Fredrickton, New Brunswick, Canada, October 26, 2012 — With the return of Point Lepreau Nuclear Generating Station to active service, all of Canada’s 20 nuclear reactors are generating power again.
The Point Lepreau nuclear power plant uses a single CANDU nuclear reactor, and generates 660 MW. The CANDU reactor is a pressurized heavy water reactor that uses uranium. It was developed in Canada by public and private entities.
According to plant owner-operator NB Power, the reactor unit is in the final stages of recommissioning after being grid-synchronized October 23. As part of its recommissioning, the plant will connect and disconnect from the grid and test its ability to ramp up and ramp down its power output.
The reactor began commercial operation in 1983 and was taken offline for refurbishment in March 2008. All of its fuel channels, calandria tubes and feeder tubes were replaced in a program initially planned to take 16 months.
Setbacks with seal tightness necessitated the removal and replacement of all the calandria tubes for a second time, stretching the total timeline by some 38 months. However, the work should see the reactor operate until around 2035.
In September, Bruce Power’s two-unit nuclear power plant in Ontario was brought back online after a 17-year hiatus. Canada currently has a total nuclear energy capacity of 14,169 MW.