- South Africa’s National Nuclear Regulator (NNR) can confirm that regulatory performance in terms of occupational exposure and public doses from the Koeberg Nuclear Power Station over the past 10 years has consistently complied with the prescribed NNR requirements.
- In a press statement, the NNR confirmed that they will be acting complete technical and safety oversight throughout the duration of the Koeberg nuclear plant life extension programme currently under way. Read more
The NNR’s role is to oversee refurbishment projects from the initial planning before shutdown to the return-to-service. As part of its regulatory process, the NNR conducts comprehensive technical assessments before approving the installation of modifications such as; the planned replacement of the Steam Generators, the installed Spent Fuel Water Storage Tanks and the Replacement of the Reactor Vessel Heads. Many improvements and upgrades are completed during regular scheduled maintenance outages, throughout the normal operating life of the nuclear power plant.
Eskom informed the NNR as early as 2011 of the potential replacement of the Koeberg steam generators. NNR engagement with Eskom on the Steam Generator Replacement Project started in 2013/14. On 18 January 2022 NNR staff granted approval for the replacement of the steam generators on Unit 2 to be installed during the current maintenance outage. This approval was based on the review and acceptance of a comprehensive suite of documents supporting the justification for the refurbishment to the plant, including but not limited to safety cases, safety justifications, safety studies and various modification, installation and test and commissioning packages.
“The regulatory approval of the replacement of the Koeberg Steam Generators does not automatically imply the approval of Koeberg Long Term Operations (LTO). The decision to grant or refuse Eskom’s application for LTO would be subject to further review and acceptance of a separate safety case for LTO. The LTO safety case must consider amongst others aspects of ageing management programmes and associated modifications, periodic safety reviews as well as potential impact of LTO on other safety related programmes.” stated Mr Orion Phillips, the NNR’s Divisional Executive for Nuclear Power Plants.
Author: Bryan Groenendaal