Green groups pushingfor heavy water replacement
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.