World Nuclear News – NB Power has received permission from the Canadian nuclear regulator to load fuel into the refurbished single-unit Point Lepreau plant in New Brunswick. The Candu reactor is expected to restart later this year, having been offline for over four years.
The single unit Point Lepreau plant is a 680 MWe Candu 6 pressurized heavy-water plant, which began commercial operation in 1983. It was taken off line in March 2008 for a major refurbishment including the replacement of all 380 fuel channels, calandria tubes and feeder tubes. Originally anticipated to take 16 months to complete, the C$1.4 billion ($1.4 billion) refurbishment was further extended by the need to remove and replace all the calandria tubes for a second time after problems with seal tightness.
Under the terms of its licence, the company must seek permission to remove the reactor from a guaranteed shutdown state, approval to raise power output over 0.1% of capacity and further approval to exceed 35% of full capacity. NB Power expects Point Lepreau to return to service during the second half of 2012.