Refuelling problem prompts power reduction at Point Lepreau nuclear reactor

FREDERICTON – Energy production from Atlantic Canada’s only nuclear power plant has been reduced to 35 per cent because of problems refuelling the reactor.

Power at New Brunswick’s Point Lepreau facility has been reduced a number of times in recent weeks because plugs at each end of the fuel channels are too tight.

Sean Granville, the station’s chief nuclear officer, says reducing power will allow crews to reduce the rate needed to refuel.

The reactor has been online since November following an overhaul that began in 2008.

The original $1.4 billion project to refit the plant cost an extra $1 billion and took three years longer than expected.

NB Power spokeswoman Kathleen Duguay says adjustments to the fuel plugs will be made over the next few weeks.

She says the utility company is using hydroelectricity from its dams to help offset energy demand.