The company proposing a nuclear power plant near the town of Peace River in northern Alberta has temporarily withdrawn its application to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, partly due to concerns raised by local residents about the site.
Bruce Power had sought approval to build a plant about 30 kilometres west of Peace River on the shore of Lac Cardinal, which is near the freshwater aquifer that supplies the region with drinking water.
"While we see no real technical problem with the original site, there were some perception problems where some people weren't happy," Bruce Power spokesperson John Peevers said Thursday. "So we thought it was the responsible thing to do to consider a second site."
The company is now looking at a different site 30 kilometres north of the town, on the banks of the Peace River.
Bruce Power hopes to submit a new application for a nuclear plant later this year after it takes a closer look at the second site, and determines whether it is suitable.
Anti-nuclear activists said they were pleased with the company's decision.
"We're interpreting this as basically a defeat for the Lac Cardinal site," said Brenda Brochu, president of the Peace River Environmental Society.
However, no matter where the plant is located, Brochu said her group has concerns about the effect it might have on the environment and the health of residents.
"We will continue to oppose this project, and to try to keep nuclear power out of the Peace Country and out of Alberta," she said.
Bruce Power is planning to hold public information sessions in the region later this month and in early February, Peevers said.