23 Jun (NucNet): Canada’s nuclear regulator has said it will appeal a decision by the country’s Federal Court to revoke the licence given to Ontario Power Generation (OPG) to construct new nuclear reactor units at the existing Darlington nuclear facility, a statement said.
The court ordered that the environmental assessment (EA) for planned new units at the Darlington site be returned to the appropriate panel for further consideration including addressing certain “gaps” in the analysis undertaken in the EA.
The case had been brought by a number of environmental non-governmental organisations, challenging OPG’s proposal to construct up to four new nuclear reactors as part of the federal Darlington New Nuclear Power Plant Project.
The organisations, including Greenpeace, challenged the adequacy of the federal EA and the project’s site preparation licence. They took issue with the EA panel’s adoption of the so-called “plant parameter envelope” (PPE) approach, arguing that it does not allow for a meaningful analysis and, as a result, invalidates the EA.
Since OPG had not yet committed to a particular reactor design for the project, the panel considered multiple possible reactor designs using the PPE approach, which involves examining reactor design and site parameters in a way that strives to consider “the greatest potential adverse impact to the environment”.
The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) has now confirmed it will appeal, saying in its notice of appeal that there are aspects of the federal court’s ruling that contain “errors of law”.
In July 2013, OPG said it had received construction plans, schedules and cost estimates for the potential construction of two units at the Darlington site, where there are already four units in commercial operation.
The submissions were from Westinghouse Electric Canada for the AP1000 reactor design and SNC-Lavalin Nuclear/Candu Energy for the Enhanced Candu 6 reactor design.