JOHANNESBURG, The Koeberg nuclear power station’s Unit 1, South Africa’s first and only such facility, has reached 400 days of continuous operation, says national power utility Eskom which operates the power station.
Unit 1 of the Koeberg nuclear power station reached a milestone of 400 days of continuous operation on Thursday, Dec 7, 2017. This was after the unit was shut down for scheduled refuelling, inspection and maintenance on Sept 19, 2016, after a safe record-setting continuous run of 474 days, said Eskom in a statement Wednesday.
The previous continuous running record for the unit is 454 days set between June 2000 and September 2001.
Approximately every 16 to 18 months, each of the two units at the nuclear plant, located some 30 kilometres from Cape Town in Western Cape Province, is subjected to a scheduled shutdown so as to avoid having both units out of service at the same time.
During these routine planned outages, one third of the used nuclear fuel is replaced with new fuel, statutory inspections and maintenance are performed, and modifications that will improve safety or the plant performance are implemented, said the power utility, adding that the strategy is proving successful as the power station has operated safely and efficiently for 33 years.
It is highly commendable that this great milestone was achieved while also maintaining good nuclear safety performance and zero harm to the people and the environment, said power station General Manager Velaphi Ntuli.
Eskom Interim Group Chief Executive Officer Sean Maritz said the achievement is a reflection of disciplined execution by Koeberg staff and contractor partners. Furthermore, this serves as inspiration to continue on this path of world class performance while also demonstrating our commitment to provide secure and reliable supply of electricity for the country, said Maritz.
Koeberg is Africa’s only nuclear power station and has an installed capacity of 1,860 megawatts and provides 50 per cent of the Western Cape province’s and approximately 5.6 per cent of South Africa’s energy needs.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK