The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) regulates the use of nuclear energy and materials to protect health, safety, security and the environment and to respect Canada's international commitments on the peaceful use of nuclear energy.
The CNSC renewed Point Lepreau’s operating licence in May 2006 for a five-year period which includes an 18-month maintenance outage to retube the reactor and refurbish the station to extend its life for 25 to 30 years.A progress report on activities related to the retube and refurbishment will be included in the CNSC Staff Annual Report on the Safety Performance of the Canadian Nuclear Power Industry.
In February 2008, the CNSC published RD-360, Life Extension of Nuclear Power Plants. The purpose of this regulatory document is to inform licensees about the steps and phases to consider when undertaking a project to extend the life of a nuclear power plant. NB Power Nuclear’s refurbishment outage is in compliance with the requirements provided by this regulatory document.
During the outage, work will be done under existing or augmented processes related to radiation protection, conventional safety, emergency preparedness, environmental management, safeguards, and security. CNSC staff will be in place during the outage to ensure that NB Power Nuclear will maintain adequate provision for the health and safety of persons, and the protection of the environment. As well, CNSC staff will perform verifications at key milestones as part of the oversight of the project.
Once the refurbishment has reached the fuel loading phase, NB Power Nuclear will need to obtain prior approval of the Commission before reloading fuel in the reactor and proceeding with the restart of the reactor. The Commission will consider the request for approval in the context of a public hearing.