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Damaged pump diaphragm caused heavy water spill at N.B.'s Point Lepreau nuclear plant

Point Lepreau nuclear station is seen in this undated photo.

Canadian Press Archive/Moncton Times-Transcript/Canadian Press Archive/Moncton Times-Transcript

Officials at New Brunswick Power have pegged a damaged pump diaphragm as the culprit of a recent radioactive heavy water spill at the Point Lepreau nuclear power plant.

Staff were evacuated from the plant in mid-December after four to six litres of the heavy water spilled from a monitoring equipment.

Officials say the moderator system at the plant, located in Lepreau near Saint John, will be reloaded with heavy water over the next few days.

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The heavy-water system was being refilled at the time of the spill as part of the utility's plan to restart the generating station after it was refurbished.

The plant's restoration is three years behind schedule and $1-billion over the original $1.4-billion budget.

NB Power says there were no health concerns for workers or the public and officials will continue to investigate the incident.

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