July 28, 2005
Fredericton: New Brunswick Premier Bernard Lord and members of his cabinet are meeting this afternoon to decide the future of the aging Point Lepreau nuclear power plant. At issue is whether to go ahead with a $1.4 billion refurbishment, and if so, how?
The province could partner with Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, or Bruce Power of Ontario.
Cabinet ministers entering the meeting weren’t offering many hints.
Energy Minister Bruce Fitch would only say the province is looking at an interesting concept that has many pros and cons.
The premier has promised to make the official announcement tomorrow morning.
Ross Galbraith of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers says he expects the province will proceed with refurbishment.
He says his members could work well with either AECL or Bruce Power.
IBEW represents 640 of the 700 employees at Point Lepreau.
But a leading energy watchdog says he expects the province will scrap the power plant.
Tom Adams, director of Toronto-based Energy Probe, says if N.B. Power is sticking to its new business philosophy, it won’t take on a uneconomic project like the retrofit of Lepreau.