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Nuclear Power News South Africa

Koeberg maintenance plan hits milestone, delay expected in return to service

Eskom has completed a major milestone in the maintenance plan of Koeberg Nuclear Power Station Unit 1. The unit - which holds capacity of some 920MW - is on a planned maintenance outage in order to allow for the replacement of its steam generators.
Koeberg nuclear power plant. Source:
Koeberg nuclear power plant. Source: Eskom

“This is a significant accomplishment for the Koeberg team, the contractor and the numerous local and international subcontractors involved in the project. It is a great relief to have reached this milestone as the steam generator replacement project has experienced numerous false starts in previous outages and some unexpected challenges during the execution in the current outage to get to this point in the project,” Eskom said on Tuesday, 21 March.

Precarious operation

The utility further explained that the removal of the steam generator is a precarious operation due to its size.

“The logistics of moving the steam generators from their installed [vertical] position out of containment (horizonal at an elevation of 20m), to placing them on a flatbed transporter (horizontal) can only be appreciated if one understands the size and weight of each steam generator.

“Each of them is 22m tall with a diameter of 4.5m (top half) and 3.5m (bottom half) and they each weigh over 320 tons. From here on, all that is needed is to take out the other two that are ready for lifting and install the three new steam generators,” Eskom said.

Delay in return to service

Several steps will still have to be carefully taken before to ensure that the operation is executed successfully. The return to service of the unit has, therefore, been delayed, said Eskom.

Later this year, Koeberg’s second unit is expected to undergo a similar long outage to also replace its three steam generators.

Source: is a South African government news service, published by the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS). (formerly BuaNews) was established to provide quick and easy access to articles and feature stories aimed at keeping the public informed about the implementation of government mandates.

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