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Nuclear power station life-extension project running late — even before it starts

Nuclear power station life-extension project running late — even before it starts, MYBROADBAND, Chris Yelland, 9 January 2022  The installation of six new steam generators at Eskom’s Koeberg nuclear power station, which was scheduled to begin on 5 January 2022, appears to be running late even before it started.

Koeberg power station, situated on the west coast of South Africa some 35 km north of Cape Town, is approaching the end of its 40-year design life and operating licence.

However, in 2022 and early 2023, the nuclear power plant is scheduled for a number of upgrades to extend its operational life for a further 20 years.

This includes the replacement of three steam generators on each of the two 920 MW nuclear reactors at Koeberg, as well as the replacement of the reactor head, control rod drive mechanism and reactor in-core instrumentation cables on one of the nuclear reactors.

Other work for the life-extension involves:……………..

However, Eskom’s chief nuclear officer, Riedewaan Bakardien, says that the Omicron variant and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, which led to travel restrictions and the implementation of additional protocols, “has proven a challenge in getting some of the required international resources on site in time”.

A further stumbling block is that Eskom’s installation safety case has not yet been approved by the National Nuclear Regulator (NNR), and the “green light” from the NNR to start work has still not been received.

The NNR normally provides its final approval once it has completed detailed reviews of all the major work that would be executed during an outage to ensure that they have not missed anything in terms of cross-functional impacts.

“This final approval for plant changes is usually issued a month before the start of an outage”, says Eskom………………………..

January 10, 2022 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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