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Africa: Koeberg units expected to return in November

  • Aug 18, 2023

Source: South Africa News Agency

Friday, August 18, 2023

Eskom’s generation capacity is expected to receive a boost by some 1 860MW when units 1 and 2 at Koeberg Power Station return to commercial availability on November 3 and November 7.

The two units have been offline on a planned refuelling and maintenance outage since late last year.

The power utility said the maintenance project is to make the nuclear power station more efficient and add a further 27MW to the power station’s output.

“The replacement of the steam generators was a first of its kind complex nuclear project to be performed at Koeberg and is the last major plant component out of the three to be replaced at the unit as part of the Long-Term Operation (LTO) project.

“The other two components, namely the replacement of the Refuelling Water Storage Tanks and the Reactor Vessel Closure Heads, have been replaced in previous years on both Units 1 and 2. The replacement of the steam generators is the last of the large components that Eskom deemed necessary to be replaced in support of its application to operate the Koeberg units for another 20 years,” the power utility said.

Eskom explained its decision to apply to the National Nuclear Regulator (NNR) for an extension to operate the power station for a further 20 years.

The power utility said the delay in returning the two units to service will not have an effect on its application.

“The conservative design of the station, the investment that Eskom has made in continuously improving safety standards, the rigorous maintenance, as well as the testing programme over its operating lifespan, give merit to Eskom’s decision to apply for the licence to operate the plant for an additional 20 years.

“The Koeberg units have operated safely and reliably for almost 40 years. The amendment of the operating licence will enable Koeberg to continue providing safe, clean, and reliable power to the grid, and playing the essential role of stabilising supply in the Western Cape, which Unit 2 has safely continued to do with an excellent energy availability factor of 94.87%, while Unit 1 was on outage,” Eskom said. –

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