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Probabilistic Safety Assessment

The Point Lepreau Nuclear Generating Station Summary of Probabilistic Safety Assessment

The safety of its workers and the public is the highest priority at NB Power’s Point Lepreau Nuclear Generating Station (PLNGS). The Station is operated to the highest nuclear safety standards and is held to rigorous requirements by the national nuclear regulator, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission. PLNGS has been designed and built with multiple barriers to safeguard against the release of radioactive materials. These barriers are further strengthened by a culture of prevention and safety with prudent plant operation and maintenance, regular testing, monitoring and inspection by our highly qualified staff, and comprehensive management and performance oversight programs.

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, with offices located on-site at PLNGS, provide regulatory oversight and evaluation of fourteen (14) safety and control areas. One of these areas requires NB Power to perform and periodically update an assessment tool referred to as a Probabilistic Safety Assessment (PSA), and to make a summary of that work available to the public.

That summary report can be accessed here.

A PSA is just one of many tools and programs utilized at PLNGS as part of ensuring plant safety, and as such a PSA provides a measure or indicator of overall plant safety when considering the likelihood of various internal and external hazards to which the site might be susceptible, and to identify possible safety improvements that could be implemented if necessary. Improvements are determined by comparing output values from the PSA to safety goals, which are consistent with internationally-defined targets.

On December 30, 2014, and April 29, 2016, NB Power made public summary updates of the work that was being performed related to updated earthquake (i.e. seismic) hazards. The April 29, 2016, update identified that a full seismic PSA was being performed as a result of the hazard assessment. The outcome of the seismic PSA work is included in the summary report accessible at the link above which fulfils stated posting commitments.

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission Tribunal had requested NB Power to make the results of other external hazard assessments available to the public as well. As a result, the report also includes summaries related to state-of-the-art assessments of tsunamis and high winds and, summarizes the entire scope of the PSA, what was considered in its performance, methods and its results in context.

The results of the PSA indicate that all internationally-defined targets have been met and that no further plant improvements are required at this time to deal with possible internal and external hazards. This does not preclude NB Power making further plant improvements to increase margins of safety as part of continuous plant improvement efforts subject to benefit-cost considerations and NB Power business practice.

For more information contact Kathleen Duguay, Manager of Community Affairs and Nuclear Regulatory Protocol at (506) 659-6433 or by email at KDuguay@nbpower.com