Point Lepreau shuts to repair fuelling machine

19 March 2015

Canada's Point Lepreau nuclear plant will be shut down tonight (19 March) so that repairs can be carried out on a fuelling machine.

The Canadian nuclear regulator, CNSC, said that the maintenance work has no impact on nuclear safety.

NB Power, which operates the 705MWe pressurised heavy water reactor (PHWR), says the repairs and associated work are expected to take approximately two weeks. It plans to access the northeastern energy market and its own generating fleet to supply any additional power required in New Brunswick until the station returns to full service.

"We're proud that the station has been continuously operating at an average capacity rate of over 99 percent for 260 days straight since our last outage in the spring of 2014. Favourable energy market conditions in New England and the low price of oil are both in our favour as we replace Lepreau's output and work to address this issue" said Sean Granville, site vice president and chief nuclear officer for NB Power.

NB Power also intends to perform additional maintenance and other improvements that are not possible when the station is online.

Point Lepreau is currently the only operating nuclear plant in Canada outside of Ontario. The reactor was closed for extensive refurbishment in April 2008 and restarted in November 2012. It is licensed to operate until end of June 2017.

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