North Spur not in danger of giving way, expert says

A Norwegian expert is trying to the ease fears of people in Labrador who believe that the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric dam could cause a landslide.
Dr. Jean-Sebastian L'Heureux is an expert in clay, and has extensive experience in landslide hazard and risk assessment. (CBC)

A Norwegian expert is trying to the ease fears of people in Labrador who believe that the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric dam could cause a landslide.

Members of the NunatuKavut and an environmental group invited Dr. Jean-Sebastian L'Heureux to visit the controversial North Spur area in Labrador.

The North Spur will need to be stabilized first, in order for Nalcor to build Muskrat Falls. 

L'Heureux, an engineer with the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute, recently returned from a conference on landslides where he met with the team Nalcor hired to design the multi-billion dollar project.

After taking a tour of Churchill Falls by canoe, where L'Heureux looked at the stability of the project design, he said Labradorians should not be worried. 

"From the discussions that I had with the chief geotechnical engineer from SNC Lavalin that's working on that case, I think that the analysis that they've done, all the soil investigation that they've done, and also the design for the stabilization work, for me it all makes sense," L'Heureux told CBC News. 

This isn't the first time the North Spur has been examined by experts. Nalcor had commissioned its own experts and had published information on the structure's design online. However, the Labrador groups felt an independent review was necessary. 
    
L'Heureux admitted that while the odds of a landslide are low, no one can make any guarantees.

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