Neckarwestheim. Block II of the Neckarwestheim power plant (GKN II) has been back online since this morning (28 September 2017) 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 1,000 additional experts from manufacturing and specialist companies supported the extensive work during the inspection. The entire team completed around 2,800 individual activities.
“GKN II is generating electricity again after its successful inspection. Block II was synchronised with the public grid for the first time 28 years ago. The power plant has since made an important contribution to the stable, reliable and climate-friendly supply of electricity in Baden-Württemberg. GKN II and Block 2 in Philippsburg generated together more than 21 billion kilowatt hours of electricity last year and thus covered around one third of all the electricity requirements in Baden-Württemberg”, explained Christoph Heil, Managing Director of EnBW Kernkraft GmbH responsible for power plant operations. “The safety of the power plant continues to hold the highest level of priority for us even after 28 years of operation. Therefore, we once again used the inspection to make further investments in the high level of safety of GKN II”, continued Heil.
Around 1,000 additional experts supported the comprehensive inspection work
“We are very satisfied with the progression of this year’s inspection work. It was possible to successfully carry out all of the planned activities. In addition, the cooperation between our own employees and those from external specialist companies once again worked very well”, reported Harald Poppe, Head of the Block II power plant. “Alongside annual routine work, the planned tasks also included maintenance measures on large-scale components and major systems. The inspection plan included a pressure test on the primary circuit for the power plant, as well as a general overhaul of one of the four main coolant pumps and one of the three main feed water pumps. In addition, an eddy current inspection was completed on two of the four steam generators. Furthermore, we also replaced three transformers in one of the four redundancies for the electricity supply,” continued Poppe.
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 2016.
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 safe dismantling of these power plants is then set to commence quickly. The required applications were submitted by EnKK in July 2016. A further power plant that no longer produces electricity is located at each of the sites (GKN I and KKP 1). EnKK received approval for the decommissioning and dismantling of these plants in February 2017 (GKN I) and April 2017 (KKP 1). Both power plants are now being dismantled. Good progress has been made with the dismantling of the nuclear power plant at the Obrigheim location since 2008.