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NB Power files latest seismic update on Point Lepreau

2014-12-30


NB Power met a commitment to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) today by posting a summary of an updated evaluation of the seismic report on the Point Lepreau Generating Station. The update re-confirms the safety of Point Lepreau.

"Point Lepreau is an extremely safe facility. It is operated daily to the highest nuclear safety standards and is held to rigorous safety requirements by the national nuclear regulator. The updated evaluation confirms it meets international risk targets," said Sean Granville, Site Vice President and Chief Nuclear Officer.

This report provides a summary of the work being performed to update the seismic hazards assessment and the associated potential impact. Advanced technologies are now available to better refine whether the statistical likelihood of an earthquake is consistent with original determinations, and to take into account improvements to the facility's structures and response capability.

Expert evaluation of the latest results of the site-specific seismic hazard assessment demonstrates the capability of the plant to withstand very rare, large earthquakes. The interim risk assessment conducted shows that the risk due to seismic events is acceptably low and well within international risk targets. The report can be accessed here.

Nuclear plants are designed and built with layer upon layer of protection against accidents, including earthquakes. In recent years as North America and regions abroad have experienced significant earthquakes, experience has confirmed the seismic robustness of nuclear plants. In addition to the inherent robustness of the original design, the enhancements made during the refurbishment project, combined with the incorporation of portable emergency mitigating equipment put in place in response to the CNSC action plan on Fukushima, ensures that the station will be safely shut down and maintained in a shutdown state for very rare large earthquakes, well above those considered in the original design basis.

In addition to the CNSC, the summary report has been shared with various stakeholders including the Point Lepreau Community Relations Liaison Committee.

 

About the Point Lepreau Generating Station

The Point Lepreau Generating Station was declared commercially operational in November 2012 after undergoing a major overhaul. The 660 megawatt (net) nuclear generating station is a base load contributor to the New Brunswick electrical grid, producing enough electricity to power more than 333,000 homes per year for the next 25 to 30 years. The facility is a foundational piece of our domestic energy supply and our export sales, and provides rate stability and the financial flexibility to begin reducing debt. The refurbishment of the Station once again positions NB Power as a utility with a world-class nuclear facility and a highly skilled workforce.

Point Lepreau is a major component of the generating assets that will contribute to the provincial goal of having as much as 75 percent of the electricity used in New Brunswick coming from clean, renewable or non-emitting sources by 2020.

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Paul Doucet, Communications, (506) 659-7774 or email: paudoucet@nbpower.com.