FREDERICTON, N.B. – Beginning yesterday, the Point Lepreau Generating Station has begun reducing reactor power from the 100 percent level as the staff address station re-fuelling requirements.
Officials say the reduction is necessary to allow adjustments to be made to equipment associated with re-fuelling the reactor.
“The restart of our station has gone extremely well given all the factors involved and we have been very pleased with reactor performance to date,” said Sean Granville, site vice-president and chief nuclear officer. “The adjustments we will be making are the kind of adjustments that one can expect at this point in the restart of a reactor like ours.”
Before the station came back online in November 2012, the reactor had been filled with new fuel. This meant that re-fuelling was not required for the first several months of high-power operation. The point has now been reached that online fuelling is required on an ongoing basis to sustain operation.
“By moving to lower reactor power, we reduce the rate at which we need to re-fuel and this allows us to operate longer with the current fuel while we work to make adjustments to the re-fueling equipment,” said Granville. “There are no issues related to safety and we will return to high power once we are able to meet our re-fuelling targets.”
Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission staff continue to monitor station operations. The safe, reliable operation of the station is NB Power's top priority.