South Africa: Leak From Steam Generator Shuts Down Nuclear Unit at Koeberg

  • South Africa’s state owned energy utility, Eskom has announced that an increasing leak rate was observed on one of three steam generators in Unit 1 of its Koeberg nuclear power station.
  • The leak was confirmed by other plant measurement readings.

Eskom has assured that the leak rate was well within the safety limits and there is no risk to plant, personnel, or the environment. However, a conservative decision was made to take Koeberg Unit 1 offline for repairs. During this period the unit will also undergo its routine maintenance and refuelling, which was originally scheduled to start during February. The unit is expected to return to service during May 2021.

Pic: the first of six new 380-ton steam generators arrived at Koeberg nuclear power station in Cape Town.
Credit: Eskom

The steam generator is a tubular heat exchanger which mechanically dries the steam produced during the nuclear power generation process. Shutting down the plant takes several hours, and the process is still underway – once shut down, fuel will be unloaded from the reactor core to enable maintenance activities to be conducted, and the cause of the increased leak rate to be addressed.

In their press release, Eskom does not specify whether the faulty generator is one of the new steam generators which started arriving in October 2020. Read more

Koeberg’s second unit, continues to safely operate and generate at full power.

Author: Bryan Groenendaal

1 Comment

Leave A Reply

About Author

Green Building Africa promotes the need for net carbon zero buildings and cities in Africa. We are fiercely independent and encourage outlying thinkers to contribute to the #netcarbonzero movement. Climate change is upon us and now is the time to react in a more diverse and broader approach to sustainability in the built environment. We challenge architects, property developers, urban planners, renewable energy professionals and green building specialists. We also challenge the funding houses and regulators and the role they play in facilitating investment into green projects. Lastly, we explore and investigate new technology and real-time data to speed up the journey in realising a net carbon zero environment for our children.

Receive the week’s most popular stories in your inbox every Saturday morning