Karlsruhe. Block II of the Neckarwestheim power plant (GKN II) has been back online since this morning (Thursday, 22 September 2016) following the completion of its annual inspection. Over the past few weeks, testing and maintenance work was completed, fuel elements were replaced and a number of technical projects were implemented. Around 900 additional experts from manufacturing and specialist companies supported the extensive work during the inspection. The entire team completed around 3,000 individual activities.
“GKN II is back online. Following the successful completion of the inspection, the power plant – along with Block 2 in Philippsburg – is thus once again making an important contribution to the reliable and climate-friendly supply of electricity in Baden-Württemberg. The two plants together generated more than 22.5 billion kilowatt hours of electricity in 2015 – which corresponds to around one third of all the electricity consumed in Baden-Württemberg”, explained Christoph Heil, Managing Director of EnBW Kernkraft GmbH responsible for power plant operations.
Around 900 additional employees supported the extensive inspection work.
“The inspection work once again went very well and according to plan this year” reported Harald Poppe, Head of the Block II power plant. “Alongside routine work, we carried out maintenance work on large-scale components. For example, we closely inspected the inside of the feed water tank and conducted a pressure test on the tank. One of the three feed water pumps and the safety valves on the primary circuit were given a general overhaul. The plans also included work on one of the four main coolant pumps. In addition, three transformers were replaced in one of the four redundancies for the electricity supply.
The inspection work took place under the supervision of the Baden-Württemberg Ministry for the Environment, Climate Protection and the Energy Industry and was accompanied by auditors from TÜV and KeTAG (Baden-Württemberg Auditors Consortium for Nuclear Technology) appointed by the ministry.
Block II of the Neckarwestheim nuclear power plant is a pressurised water reactor with an electrical output of 1,400 megawatts. The power plant was commissioned in 1989 and generated around eleven billion kilowatt hours of electricity in 2015.
Block II is operated by EnBW Kernkraft GmbH (EnKK). EnKK stands for safety in the operation and post operation, as well as the decommissioning and dismantling of the nuclear power plants in Baden-Württemberg. In Neckarwestheim and Philippsburg, EnKK generates electricity with one nuclear power plant at each location (GKN II and KKP 2). Power operation at KKP 2 will cease at the latest at the end of 2019 and at GKN II at the latest at the end of 2022. The dismantling of these power plants is then set to commence quickly. The required applications were submitted early by EnBW in July 2016. A further power plant that no longer produces electricity is located at each of the sites (GKN I and KKP 1). The first approvals for the decommissioning and dismantling applications submitted by EnBW for these deactivated blocks are expected in the second half of 2016. Once received, the dismantling of GKN I and KKP 1 can begin. Good progress has been made with the dismantling of the nuclear power plant at the Obrigheim location since 2008.