A site about 30 kilometres north of the town of Peace River is the new location for Bruce Power's proposed nuclear power plant in northern Alberta, the company announced Monday.
The Whitemud site was selected after a detailed six-month technical review, the company said in a release.
Bruce Power had originally sought approval for a site on Lac Cardinal, 30 kilometres west of Peace River, but temporarily withdrew the application in early January, partly due to residents' concerns about the site's proximity to the freshwater aquifer for the region.
Bruce Power selected the Whitemud site for several reasons, spokesperson Albert Cooper said.
"One of which was the proximity to water," he said. "Secondly, we didn't have issues with migratory birds such as we would have had at Lac Cardinal, and thirdly, we would not be in any way close to the Grimshaw aquifer."
But the new site has problems as well, according to Brenda Brochu, president of the Peace River Environmental Society.
"This new site is also on an aquifer," Brochu said.
"The biggest issue is the radioactive wastes and these need to be isolated from the environment for approximately a million years and we think it's extremely short-sighted."
The company is holding a series of meetings this week in nearby towns, starting in Manning on Monday night.
The company will gather more baseline data on the site while it waits for a report by a provincially appointed expert panel looking at what role nuclear energy could play in Alberta.
If the report is favourable, Bruce Power Alberta plans to launch an environmental assessment next year.