Soggy turbines still destined for Point Lepreau

12 February 2009

[CBC News, 11 February] Two 107-tonne turbine rotors which inadvertently spent five days at the bottom of the harbour at St John, New Brunswick, are still usable in the Point Lepreau nuclear power plant, according to NB Power. In October 2008, the two C$10 million ($8 million) turbines, manufactured by Siemens in the UK, accidently slipped from a barge which was to transport them from the harbour to the plant. After being salvaged, the turbines were returned to the UK, where Siemens inspected them and concluded they can be safely repaired. This assessment was backed up by an independent consultant. NB Power said, "Based on this evaluation, Siemens has performed a comprehensive engineering assessment which confirms that the low-pressure turbine rotors are suitable for safe and reliable operation." The turbines are now scheduled to be repaired and returned to New Brunswick in June. Assuming the rotors safely reach their destination this time, they will be installed at Point Lepreau as part of a C$1.4 billion ($1.1 billion) refurbishment that will add 25 years to the plant's operating life. NB Power said that the turbine incident has not delayed the refurbishment project.