Karlsruhe. Since the weekend, unit 2 of the Philippsburg nuclear power plant (KKP 2) came back on the grid after its annual inspection. Over the past few weeks a range of general checks and maintenance tasks have been carried out, and 40 of the 193 fuel elements have been replaced by new ones. One of the larger projects involved replacing the high-pressure turbine. This measure was taken to improve efficiency in the conventional part of the plant.
Horst Janisch, Director of Unit 2, gave a positive summary: "We are very pleased with the way the inspection went, and have been able to complete the entire program of work successfully. Our new high-pressure turbine means we can now generate more electricity, using the same amount of fuel and without compromising safety. Measurements taken during productive operation will confirm this."
Other major individual projects included the general inspection of one of the three low-pressure turbines, checking the pressure and eddy-current of two of the four steam generators, performing a pressure and ultrasound test on the reactor pressure container, inspecting the motors on two of the four main coolant pumps, and converting one of the plant monitoring systems to digital technology. In total the inspection team performed around 6,000 separate tasks. "Throughout the inspection, our 1,200 strong team received excellent support from manufacturers and specialist companies", added Horst Janisch.
These maintenance tasks were carried out under the supervision of the Baden-Wuerttemberg Department of the Environment, and were monitored by inspectors from the Technical Inspection Authority (TÜV), KeTAG (the Baden-Wuerttemberg Nuclear Power Consultant Consortium) and the MPA (state material research laboratory, Stuttgart). After approving the works, the Department of the Environment agreed to the plant being restarted.
Unit 2 of the Philippsburg nuclear power plant is a pressurised water reactor that produces 1,458 megawatts of electricity. The plant came into operation in 1984 and generated more than eleven and a half billion kilowatt hours of power in 2007.