Karlsruhe. Unit II of the Neckarwestheim nuclear power plant (GKN II) was taken offline last weekend for annual maintenance according to schedule. Over the coming weeks, inspection and maintenance tasks will be carried out and 44 of the 193 fuel elements will be replaced.
“This year our maintenance programme will be dominated by routine tasks,” is what Heiko Walch, Unit II Director, says about the working programme. “The more time-consuming individual projects are primarily the redevelopment of the auxiliary cooling water system as well as a major overhaul of one of the three main feed pumps and one of the three main condensate pumps. Two large projects also include the pressure tests on the feed water tank and on the low pressure preheaters.”
At times up to 1,200 additional employees of manufacturers and specialist companies will support the maintenance team of the GKN. The whole team will carry out about 5,000 individual tasks.” After the maintenance of Unit I was successfully completed in the spring, we are now also spending a double digit million sum for the maintenance of our second plant and are thus investing in its ongoing safe operation,” says Wolfgang Heni, Commercial Manager of the GKN.
The maintenance work is conducted under the supervision of the Baden-Württemberg Environment Ministry and is monitored on behalf of the Ministry by assessors of the TÜV (Technical Inspection Authority), the KeTAG (Baden-Württemberg Nuclear Power Assessment Consortium) and the MPA (State Material Testing Institute, Stuttgart).
Unit II of the Neckarwestheim nuclear power plant is a pressurized water reactor with an electrical output of 1,395 megawatts. The plant was commissioned in 1989 and in 2005 it produced more than eleven-and-a-half billion kilowatt-hours of electricity.