Greenpeace Canada

Greenpeace Canada

July 14, 2005 13:20 ET

Fed's Nix New Brunswick Nuke

Greenpeace applauds Martin government decision on Point Lepreau reactor Attention: Environment Editor, Energy Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor TORONTO/ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - July 14, 2005) - The Paul Martin government has made the right decision by rejecting New Brunswick Premier Bernard Lord's demand for a $600 million subsidy to rebuild the ailing Point Lepreau nuclear station, says Greenpeace Canada.

Earlier this year, Lord threatened to undermine the federal government's climate change plan by building a coal-fired generating station if a subsidy of $400 - $600 million was not provided to rebuild the Point Lepreau reactor in 2008. In May, Lord made the children of New Brunswick nuclear hostages, refusing to sign a child-care deal unless the fed's subsidized Point Lepreau.

"Congratulations to Prime Minister Martin for refusing to give in to Premier Lord's environmental extortion. Canadians want the federal government to support green power - not dirty coal and nuclear power. The Martin government has made the right decision" said David Martin, Energy Coordinator for Greenpeace Canada.

In 2002, New Brunswick's Public Utility Board, an independent regulator, concluded that the reconstruction of Point Lepreau was not in the public interest because of its high cost and serious risks. In 2003, Premier Lord declared that a decision on Point Lepreau would have to be made by the end of 2004, but he was unsuccessful in obtaining buy-in from either the private sector or the federal government for a bail-out of the $1.4 billion project.

"Premier Lord should stop trying to squeeze more juice out of an old lemon reactor. Point Lepreau should be replaced by green energy that is cleaner, cheaper and safer," said Shawn-Patrick Stensil, Energy Campaigner for Greenpeace Canada. "Nuclear power leaves a deadly legacy of radioactive waste that is toxic for a million years."

A federal subsidy for the Point Lepreau reactor would have also obligated the government to provide billions of dollars in future subsidies for nuclear refurbishment projects at the Gentilly 2 reactor in Quebec, as well as Pickering "A" reactors 2 and 3, and Bruce "A" reactors 1 and 2 in Ontario. In addition, 12 reactors at the Pickering "A", Bruce "B" and Darlington nuclear stations in Ontario will start reaching 25 years of age between 2008 and 2015.

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For further Information:

David Martin, Energy Coordinator 416-597-8408 X 3050 (cell) 416-627-5004
Shawn-Patrick Stensil, Energy Campaigner (English and French) 416-597-8408 X 3013 (cell) 416-884-7053
Andrew Male, Communications Coordinator 416-597-8408 X 3030 (cell) 416-880-2757

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