Karlsruhe. Block I of the Neckarwestheim nuclear power station (GKN I) was disconnected from the grid last weekend to carry out a scheduled revision. Testing and maintenance work are to be carried out during the revision, technical projects implemented and the reactor loaded with new fuel elements. A total of around 2,000 individual tasks are planned. The nuclear power station specialists are supported by around 700 employees from manufacturing and specialised companies.
"A legislative procedure is currently underway to extend the term of use. This would allow long-term operation of Block I”,explains Helmut Scherla, Manager of the Block I facility. "A number of larger tasks are on our revision list. For example, we are performing maintenance work on pumps and fittings belonging to one of the four aftercooling lines. We are subjecting various pumps to a scheduled general overhaul in the area of emergency power units and undertaking maintenance and modernisation work in the area of emergency power supplies. The larger projects also include the further optimisation of pipeline retainers as well as testing work on large components in the power house, including the turbine adjustment valves and one of the two water traps. We are generally remaining loyal to our approach to continual improvements at the highest technical level with our revision program".
The revision work will be supervised by Baden-Württemberg Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Transport and will be accompanied by ministry auditors from TÜV and KeTAG (Baden-Württemberg auditors consortium for nuclear technology).
Block I of the Neckarwestheim nuclear power station is a pressurised water reactor with an electrical output of 840 megawatts. The facility went into operation in 1976 and produced more than 4.5 billion kilowatt hours of electricity in the year 2009. Block I is operated by EnBW Kernkraft GmbH (EnKK). EnKK operates the nuclear power stations in Neckarwestheim and Philippsburg as well as the nuclear power station in Obrigheim which is currently being removed from service. Statistics show that the Neckarwestheim and Philippsburg sites produce around half the electricity required in Baden-Württemberg.