Minister's Response – Small Modular Reactor Demonstration Project

Physical Activities

Énergie NB Power is proposing the construction, operation, and decommissioning of a small modular reactor commercial demonstration unit at the existing Point Lepreau Nuclear Generating Station, at Point Lepreau, New Brunswick, along the Bay of Fundy. The reactor would be a sodium-cooled fast reactor and have a thermal output between 286 and 429 megawatts thermal (100 to 150 megawatts electric).


The project does not warrant designation.


Pursuant to section 9 of the Impact Assessment Act (the IAA), I, Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, considered the potential for the project to cause adverse effects within federal jurisdiction, adverse direct or incidental effects, and public concerns related to these effects; as well as adverse impacts on the Aboriginal and Treaty rights of the Indigenous peoples of Canada. In forming my opinion, I took into account the analysis prepared by the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada.

I am of the opinion that the designation of the project is unwarranted for the following reasons:

  • The legislative processes that currently apply to the project and related consultations with potentially impacted Indigenous peoples provide a framework to address the potential adverse aforementioned effects and impacts, and concerns raised by Indigenous peoples and members of the public. These processes include:
    • the regulatory framework and licensing process of the Nuclear Safety and Control Act, which includes consideration of environmental effects and matters related to public health and safety, public and Indigenous consultation, and conditions for the licensee;
    • the provincial environmental impact assessment process under New Brunswick's Clean Environment Act, which may include enforceable terms and conditions to mitigate potential environmental effects for all stages of the development;
    • additional provincial legislation, as applicable, such as the Clean Water Act; and
    • additional federal authorizations and approvals that may be required under the Fisheries Act, the Species at Risk Act, and the Canadian Navigable Waters Act.
  • The project must be carried out in compliance with federal and provincial legislation, including the Nuclear Safety and Control Act; the Fisheries Act; the Species at Risk Act; the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994; the Canadian Navigable Waters Act; the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999; the Clean Environment Act; and the Clean Water Act.

Document Reference Number: 3

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