Refurbishment project at nuclear power plant achieves milestone

New Brunswick Power on March 5 said the refurbishment project team has completed the 760 lower feeder installations at the 635 MW Point Lepreau Generating Station (PLGS), the last major construction activity of the project.

The installation of the lower feeders was completed on March 1, 2012, in advance of the May 2012 target set in the revised project schedule. The feeder installation teams have been working since December 2011 to complete these project activities.

CANDU reactors use feeder pipes to transport heavy water to and from the fuel channels to transfer the heat generated by the fuel into the boilers.

The next major restart activity at PLGS is loading new fuel in the reactor, which is scheduled to begin in March.

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) on Feb. 17, 2012, granted a five-year Power Reactor Operating License to PLGS. The license decision included the Commission’s permission to proceed with fuel load and other restart activities once NB Power has progressed and completed the required commitments for this fuelling activity to commence and received confirmation from the CNSC designated officer.

After the commissioning activities are completed, the plant is expected to return to service by the fall of 2012.

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