CNSC to seek early panel referral for Bruce Power nuclear project proposal
OTTAWA, ONT-The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) will ask the federal Environment Minister to refer Bruce Power's proposal to build and operate up to four new nuclear reactors at the Bruce Power Nuclear site to a review panel. The project, dubbed Bruce New Build by the company, includes site preparation as well as the construction and operation of the new units at the Kincardine, Ontario location. The Commission's decision to ask the Minister for an early referral to a review panel took into account Bruce Power's application and project description, together with preliminary consultations with the area's First Nations. Based on the views already expressed by public interest groups regarding major nuclear projects and its own extensive experience with consultations on such projects, the Commission decided that public concerns warranted its request. The Environment Minister must now decide on this recommendation. An environmental assessment (EA) is required pursuant to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. Bruce Power filed a site licence application with the CNSC last August for the construction of 4,000 megawatts (MW) of additional reactor capacity at its Bruce County site. In January, the CNSC accepted Bruce Power's Project Description, formally launching the EA process. Since then, Bruce Power has hosted a series of open houses and has distributed 30,000 newsletters to area residents and other interested parties while proceeding with EA work on its site. The company expressed its support for the CNSC decision. President and CEO Duncan Hawthorne said, "Given that this is the first proposal for new nuclear units in a generation, having a panel review is entirely appropriate. This Environmental Assessment is an important planning tool for us and we endorse the regulator's decision to make this referral early in the process."