Point Lepreau nuclear refuelling problem costs up to $600,000 daily: NB Power

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FREDERICTON - The president of NB Power says a refuelling problem at the Point Lepreau nuclear reactor could cost the Crown utility company between $400,000 and $600,000 a day in replacement power.

Gaetan Thomas says the reactor is producing 35 per cent of its power capacity but rising river levels will allow NB Power to use more hydroelectricity to help offset that.

Electricity production at Point Lepreau was cut to 60 per cent two weeks ago and further reduced to 35 per cent last weekend because plugs at each end of the fuel channels are too tight, slowing the ability to refuel.

Sean Granville, the station's chief nuclear officer, says reducing power will allow crews to reduce the rate needed to refuel while they examine the issue.

Thomas says they should know in the next two weeks how to fix the problem and any repairs will be under warranty.

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.

Organizations: NB Power

Geographic location: FREDERICTON

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