Karlsruhe. Unit 2 of the Philippsburg Nuclear Power Plant (KKP 2) has been online again since Thursday morning (10 August 2006) after annual maintenance. In addition to the general testing and maintenance tasks, the annual refuelling was also carried out during the last few weeks. During the maintenance, about 900 additional employees of manufacturers and specialist companies supported the maintenance team of the KKP. The whole team completed more than 5,000 individual tasks.
Horst Janisch, unit 2 director, gives a positive assessment: “We are very pleased with how the maintenance went and were able to successfully implement the whole working programme.” The biggest individual projects among the routine work mainly included the complete inspection of one of the four main cooling pumps, the eddy current testing of the heating tubes in two of the four steam generators and the tightness test of the reactor containment shell.
As the Regulatory Authority and the public have already been informed, in the course of the maintenance two minor leaks occurred on pipeline supports of the auxiliary cooling water system during routine pressure tests and were immediately fixed. This did not have any effects on the safety of the plant, the staff or the environment.
The maintenance work was conducted under the supervision of the Baden-Württemberg Environment Ministry and was monitored on behalf of the Ministry by assessors of the TÜV (Technical Inspection Authority), the KeTAG (Baden-Württemberg Nuclear Power Assessment Consortium) and the MPA (State Material Testing Institute, Stuttgart). After the work had been approved, the Baden-Württemberg Environment Ministry issued its consent for the plant to be restarted.
OSART Follow-up in November
The annual conduction of maintenance is a key element in the safety philosophy of EnBW-Kernkraftwerke. Now that the maintenance of unit 2 has also been completed for this year, in Philippsburg they are already looking ahead to the next “highlight” of the safety-oriented efforts. In November 2006, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) – a sub-organisation of the United Nations (UN) – will once again dispatch a team of international experts to Philippsburg on a so-called “follow-up mission”. It was EnBW’s initiative which led to international experts conducting a comprehensive inspection of the KKP in 2004. According to the final report, the result of this OSART mission (Operational Safety Review Team) was that based on the international standards, Philippsburg is a very good plant.
“It is common practice for there to be a second appointment after a period of one to two years after the first mission,” explains Horst Janisch. “In autumn, the team of experts will appraise whether or not we have maintained our high international standard and have been able to further improve at a high level in individual areas.”