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Release of light water containing hydrazine at the Point Lepreau Generating Station


A release of water containing low-level concentration of hydrazine was reported at the Point Lepreau Generating Station on Sunday, November 3, 2013.

The release was identified during daily monitoring at a sampling point on station property.

At discovery, the sample contained 0.887 parts per million of hydrazine. Further sampling along the Bay of Fundy shoreline revealed 0.009 parts per million of the chemical, which is below federally recommended guidelines that determine impacts on marine life or ecological systems.

Further testing on Monday revealed the hydrazine had dissipated to levels below detection.

"NB Power will continue to monitor the area and take additional samples. Following a thorough investigation, NB Power will determine the appropriate measures to implement and prevent recurrence," says Claire Harris, Manager, Health Safety and Environment at Point Lepreau Generating Station.

Chemicals used at Point Lepreau Generating Station are subject to requirements set by the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS), administered by Health Canada and overseen by the provincial government. WHMIS provides Point Lepreau Generating Station with material safety data sheets that provide staff members with procedures to safely handle chemicals and respond to emergencies.

The release came from a valve located on the non-nuclear side of the station which contains light water. The equipment has been isolated and the release is contained.

Hydrazine is used to remove the oxygen from the water in the steam generators, protecting steam generator tubes from localized corrosion and maintaining appropriate steam generator water chemistry. This in turn ensures that the steam generators continue to contribute to a high safety margin, that maintenance requirements are minimized, and that workers are protected.

The release was reported to the Canadian Coast Guard and the New Brunswick Department of the Environment and Local Government.

NB Power is fully committed to environmental stewardship and maintaining the safety of its employees and the public, while providing safe and reliable electricity to its customers.

MEDIA CONTACT: Kathleen Duguay, Manager of Nuclear Affairs and Community Relations, (506) 647-8057 or