- South African state owned energy utility, Eskom, has announce that Unit 2 of the Koeberg Nuclear Power Station successfully completed its 24th outage since it first started to generate electricity.
- The unit is currently synchronised onto the grid and will load up to full capacity by next week.
- This will give Eskom a reliable electricity output of approximately 900MW for close on 400 days, helping ease the supply constraints on the rest of the power station fleet.
Unit 1 continues to operate as normal at full capacity, and is scheduled for a refuelling and maintenance outage starting in February 2021.
This was a planned and regular refuelling outage, where the nuclear fuel in the reactor core was replaced with new fuel. All the nuclear fuel is removed from the core during a refuelling outage, the reactor cavity drained, and cleaned, then refilled before the fuel is placed into the core.
During the outage, routine maintenance was performed on the plant in order to keep the station performing safely and optimally. While many maintenance activities can be performed without switching off the station, there are some more intrusive activities that can only be performed when the unit is shut down.
Koeberg staff performed the refuelling and maintenance, with the assistance of 32 international specialists required to safely perform some specialist and very focused maintenance tasks. These crews arrived in South Africa starting on 31 July 2020, and followed all the COVID-19 protocols, including COVID-19 screening and testing, and quarantine.
The outage began on 11 August 2020.
Author: Bryan Groenendaal