NB Power president refuses to debate environmentalist on future of nuclear power in New Brunswick

June 30, 1997

NB Power refused today to provide a company representative to appear on the CBC television program “Focal Point” to debate the future of the province’s nuclear program with Thomas Adams, Executive Director of the national environmental and consumer watchdog Energy Probe.

A representative of NB Power’s confirmed to “Focal Point” producers that the utility’s president James Hankinson would not debate Mr.Adams and that no one else in the corporation would be available.

A consulting study, performed by the firm Hagler Bailly and commissioned by NB Power, recently three weeks ago recommended potential life extension of the Point Lepreau nuclear station beyond its current expected end of service date around the year 2014 and also recommended changes in the accounting treatment for the facility that would recover depreciation and waste disposal costs over a shorter period than is now used. The staff of the Atomic Energy Control Board last week criticized operating practices at the utility’s trouble prone Point Lepreau nuclear generating station. The utility announced its 1997-98 financial results today which show a $21.2 million loss, the fourth straight annual loss after removing the effect of accounting changes.

Energy Probe’s analysis of NB Power’s environmental, financial, and operational status is available on the Internet at http://www.nextcity.com/EnergyProbe/nbpower/index.html.

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