Karlsruhe. Since yesterday (10 June 2007), Unit I of the Neckarwestheim Nuclear Power Plant (GKN I) has been back online following annual maintenance. In addition to the general testing and maintenance duties, the annual refuelling was also conducted in the last few weeks.
“The maintenance was very successful,” is how Helmut Scherla, Head of the Unit I plant, sums it up. “We were able to implement our programme according to plan. In addition to routine measures, this mainly included the installation of a new high-pressure turbine to produce three-phase AC. We subjected the heating tubes in one of the three steam generators to eddy current testing, conducted the general overhaul of one of the three main coolant pumps and replaced the system for measuring the neutron flux.” A total of about 5,000 individual duties were completed. Helmut Scherla is full of praise: “The maintenance team of the GKN and the more than 1,200 employees of manufacturers and specialist companies did a really great job. We are very satisfied with the good cooperation of everyone involved.”
“The end of this year’s maintenance means the continuation of the safe, reliable and climate-friendly electricity production in Unit I. Since being commissioned, the plant has generated a total over more than 185 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity. Year after year, we make an important contribution to the security of supply in Baden-Württemberg and want to continue doing so,” explains Wolfgang Heni, Commercial Manager of the GKN and of EnBW Kernkraft GmbH, and he adds: “At the same time, Unit I has already prevented the emission of about 178 million tons of CO2 into the atmosphere. That roughly corresponds to the total amount of CO2 emitted by industry in Germany annually.”
The maintenance work was supervised by the Baden-Württemberg Environment Ministry and was monitored on behalf of the Ministry by assessors of the TÜV, the KeTAG (Kerntechnik-Gutachterarbeitsgemeinschaft Baden-Württemberg) and the MPA (Staatliche Materialprüfungsanstalt, Stuttgart). Once the work had been accepted, the Environment Ministry approved the recommissioning of the plant.
Unit I of the Neckarwestheim Nuclear Power Plant is a pressurised water reactor with an electrical output of 840 megawatts. The plant was commissioned in 1976 and produced more than six-and-a-half billion kilowatt-hours of electricity in 2006.