Philippsburg. Unit 2 of the Philippsburg power plant (KKP 2) has been back online today (Friday 9 August 2013) following its annual inspection. In recent weeks, extensive testing and maintenance work, a number of technical projects and the annual replacement of the fuel rods were carried out. During the inspection some 1,100 additional staff from the manufacturer and specialty companies of the KKP inspection team provided their support. The whole team completed around 5,600 individual tasks.
"The course of this inspection is proof that we continue to invest in the safety of our power plants, which enjoys the utmost priority. As was the case with this inspection, this may lead to the work – and consequently the inspection – sometimes requiring more time", commented Jörg Michels, Technical Managing Director of the Philippsburg nuclear power plant.
Inspection process as proof that security enjoys the highest priority at EnBW
One of the tasks forming part of the inspection was an investigation and replacement programme run on what are known as fuel rod centering pins. The centering pins inspected are part of a strut plate affixed during running operations to the reactor core which consists of fuel rods. The strut plate with centering pins is used for the upper positioning of the fuel rods. In this context, a full replacement of these centering pins was carried out. "This work was performed under water by remote handling and took some time. All in all, these measures considerably prolonged the inspection, which, however, fully accords with our safety philosophy", explained Jörg Michels.
Outstanding teamwork of internal and external experts
"The collaboration of the whole team consisting of EnBW staff and numerous experts from the manufacturing and specialty companies worked extremely well over this long period. All the planning was conducted jointly and all additional work expertly performed", was the conclusion of Thomas Franke, Head of Unit 2. The replacement and maintenance work on the transformers represented one of the larger projects. An inspection was carried out on one of the four main coolant pumps and on two of the four steam generators. The feedwater tank and the two moisture separator reheaters were pressure tested. The pump was inspected on one of the three feedwater pumps, and the motor inspected on another. Inspection and maintenance work were also conducted on two diesel-powered emergency generators.
The inspection work was carried out under the supervision of the Ministry of the Environment, Climate and Energy Industry of Baden-Württemberg and was accompanied by surveyors from the TÜV inspection group and KeTAG (Nuclear Technology Surveyors Working Group of Baden-Württemberg).
Unit 2 of the Philippsburg nuclear power plant is a pressurised water reactor with an electric output of 1,468 megawatts. The plant was commissioned in 1984 and generated around 11 billion kWh of electricity in 2012.
EnBW Kernkraft GmbH (EnKK) operates Unit 2. EnKK stands for safety in the operation and post-operation, as well as in the decommissioning and dismantling of nuclear power plants in Baden-Württemberg. In Neckarwestheim and Philippsburg, EnKK generates electricity with one nuclear power plant respectively (GKN II and KKP 2). A further plant that no longer produces electricity is located at each of the sites (GKN I and KKP 1). EnKK is currently preparing the dismantling of these shutdown plants. At the Obrigheim site, the dismantling of the nuclear power plant located there, which commenced in 2008, is making good progress.