CRED-NB supports Indigenous requests for a shorter licence for New Brunswick’s Lepreau nuclear plant

Coalition for Responsible Energy Development – New Brunswick (CRED-NB)

For immediate release – May 10, 2022

Today, two Indigenous organizations intervened in the hearing to renew the licence for the nuclear plant on the Bay of Fundy in New Brunswick. The Passamaquoddy Recognition Group and Mi’gmawe’l Tplu’taqnn Inc. both asked for the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) to recognize their rights under the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

The Passamaquoddy Recognition Group represents the Peskotomuhkati Nation whose traditional territory includes Point Lepreau where the nuclear reactor is sited. They asked the Commissioners to respect the ongoing development of nation-to-nation relations being undertaken by the government of Canada, and to enable their vital need to enact their law, therefore fulfilling their role as caretakers of their territory.

They also underline that the Point Lepreau Nuclear Generating Station was established in their territory without consultation or consent of the Peskotomuhkati, contrary to the terms of the treaties of Peace and Friendship that cover New Brunswick.

The Passamaquoddy Recognition Group requested a 3-year licence period for the Lepreau reactor. Mi’gmawe’l Tplu’taqnn Inc. requested a 5-to-10-year licence period.

The Coalition for Responsible Energy Development (CRED-NB) is participating in the public hearings of the CNSC to review the request for a 25-year extension of the licence to operate the nuclear reactor at Point Lepreau on the Bay of Fundy.

We urge the CNSC to respect Indigenous rights and desires and grant a shorter licence period than the 25-year licence extension NB Power applied for.

The CNSC reports to Parliament through the Minister of Natural Resources, whose mandate letter from the Prime Minister includes a clear direction to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and to work in partnership with Indigenous Peoples to advance their rights.

CRED-NB and the Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA) submitted a joint intervention that we will present to the Commissioners on May 11.  

Our recommendations against the requested licence period highlight significant concerns about reduced public participation, emergency zone designation below International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) standards, dated climate and environmental modelling, failure to consider imminent plans for Small Modular Nuclear Reactors (SMRs) on the Lepreau site, and inadequacy of Cyber security measures given the current threat environment.  

The CRED-NB/CELA intervention is available on the CRED-NB website, HERE.

The proceedings will be Live Streamed HERE.

CRED-NB is comprised of 10 public interest groups in the core coalition, supported by an additional 10 groups and businesses, and more than 100 individuals from across New Brunswick who have signed a public statement in support of CRED-NB’s core objectives.

Coalition for Responsible Energy Development in New Brunswick
PO Box 4561 • Rothesay, NB E2E 5X3

Author: CRED-NB

Coalition for Responsible Energy Development in New Brunswick