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The construction site of the hydroelectric facility at Muskrat Falls is seen in a July 14, 2015, file photo.

Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press

Work has stopped at the Muskrat Falls power station this week in what Crown corporation Nalcor Energy describes as a “safety stand down.”

Nalcor says Newfoundland and Labrador Occupational Health and Safety issued two stop-work orders to two contractors working in the Labrador megadam’s powerhouse, after the company directed contractors to stop working on Sunday.

The company did not specify what caused the initial decision to halt work, saying people are still working in other areas of the powerhouse and the work site.

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Nalcor says the powerhouse work environments are in the process of becoming energized, requiring special attention to safety.

The beleaguered megaproject, years behind schedule, has seen costs skyrocket to about $12.7-billion and is now responsible for one-third of the cash-strapped province’s debt.

Nalcor says Muskrat Falls is now 98 per cent complete, as officials and politicians struggle with how to pay off the project without burdening ratepayers.

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