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Problem maintenance outage at Lepreau nuclear plant adds to N.B. Power money troubles

Costly spring shutdown of Point Lepreau nears day 100

Robert Jones · CBC News  Jul 15, 2022

A troubled maintenance outage at the Point Lepreau nuclear generating station that began back in April has dragged on a month longer than planned and is adding to the financially challenged utility’s money troubles by the day.

N.B. Power expects Lepreau will be back in service sometime next week after what has turned into a 100-day outage, but with key work left unfinished. This work will require additional downtime next spring to fully complete…………………………

Point Lepreau is N.B. Power’s most important generating station, but its reliability has been a frustration since it emerged from a 4½-year, $2.4-billion refurbishment in late 2012.

In its annual reports, N.B. Power claims unscheduled outages at the nuclear plant cost the utility’s bottom line between $28,500 and $45,700 per hour depending on the time of year and market conditions, plus the cost of required repairs. 

According to filings with the New Brunswick Energy and Utilities Board, Lepreau has experienced 8,000 more hours of downtime than projected since 2012, not including the current outage.

That has been a major factor in N.B. Power missing corporate profit targets for the last six years in a row and failing to execute on plans to reduce its debt load

In a third-quarter financial update released in February, N.B. Power reported its net debt hit $4.97 billion on December 31, 2021.  That’s $40 million higher than last year and $810 million above levels it had projected for itself just six years ago………………………………………

more https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/nb-power-lepreau-maintenance-1.6520978

July 13, 2022 - Posted by | business and costs, Canada

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