14 December 2017

South Africa: Koeberg Reaches 400 Days of Continuous Operation

Koeberg power station's Unit 1 has reached 400 days of continuous operation.

"Unit 1 of the Koeberg nuclear power station reached a milestone of 400 days of continuous operation on Thursday, 7 December 2017. This was after the unit was shut down for scheduled refuelling, inspection and maintenance on 19 September 2016, after a safe record-setting continuous run of 474 days," said Eskom on Wednesday.

The previous running record for the unit is 454 days and was set between June 2000 and September 2001.

Approximately every 16 to 18 months, each of the two units at the nuclear plant in the Western Cape 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.

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, 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 860MW and provides 50% of the Western Cape's and approximately 5.6% of South Africa's energy needs.

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