A handful of people attended a public consultation session Thursday in Saint John, as regulators of Canada's nuclear industry tried to raise public awareness of the upcoming license renewal of the Point Lepreau Nuclear Generating Station. 

The purpose of the meeting was to answer questions and help people understand the role the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission plays in regulating the industry.

It was meant to prepare the public for the licence renewal hearings which will begin in Saint John on May 12.

NB Power has applied for a five-year licence renewal from the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission for Point Lepreau. 

The plant went through a troubled four-and-a-half year refurbishment beginning in 2008, at a cost of $2.4 billion. The last license issued to Point Lepreau came at the end of that refurbishment, in 2012. 

"The [Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission] was satisfied that they were going to be able to operate the plant in a safe manner," Kevin Lee, senior regulatory policy officer for the commission, said at the public meeting. 

The operating grant issued in 2012 expires this June. 

Ready for anything

In late January, Point Lepreau's station director, Michael Hare, said the plant conducted a comprehensive safety analysis ahead of reapplying for the licence.

It found the plant was unlikely to be affected by a number of disasters, including earthquakes, dam failures, shipping disasters, plane wrecks, tsunamis, and even meteor strikes.

The meeting was attended by about 10 people and was held at the Free Public Library in Market Square.

"[It's] really to let the public know how to get involved," Lee said.

"It's a public forum to allow fully informed conversation, discussion, around Point Lepreau."​