Group wants nuclear plants protected

Campbell Morrison
The Moncton Times and Transcript
September 21, 2001

One of Canada’s pre-eminent environmental groups is calling for military protection of New Brunswick’s nuclear power station at Point Lepreau.

Energy Probe executive director Tom Adams said Point Lepreau faces special security risks because of its proximity to the U.S. border and because of the small army of international technicians who have been trained at the station and know it inside out.

That information could be used to sabotage the 635-megawatt power station from the inside, he said.

“We recommended both military protection and intelligence effort be applied to these various risks,” he said.

“Very large numbers of individuals have been in these training programs developing detailed technical knowledge about Candu systems that could be specifically used to guide strategic attacks,” he said yesterday. “Somebody that knows a plant from the inside out would not need a truck bomb.”

People from Romania, Pakistan, India, Argentina and Korea have been trained at Point Lepreau and the Pickering nuclear power station in Ontario.

“We have proliferated detailed knowledge about these facilities. I am not suggesting any particular individuals or that we have any information about these people, I am just saying that there are thousands and thousands of nuclear trained technicians out there in the world and their knowledge represents a potential security risk that has to be accounted for.”

Adams wrote a letter to the prime minister and other cabinet ministers describing the security risks at Canada’s nuclear power stations and recommending means to address them.

“All the nuclear power stations are designed with an inadequate appreciation of risk of sabotage,” he said.

Adams conceded that Energy Probe opposes nuclear power in general, but said its long campaign against it gives it special insight into the risks involved.

“Notwithstanding our opposition in general, we have some detailed knowledge about the operation of these bodies.”

Adams refused to release his letter, arguing that its contents would be helpful to terrorists.


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