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Delays continue in fixing Point Lepreau Nuclear reactor

AECL officials would not speculate on what the consequences would be if the reactor was turned on and the calandria tubes leaked. But the risks of nuclear power include negative health effects due to radiation, which in some cases could lead to cancer and genetic damage

Refit of nuclear plant still nowhere near completion telegraphjournal.com BRETT BUNDALE – 4 Oct 10, New Brunswick, CanadaFREDERICTON – As a new Progressive Conservative government settles into office, one little-discussed issue during the election campaign is casting a shadow over New Brunswick’s political landscape: the refurbishment of the Point Lepreau nuclear power plant

The 380 calandria tubes at the heart of the reactor (see one above) contain pressure tubes, which in turn holds the fuel bundle, or the natural uranium, used to power the reactor.

It’s one of the biggest and most daunting files to land on the desk of premier-elect David Alward.

Beset by technical problems, delays and cost overruns, the first-of-its-kind refit is now 2½ years behind schedule and nearly $1 billion over budget.

The setbacks have prompted heated exchanges between the province’s former Liberal government and Ottawa over who should pay for the cost overruns.

Unless the federal government picks up the tab, New Brunswick ratepayers will suffer an electricity rate shock when NB Power throws the switch on its revitalized Candu-6 reactor, outgoing Energy Minister Jack Keir has warned.

But the reactor’s ongoing delays and mounting costs were largely overlooked by political parties during the month-long election campaign…….

AECL officials would not speculate on what the consequences would be if the reactor was turned on and the calandria tubes leaked.

But the risks of nuclear power include negative health effects due to radiation, which in some cases could lead to cancer and genetic damage……Point Lepreau has been undergoing a $1.4 billion rebuild since the spring of 2008. It was originally scheduled to be back up and running by October 2009 but is now delayed until early 2012.

telegraphjournal.com – Refit of nuclear plant still nowhere near completion | BRETT BUNDALE – Breaking News, New Brunswick, Canada

October 5, 2010 - Posted by | general | , , , , ,

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