process CNSC
2017-08-27 NB Power submitted its proposed draft application for authorization to Fisheries and Oceans Canada NB Power
2018-04-26 CNSC staff completed their concordance review of proposed application and provided their comments to NB Power CNSC
2018-12-31 NB Power to submit application to Fisheries and Oceans Canada following confirmation from the CNSC that the application is complete NB Power

Latest CNSC Plant-Specific Communications

Latest Licensee Public Disclosures

As part of CNSC's regulatory requirements, major licensees must have robust public information and disclosure programs in place. These programs, for nuclear power plants, include a disclosure protocol developed in consultation with community stakeholders. You may visit NB Power's Web site for a full list of disclosures.

Regulatory Reporting

CNSC inspector on the job at NB Power's Point Lepreau Generating Station

Key Topics

Date modified: