New Brunswick Power said March 19 that its Point Lepreau Nuclear Generating Station (PLNGS) is now temporarily offline to address a maintenance issue.
Preparatory work for the outage proceeded more quickly than anticipated allowing the repair work to begin on March 19, some 18 hours ahead of schedule. The outage is expected to last for two weeks.
NB Power said March 18 that the need is to repair a fueling machine. NB Power said it will access the northeastern energy market and its own generating fleet to supply any additional power until the station returns to full service.
“We’re proud that the station has been continuously operating at an average capacity rate of over 99 percent for 260 days straight since our last outage in the spring of 2014. Favourable energy market conditions in New England and the low price of oil are both in our favour as we replace Lepreau’s output and work to address this issue,” said Sean Granville, Site Vice President and Chief Nuclear Officer for NB Power. “We also intend to take full advantage of this shutdown to perform additional maintenance and other improvements that are not possible when the Station is online.”
Following the completion of the repairs, the station will reconnect to the grid and progressively power back up to 100% over a period of several days.
Point Lepreau was declared commercially operational in November 2012 after undergoing a major overhaul. The 660-MW (net) station is a baseload contributor to the New Brunswick electrical grid, producing enough electricity to power more than 333,000 homes per year for the next 25 to 30 years. Point Lepreau is a major contributor to the provincial goal of having as much as 75% of the electricity used in New Brunswick coming from clean, renewable or non-emitting sources by 2020.