Karlsruhe. Unit 2 of the Philippsburg nuclear power plant (KKP 2) was taken offline at the weekend for routine annual maintenance. As every year, extensive inspection and maintenance work will be carried out on the unit over the next few weeks and technical projects will be implemented to ensure that the plant is permanently up to date with the latest technical developments. Annual maintenance is a key element of EnBW’s power plant safety and security plan. The company’s ongoing investments and efforts have resulted in safety levels that comply with the highest international standards, as confirmed repeatedly to EnBW by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
“We are consistent in upholding our philosophy of ‘Safety before profitability’”, explains Horst Janisch, Unit 2 director. “Only a safe plant is a profitable one, a maxim which we were able to prove again last year with Unit 2. Unit 2's power output was around 11.78 billion kilowatt hours, its best annual output since it was commissioned in 1984, which gained us fourth place in the global ranking of nuclear power plants. This clearly emphasizes the significance of Philippsburg as a power generation site for supply security and climate protection in Baden-Württemberg.”
Increase in power output planned
Horst Janisch described the maintenance work planned this year: “We will replace the high-pressure turbine to increase the efficiency of the plant’s conventional sector. The new turbine features an optimized design enabling us to achieve higher power outputs while maintaining fuel consumption and safety levels. In addition, its longer maintenance cycles will reduce turbine inspection costs in the future.” Further major individual projects include a general overhaul of one of the three low-pressure turbines, pressure and eddy current testing of two of our four steam generators, pressure and ultrasound testing of the reactor pressure vessel, engine inspection of two of the four main cooling water pumps and installation of a new digital plant monitoring systems to replace one of the conventional systems. In addition, 40 of the plant’s 193 fuel elements will be replaced. “Including annual routine maintenance, the KKP maintenance team has around 5,000 separate tasks to complete this year. To support them in this endeavour they will be assisted by around 1,200 manufacturing and support personnel”, explains Horst Janisch.
During shutdown on Saturday morning a premature automatic emergency shutdown occurred. At this time the plant was no longer online and reactor output was minimal. Notification of the requisite authorities concerning the occurrence is mandatory. 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.