Karlsruhe. Unit 2 of the Neckarwestheim nuclear power plant (GKN 2) was taken offline at the weekend for routine annual maintenance. As usual, a range of general checks and maintenance tasks will be carried out and technical projects implemented at the plant. In addition, 44 of the plant's 193 fuel elements will be replaced.
"Inspections are a vital part of our security strategy", says Heiko Walch, manager at Unit 2. "It enables us to ensure that the technology we use at the plant is continuously being upgraded to reflect the very latest technological developments. The result of our on-going investments and improvements is that we can guarantee security standards that meet the highest international requirements. This means that we can ensure high levels of stand-by capacity from this plant, which enables us to make a significant contribution to climate-friendly power production in Baden-Württemberg."
This year we shall, once again, add a number of specific individual projects to our routine maintenance program. "These will include inspecting two of the four main coolant pumps, thoroughly overhauling the motor in one of the primary cooling water pumps, and checking the seals in the containment dome in the reactor building, in sequence", states Heiko Walch.
In total we shall complete around 2,800 individual tasks. Our inspection and maintenance teams will be supported by around another 1,100 experts from specialist manufacturers and other companies.
These maintenance tasks will be carried out under the supervision of the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of the Environment, and will be monitored by the Technical Inspection Authority (TÜV), the KeTAG (Baden-Württemberg Nuclear Power Consultant Consortium) and the MPA (state material research laboratory, Stuttgart) on behalf of the Ministry.
Unit 2 of the Neckarwestheim Nuclear Power Plant is a pressurized water reactor with a capacity of 1,400 megawatts. The plant came into operation in 1989 and generated more than eleven billion kilowatt hours of power in 2007.