nb-hi-point-lepreau

Point Lepreau is Atlantic Canada's only nuclear reactor.

The Point Lepreau nuclear generating station is expected to return to service next week, a bit later than planned, because additional maintenance requirements were discovered, officials say.

A planned two-week outage began on Oct. 18 to repair the station's fourth steam valve.

"We have successfully repaired and tested the fourth steam valve allowing us to return to full power operation,” Sean Granville, vice-president of nuclear, stated in a release.

“But, we will continue in a guaranteed shutdown state for a bit longer than planned. This is to maintain and adjust systems that were identified as requiring maintenance after the steam valve repair was completed," he said.

The start-up process will begin this weekend and Lepreau will be synchronized to the electricity transmission grid next week, said Granville.

The plant is expected to operate at 100 per cent power, up from a reactor power of 93 per cent prior to the outage, he said.

It will be the first time the plant has operated at full capacity since it came back online in November 2012, following a four-and-a-half year refurbishment.

Point Lepreau is Atlantic Canada's only nuclear reactor. The 660-megawatt plant produces enough electricity to power more than 333,000 homes per year, officials have said.