Energy & Power
NB Power’s Point Lepreau nuclear station online for 120 consecutive days
By Anthony Capkun
March 7, 2014 – NB Power reports the Point Lepreau Generating Station continues to operate at 100% reactor power, putting about 660MW on the New Brunswick grid. For the month of February, Lepreau produced about 42% of the total net generation from NB Power generating stations. As of today, the station has been online for 120 consecutive days.
“While focusing on maintaining reliable operation throughout the New Brunswick home heating season, our team is carefully planning for our upcoming planned maintenance outage that starts in May,” said Sean Granville, site vice-president and chief nuclear officer. “The outage will allow us to execute important preventative maintenance and meet several regulatory commitments while keeping our plant in world-class condition.”
This will be the first large-scale maintenance outage for the station since it was declared commercially operational in November 2012, added Granville.
Meantime, on January 19 and February 2, 2014, two 130-tonne Siemens rotors made six-hour journeys on a specialized tractor trailer from the port at West Saint John to the station. Siemens completed inspections of both rotors and confirmed no damage occurred during shipping.
The new rotors will replace two of the three current rotors in service at the station, which were deemed acceptable for shorter-term use after they were damaged in transit in 2008. This replacement will occur during a future planned maintenance outage over the next two to three years.
Point Lepreau is a base load 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, and contributes to the province’s goal, says NB Power, of having as much as 75% of the electricity used in the province come from clean, renewable or non-emitting sources by 2020.