Koeberg passes quality test after renovation

Henry

This past weekend, Eskom conducted a quality test on the Koeberg nuclear power plant in the Western Cape after finally completing the renovation work on unit 1.

According to the power supplier, this test was successful. It was also the last step to ensure that the unit’s operating life could be extended for another 20 years.

“This was the final test that had to be carried out after the installation of the new steam generators,” said Eskom.

“The test was conducted in accordance with the South African Network Code (SAGC) requirements.”

According to Eskom, the successful completion of the test “serves as motivation to undertake similar steam generator replacement activities on unit 2”.

The Koeberg nuclear power plant can produce around 1,860 MW under the best conditions, but the replacement of both of its units’ steam developers is necessary to extend Koeberg’s life for another two decades.

Unit 1, which was shut down in December 2022 to replace the steam developers, was supposed to be turned back on last June, but it was finally done only on November 18.

Koeberg’s unit 2 was shut down in December to also replace its steam developers. The shutdown of unit 2 of Koeberg means that 980 MW is not available on the power grid.

Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, the electricity minister, said last month that he was confident that lessons had been learned from the mistakes made with unit 1 and that deficiencies had been addressed before unit 2 was shut down.

The expectation is that Koeberg’s unit 2 can be switched on again by August or September this year.