Point_Lepreau_Nuclear_Generating_Station

Point Lepreau Nuclear Generating Station

Point Lepreau Nuclear Generating Station is a Canadian nuclear power station located 2 km northeast of Point Lepreau, New Brunswick.

The facility derives its name from the nearby headland situated at the easternmost part of Charlotte County, although the generating station itself is located several hundred meters inside Saint John County. It is administratively part of the municipality of Musquash, a parish municipality west of the city of Saint John.

The facility was constructed between 1975-1983 by the provincial Crown corporation, NB Power.

The Point Lepreau station is the only nuclear facility located in eastern Canada and comprises 1 CANDU nuclear reactor located on the northern shore of the Bay of Fundy, having a total output of 640 MW (capacity net) and 680 MW (gross net).

Point Lepreau's CANDU 6 reactor was designed to last 25 years and was scheduled to be mothballed by 2008. In July 2005 NB Power announced that it was awarding Atomic Energy of Canada Limited a $1.4 billion (CAD) contract for refurbishing the generating station. This will extend the reactor's lifespan by approximately 30 years.

In 2007, AECL and partners in the Canadian nuclear industry began a $2.5 million feasibility study regarding the installation of a new 1100 MWe Advanced CANDU reactor at Point Lepreau, to supply power to New England.

Poisoning Incident

In 1990, assistant plant operator Daniel George Maston at the Point Lepreau Nuclear Generating Station took a sample of heavy water from the moderator system and loaded it into a drink dispenser (specifically a watercooler in an office block). 8 employees drank some of the contaminated water. The incident was discovered when employees began leaving bioassay urine samples with elevated tritium levels. The quantities involved were well below levels which could induce heavy water toxicity, but several employees received elevated radiation doses from tritium and activated chemicals in the water.

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