Eskom to take Koeberg unit offline for 5 months

Eskom will be taking Unit 2 of the Koeberg Nuclear Power Station offline on Monday 17 January for a regular refuelling and maintenance outage.

This will take five months and will include the replacement of the unit’s three steam generators, the national energy provider explained in a press statement.

“This is going to be a long, but needed outage — the first of its kind for Koeberg,” said Riedewaan Bakardien, Eskom’s Chief Nuclear Officer.

“Our staff are prepared and committed to make history by ensuring success of this project.”

Eskom also explained that Koeberg recently completed a key industry periodic nuclear safety review, which found that the plant was performing strongly in terms of safety and reliability.

“Nuclear safety is the paramount factor. We will progress the outage work diligently, making sure nuclear safety and safety of plant, personnel and public is top of mind.”

Unit 2 of Koeberg has been operating for over 450 days without interruption, and the need to take the unit offline is a standard procedure for such energy plants every 15-18 months.

“This is also a time when the station will perform certain required inspections on equipment and perform more intrusive maintenance that cannot be performed when the unit is online,” added Eskom.

The move is part of Eskom’s commitment to extending the lifespan of these Koeberg units, and will contribute to the “Safety Submission” being prepared for submission to the National Nuclear Regulator later this year – which seeks to garner support for Koeberg’s operation for another 20 years.

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Eskom to take Koeberg unit offline for 5 months