FREDERICTON (GNB) – NB Power and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission held a technical briefing and demonstration of emergency mitigating equipment for media today at the Point Lepreau Nuclear Generating Station. The event was held in preparation for a full-scale nuclear emergency exercise taking place Oct. 3-4. Such exercises are held every three years as part of the station’s licensing requirements.

In recent years, the station has taken measures aimed at enhancing emergency preparedness and response capabilities, including new emergency mitigation equipment, new facility construction and training for emergency responders on the site. Other assets include debris-removal vehicles, radiation monitoring stations, fire trucks and portable generators.

Synergy Challenge will be exercised under controlled conditions to test emergency preparedness, response and recovery capabilities. More than 35 agencies and organizations, such as the Canadian Red Cross, various government departments and first responders, will participate in order to test collaborative effectiveness. This will be the first time a Canadian nuclear power plant has entered the recovery phase of an exercise focused on the final stage of emergency management.

During the exercise, motorists can expect increased vehicle traffic on Route 790 north of Point Lepreau and on Route 175 in the Pennfield Ridge area. People may notice emergency response vehicles and hear radio communications simulating an emergency at the station. On Oct. 4 and 5, residents may also see helicopters flying over the Point Lepreau area as NB Power and Natural Resources Canada will be conducting aerial surveys.

The Point Lepreau Nuclear Generating Station is a 660 megawatt (net) nuclear generating station and a low-carbon, base load contributor to the New Brunswick electrical grid. It produces enough non-emitting electricity to power more than 333,000 homes per year and is a foundational piece of the company’s domestic energy supply and export sales.