Karlsruhe. Unit II of the Neckarwestheim Nuclear Power Plant (GKN II) was taken offline on the weekend for scheduled annual maintenance. During the next few weeks, general testing and maintenance duties will be performed and 44 of the 193 fuel elements will be replaced.
'In addition to the routine work, this year we also have several large individual projects on the schedule,’ reports Heiko Walch, Head of the Unit II plant. ‘The most time-consuming task will be the general overhaul of the generator. In addition, there is the hydraulic pressure test and eddy current testing on two of the four steam generators, the general overhaul of one of the three main feed pumps, the inspection of one of the four main coolant pumps, ultrasonic testing of the reactor pressure vessel, the hydraulic pressure test of the primary circuit and the leak test of the containment.’
There are a total of about 5,000 individual duties on the work schedule. The maintenance team of the GKN will be assisted in its implementation by approx. 1,000 additional employees of manufacturers and specialist companies. ‘This extensive work in Unit II is the last maintenance that we will perform this year on our four production plants in Neckarwestheim and Philippsburg. We will once again spend 10s of millions of euros on this and are thus investing in continued safe operation and in a climate friendly type of electricity generation,’ says Wolfgang Heni, Commercial Manager of the GKN and of EnBW Kernkraft GmbH.
The maintenance work will be supervised by the Baden-Württemberg Environment Ministry and will be monitored on behalf of the Ministry by assessors of the TÜV, the KeTAG (Kerntechnik-Gutachterarbeitsgemeinschaft Baden-Württemberg) and the MPA (Staatliche Materialprüfungsanstalt, Stuttgart).
Unit II of the Neckarwestheim Nuclear Power Plant is a pressurised water reactor with an electrical output of 1,400 megawatts. The plant was commissioned in 1989 and produced more than eleven-and-a-half billion kilowatt-hours of electricity in 2006.