Industrialized Cyclist Notepad


Heavy Water at Point Lepreau

“Heavy water…” Doesn’t sound so dangerous does it?

About 300 litres of tritiated heavy water spilled on May 21 when a valve opened too soon during pressure testing at the plant.

NB Power crews were testing the system that transfers heat from the reactor up to steam powered turbines as part of preparations to restart the plant when they overpressurized the system.

Poor planning, training led to leak

Rzentkowski said poor planning, training and human error led to the leak, which officials have said was contained in a sealed room and cleaned up without endangering staff or the environment.

“Supervisors were not trained in the operation of the test equipment. Supervisors could not provide active oversight and guidance over the test,” said Razentkowski.

There were two previous spills at Lepreau.

On Dec. 13, less than six litres of heavy water splashed to the floor, forcing an evacuation of the building.

The following day, NB Power issued a statement saying that three weeks earlier another spill had occurred. About 23 barrels of water laced with the toxic chemical hydrazine was released into the Bay of Fundy.

Both incidents occurred as part of preparations for restarting the plant.

via Nuclear watchdog unable to closely monitor Point Lepreau – New Brunswick – CBC News.

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