Point Lepreau nuclear power plant in N.B. temporarily reducing power
The Point Lepreau nuclear station is seen in this undated handout photo. (CNB)
Published Monday, March 4, 2013 1:16PM EST
FREDERICTON -- Power is being reduced at the Point Lepreau Generating Station in New Brunswick as adjustments are made to refuelling equipment that's used in the operation of the nuclear reactor.
Officials say reactor power is being reduced from the 100 per cent level.
Sean Granville, the station's vice-president and chief nuclear officer, says the restart of Atlantic Canada's only nuclear power plant has gone well after a lengthy overhaul by Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd.
He says NB Power is pleased with the reactor's performance and the adjustments that are being made are a normal part of the restart process.
The reactor was brought back online in November, the first time it was in commercial operation since March 2008.
The reactor's overhaul was scheduled to last 18 months and cost $1.4 billion, but instead it took three years longer than expected and cost the province's Crown-owned utility an extra $1 billion.
NB Power says before the station came back online, the reactor was filled with new fuel, which meant refuelling was not required for the first several months of its operation.
"By moving to lower reactor power, we reduce the rate at which we need to refuel and this allows us to operate longer with the current fuel while we work to make adjustments to the refuelling equipment," Granville says in a statement.
"There are no issues related to safety and we will return to high power once we are able to meet our refuelling targets."
NB Power has said the reactor is expected to last another 27 years after the work that was done.