FREDERICTON - The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission has given approval for the restart of the reactor at the Point Lepreau nuclear power plant in New Brunswick.

The restart will allow for a number of safety tests under the oversight of the commission but won't see the facility producing electricity yet.

NB Power will require further approval to increase the plant's output of power above 0.1 per cent of its capacity.

Point Lepreau has been out of service since March 2008 for a major refurbishment that's meant to extend the life of the reactor by 25 years.

The project is about three years behind schedule and $1 billion over the original $1.4-billion budget.

It is expected to be back in service by this fall.