Philippsburg. EnBW is bringing forward the annual inspection of Block 2 of the Philippsburg nuclear power plant (KKP 2) planned for summer 2017 and will already carry out the planned tests and maintenance measures in the next few weeks. This course of action has been made possible by the fact that KKP 2 is currently shut down. EnBW removed the power plant from the grid for safety-related reasons on 21 December 2016 after damage to ventilation system brackets in the area of the emergency feedwater systems was identified.
A preliminary assessment of the necessary maintenance work has shown that several weeks will be required for detailed planning, the audit and examination by the supervisory authority and the manufacture and installation of the new brackets. The resulting time period is sufficiently long enough to allow the inspection activities originally planned for June and July to be completed simultaneously. At the present time, EnBW anticipates that KKP 2 can be reconnected to the grid by around the end of March once all the work has been finished. Another inspection in 2017 will no longer be necessary.
The inspection programme comprises more than 4,000 individual tasks
The inspection programme includes routine tests and maintenance measures, the replacement of fuel rods and the implementation of technical projects. Most of the more than 4,000 individual tasks can only be performed when the plant had been shut down. The major tasks include, amongst other things, the inspection of the motor for one of the four main coolant pumps, the internal testing of two of the four steam generators, the inspection of one of the six main coolant water pumps and maintenance of three of the eight emergency power generators.
The inspection will take place under the supervision of the Baden-Württemberg Ministry for the Environment, Climate Protection and the Energy Industry and will be accompanied by auditors from TÜV and KeTAG (Baden-Württemberg Auditors Consortium for Nuclear Technology) appointed by the Ministry.
Repair work is being planned and implemented
In one of the power plant buildings, EnBW discovered damage to individual brackets holding the ducts for ventilating the emergency feedwater systems that are located near to the ceiling of the building. Further examination revealed that although the brackets had been correctly designed and constructed, building vibrations had not been sufficiently taken into account when selecting their installation location. In simple terms, the roof in this part of the building touches and has damaged the brackets for the ventilation system in some areas. The emergency feedwater systems themselves are technically sound. They must only be used if required to provide additional cooling for the reactor.
Repairs are now being carried out in particular on the ventilation systems for all four emergency feedwater systems. The detailed plans for the newly designed brackets and the required calculations will be checked by the supervisory authorities and several times by the auditors commissioned with this task. The manufacture of these brackets and ultimately their installation can then begin.
EnBW has already kept the supervisory authorities and the general public continuously informed about this discovery and the resulting findings since before the turn of the year.
About KKP 2 and the nuclear power plants operated by EnBW
Block 2 of the Philippsburg nuclear power plant is a pressurised water reactor with an electrical output of 1,468 megawatts. The power plant was commissioned in 1984 and generated around 10.5 billion kilowatt hours of electricity in 2016.