Karlsruhe. Unit II of the Neckarwestheim Nuclear Power Plant (GKN II) has been online again since the weekend after annual maintenance. Over the last two weeks, testing and maintenance tasks have been carried out and 44 of the 193 fuel elements have been replaced.
“The maintenance was carried out to our complete satisfaction,” is what Heiko Walch, Unit II director, had to say about the work in the plant. “In addition to the routine tasks, we were also able to successfully implement the time-consuming individual projects. These mainly include 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. The pressure tests on the feed water tank and on the low pressure preheaters also went well.”
“Our maintenance team worked very effectively with the, at times, up to 1,200 additional employees of manufacturers and specialist companies,” is how Wolfgang Heni, Commercial Manager of the GKN, sums it up. “The whole team completed its approx. 5,000 individual tasks in an exemplary manner. In this way, we are keeping the safety of the plant at the highest international level,” adds Wolfgang Heni.
The maintenance work was conducted under the supervision of the Baden-Württemberg Environment Ministry and was 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. Once the work had been accepted, the Environment Ministry gave its permission for the plant to be restarted again.
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.