Point Lepreau Nuclear Plant in Market for 2 Light Armoured Vehicles

This light armoured vehicle produced by Terradyne is used by the Bruce Power nuclear generating station in Ontario under the same security regulations Point Lepreau follows. (Winnipeg Police Service)

NB Power is ready to spend $300,000 each on the bulletproof vehicles needed for security

By Ben Silcox, CBC News Posted: Jul 06, 2017

The Point Lepreau nuclear generating station is looking to buy two new light armoured vehicles to help keep the plant near Saint John secure.

The nuclear station on the Bay of Fundy already has a pair of these bulletproof vehicles at the site, but they are six years old and need to be replaced, officials say.

Marc Beliveau, spokesperson for NB Power, said a light armoured vehicle, often called a LAV, typically costs $300,000, but the exact price for the utility will not be known until bids are received.

A call for submissions ran from June 12 to 28, and proposals from suppliers are now being reviewed.

Gun ports and infrared cameras

The Point Lepreau nuclear generating station is replacing two six-year-old armoured vehicles. (CBC)

According to the tender, the plant is seeking vehicles with ballistic armouring, seven gun ports large enough for use with carbine rifles, and infrared cameras.

“The use of LAVs is mandated by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission as part of our operations at Lepreau,” Belliveau said in an email. “They are a standard part of security at Canadian nuclear facilities.”

Aurele Gervais, a spokesperson for the commission, said security measures were ramped up after the Sept. 11 attacks on the U.S., and remain in place today.

He said one measure was to ensure an “on-site armed response force at major nuclear facilities [is] available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

Yearly assessment of risks

“Contingency planning, drills and exercises” are also part of the security regime, and the site undergoes a security-focused threat and risk assessment each year.

Belliveau said Lepreau’s current light armoured vehicles are simply at the end of their life cycle, as defined by commission policies.

He said it is not yet known what the nuclear station will do with the old vehicles. He would not reveal the model of the current vehicles for “security reasons.”

Earlier this year, Fredericton’s police force paid nearly $350,000 for a light armoured vehicle, selecting GardaWorld as the supplier.