The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission is offering $75,000 for interested citizens and groups to participate in the licence renewal of the Point Lepreau Nuclear Generating Station. (CBC)

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission is setting aside $75,000 to allow citizens to weigh in on NB Power's request to have the Point Lepreau Nuclear Generating Station's operating licence extended by five years.

The CNSC, which regulates Canada's nuclear industry, sets aside money in a participating funding program that allows members of the public, First Nations organizations and other interest groups to participate in its regulatory hearings.

The citizens and interest groups can apply until Sept. 9 for funding so they can participate in the public hearing.

The CNSC said in a statement issued on Monday that "participant funding will be considered for the provision of new, distinctive and valuable information to the CNSC through informed and topic-specific interventions."

NB Power is scheduled to begin hearings on its licence renewal on Oct. 4 in Ottawa, but the participants will likely appear in front of the regulatory board on either Nov. 30 or Dec. 1.

The Point Lepreau reactor is still undergoing its refurbishment.

The project is three years behind schedule and it is estimated to be $1 billion over its original $1.4-billion budget.

NB Power reported on Friday that the installation and testing of all 380 calandria tubes  in the reactor vessel has been completed.

The tubes were the first major pieces of equipment to be installed in the reactor as part of Point Lepreau's refurbishment.