NB Power is seeking a one-year license extension to operate the Point Lepreau Nuclear Generating Station amid criticism over the Canadian reactor's refurbishment delays, CBC News reports.

Utility officials appeared before the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission in Ottawa on Jan. 19 requesting a renewal for a licence that is set to expire this summer. The regulatory body is expected to take six weeks to render its decision on the nuclear power plant licence renewal.

Normally, NB Power requests a five-year licence, but because the nuclear refurbishment project is expected to be completed next year, the extension to June 2012 is being sought.

The $1.4 billion ($1.398 billion) refurbishment project is three years and roughly C$1 billion over budget.

Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. and NB Power were supposed to have Atlantic Canada's only nuclear reactor back producing power in 2009. It is now expected that Point Lepreau will be generating power again in the fall of 2012.

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