Karlsruhe. Block II of the Neckarwestheim nuclear power plant (GKN II) was taken out of action last weekend, as planned, for its annual inspection. As happens every year, during the overhaul, inspection and maintenance work will be carried out on the plant and technical projects will be implemented. Additionally, 48 of the 193 fuel elements will be replaced.
“In its 20th year of service„ we are once again investing a double-digit million amount in the safety of our plant and in maintaining it at the current level of technical development“, says Gerd-Josef Engel, controller of Block II. “In this way, we comply, without exception, with the safety-related provisions in force in Germany. With EnBW’s energy mix, we are making a valuable contribution to the security of supply and climate protection in Baden-Württemberg.“
Around 1,100 additional specialised personnel are supporting the implementation of the revision programme.
“This year, in addition to the normal routinely scheduled standard tasks, we once again have several individual projects on the agenda“, reports Gerd-Josef Engel. “Among other measures, we are conducting internal inspections of one of the four steam generators and two of the eight pressure accumulators. Furthermore, we are subjecting these pressure accumulators to a pressure test. We are replacing the motor on one of the four main coolant pumps and thoroughly overhauling the axial bearing on a further pump. One of the three main cool water pumps is also undergoing a thorough overhaul.“
In total, approximately 3,000 individual tasks must be carried out. In carrying out all these tasks, the revision team of the Neckarwestheim nuclear power station is supported by around 1,100 extra staff from manufacturing and specialist firms.
The revision work is taking place under the supervision of the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of the Environment and is being attended, on behalf of the ministry, by consultants from the TÜV and the KeTAG (nuclear technology consultants association, Baden-Württemberg). There were two findings drawn on passing through the site; the obligation to notify the authorities of these findings is currently being investigated. The controlling authority and the consultant were immediately informed.
Block II of the Neckarwestheim nuclear power plant is a pressurised water reactor with an electrical power output of 1,400 megawatts. The plant became operational in 1989 and, in the year 2008, produced around eleven and a half million kilowatt-hours of electrical power. Block II is operated by EnBW Kernkraft GmbH (EnKK). EnKK operates the nuclear power stations in Neckarwestheim and Philippsburg, as well as the nuclear power station being dismantled in Obrigheim.