New Brunswick: Heavy Water Leak Shuts Down Nuclear Plant : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread


Wednesday, March 7, 2001

Heavy water leak shuts down nuclear power plant

FREDERICTON (CP) -- A heavy water leak has shut down New Brunswick's Point Lepreau nuclear plant for an undetermined period.

Plant officials said Wednesday the leak was in a reactor outlet feeder pipe, which moves hot heavy water from individual fuel channels in the CANDU reactor to the station's boilers.

Marcella LeBlanc, spokesperson for NB Power, said the amount of the leak was small.

"We're talking about minimum, minimum amounts," she said. "We're not talking large amounts. It's very small amounts."

Still, LeBlanc called the shutdown a "serious problem," and couldn't say when Lepreau would resume production.

A similar feeder-tube leak forced officials to shut down the station for three months in 1997.

LeBlanc said the tubes will have to be replaced as soon as the work can be approved.

NB Power has been importing energy from Hydro-Quebec, along with power from in-province generating stations.

LeBlanc said operating Point Lepreau saves $650,000 a day in oil replacement costs.

However, critics say the plant is unsafe, obsolete, and should be shut down.

-- Rachel Gibson (, March 07, 2001

Moderation questions? read the FAQ