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Energy minister says issues at Point Lepreau nuclear power plant have been fixed

In this file photo NB Power workers examine gauges in a control room simulator at the Point Lepreau nuclear power station on Monday Nov. 29, 2010. CP/ Kevin Bissett

FREDERICTON – New Brunswick’s energy minister says the Point Lepreau nuclear power plant will be back in operation by the end of the week but it won’t send power to homes and businesses until next week.

Craig Leonard says crews at Atlantic Canada’s only nuclear power plant have corrected issues with the chemistry of the water in its boilers and tight fitting caps that have hampered refuelling.

The power station hasn’t been sending any power to the grid for two weeks.

NB Power spokeswoman Kathleen Duguay says the Crown corporation has been doing the kind of maintenance work that’s expected after bringing any industrial plant online.

She said the power plant will be slowly brought up to 35 per cent of capacity by the middle of next week before it can begin sending power to the grid.

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Duguay says the reactor’s power will remain at 35 per cent until NB Power is able to refuel it at a faster rate.

The power plant was put back in service last November following a major overhaul that began in 2008.

The original $1.4-billion project to refit the plant cost an extra $1 billion and took three years longer than expected.

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