Karlsruhe. Following an annual maintenance review, Unit 2 of the Philippsburg nuclear power plant (KKP 2) has been back on the grid since this morning. Over the past few weeks, the annual fuel rod replacement was carried out in addition to general testing and maintenance activities. During the maintenance, around 1,200 additional staff from manufacturing and specialist companies were brought in to assist the KKP maintenance team. As a whole, the workforce completed almost 5,000 individual tasks.
Unit 2 has been supplying electricity to Baden-Württemberg for almost 25 years. “Both Unit 1 and Unit 2 in Philippsburg stand for electricity production that is safe, reliable, and environmentally friendly. Just on its own, Unit 2 has already produced over 266 billion kilowatt hours of electricity to date – enough to meet the demand of all private homes in Baden-Württemberg for about 14 years,” states Christoph Heil, Technical Director of the Phillipsburg nuclear power plant.
Over a period of 25 years, the operation of this pressurised water reactor has prevented more than 257 million tonnes of damaging carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere. In comparison, German industry emits around 170 million tonnes of CO2 every year, and all private homes in Germany around 115 million tonnes of CO2. Year on year, Unit 2 prevents the release of around 11 million tonnes of CO2.
Safety at Unit 2 exceeds international standards for new plants
“Each time we carry out maintenance we also ensure that our systems are brought up to date with the latest technical developments. We also operate a systematic quality management programme for all of the components at our plants. In the past we have regularly invested many millions of euros in our plants in and will continue to do so in years to come. This will allow us to maintain the impressive performance of our two units in the future, regarding both reliability of supply and protection of the environment", explains Christoph Heil. “Both Unit 1 and Unit 2 meet all the technical safety standards required by German law, indeed they even exceed the standards for new plants demanded by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). In other words: even after almost 25 years of operation, from a safety point of view Unit 2 is just as good as a new nuclear power station. That is major proof of the quality of our work at the plant.”
Maintenance programme successfully completed
“We are very happy with the way maintenance went”, states Horst Janisch, Head of the Plant. “We successfully completed all of the work that was planned. One of the main tasks was to inspect several large pumps, including a main coolant pump, a feed water pump, a main condensation pump and two main water coolant pumps. We ran an internal check on two of the four steam generators and we also carried out construction and maintenance work on one of the water cooling channels.”
The maintenance work was carried out under the supervision of the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of the Environment, and was monitored on behalf of the ministry by consultants from the Technical Inspection Authority (TÜV) and KeTAG (the Baden-Württemberg Nuclear Power Consultant Consortium).
After approving the works, the Ministry of the Environment agreed to the plant being restarted. In connection with the maintenance, two notifiable incidents of the lowest reporting category were notified and reported to the regulatory authority. The incidents had no effect on the safety of the plant, staff or environment.