Karlsruhe. Unit 1 of the Philippsburg nuclear power plant (KKP 1) was taken offline at the weekend for routine annual maintenance. In the weeks ahead a range of test and maintenance tasks will be carried out, during which 64 of the 592 fuel elements will also be replaced.
As Roman Zofka, Head of Unit 1 explains: “Even in its 30th year of operation we continue to invest heavily in our plant, with spending running into the tens of millions. This is consistent with our principle that nothing is so good that it cannot be improved still further. Our continuously high level of investment has ensured that the plant has always used the very latest technology. All of our plants therefore comply with the relevant technical safety standards in Germany, indeed the safety level of Block 1 even exceeds the standards for new plants set by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). For Baden-Württemberg this means that electricity production in Philippsburg is not just environmentally friendly but safe and reliable too, both now and in the future.”
More than 1200 technical staff are involved in the maintenance work
“This year our maintenance team has a total of around 5000 individual tasks to perform”, continues Roman Zofka. “The main tasks include checking the seals on the containment dome, inspecting the motors of two forced circulation pumps and testing the two secondary cooling systems. The pre-heaters and condensate coolers in the machine house will also be thoroughly tested and inspected and maintenance work carried out on a main condensation pump and a reactor feed pump. Construction and maintenance work will also take place on one of the four water cooling channels. Lastly, we will be improving the pipework mountings and carrying out routine maintenance on our machine transformer.” More than 1200 staff from manufacturers and specialist firms will be involved in this extensive program.
These maintenance tasks will be carried out under the supervision of the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of the Environment and monitored by the Technical Inspection Authority (TÜV) and the KeTAG (Baden-Württemberg Nuclear Power Consultant Consortium).
Unit 1 of the Philippsburg nuclear power plant is a boiling water reactor that produces 926 megawatts of electricity. The plant became operational in 1979 and in 2008 produced around 6.5 billion kilowatt hours of power. Block 1 is operated by EnBW Kernkraft GmbH (EnKK). EnKK operates the nuclear power plants in Neckarwestheim and Philippsburg and also the nuclear power plant in Obrigheim that is currently being decommissioned.