Karlsruhe. Block 1 of the Philippsburg nuclear power station (KKP 1) was taken from the grid at the weekend for the scheduled annual revision. In the coming weeks, a variety of inspection and repair work will be carried out and technical projects will be implemented that are only possible with the station disconnected from the grid. The exchange of 104 of the 592 fuel elements is also planned.
"Since commissioning block 1, we have been making sure that the station is permanently updated parallel to technical developments. We spend extensive amounts on this year after year. We have invested more than 800 million Euros in upgrades since commissioning. This is more than the station originally cost. And this year, we will also be investing a double-figure million amount within the scope of the revision," reports Christoph Heil, Managing Technical Director of the Philippsburg nuclear power station. "The result of these investments is creditable: the station fulfils all valid safety-related requirements in Germany without exception. In addition, the level of safety in block 1 surpasses the standards required by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for new stations. Block 1 therefore not only stands for environmentally-friendly, but also safe and reliable electricity supply in Baden-Württemberg."
Extensive range of work will be supported by around 1,000 additional skilled employees
"Our revision team has around 5,400 individual tasks to deal with this year," explains Roman Zofka, Manager of the station block 1. "The focus of work includes the inspection of the generator, constructional work on one of the four cooling water ducts, examination of the inner coating on the condensation chamber and the replacement of isolators on the machine transformer. Apart from this, work must be carried out on various pumps, such as a motor inspection on two of the nine forced circulation pumps, the inspection of the pump or motor on one of each of the three reactor feed pumps, the exchange of the pump on one of the four main cooling water pumps as well as the inspection of the four cooling tower pumps." With this extensive range of work, the nuclear power station will be supported by around 1,000 additional workers from manufacturing and specialist companies.
The revision work will take place under the supervision of the Environmental Ministry for Baden-Württemberg and will be accompanied by assessors from the TÜV and KeTAG (Nuclear Technology Assessment Consortium for Baden-Württemberg) commissioned by the ministry.
Block 1 of the Philippsburg nuclear power station is a boiling water nuclear reactor with an electrical output of 926 Megawatts. The station was put into operation in 1979 and produced around six-and-a-half billion kilowatt hours of electricity in 2009. Block 1 is operated by EnBW Kernkraft GmbH (EnKK). EnKK operates the nuclear power stations in Neckarwestheim and Philippsburg as well as the nuclear power station in Obrigheim which is currently being phased out. Around half of the electricity required by Baden-Württemberg is produced at the Neckarwestheim and Philippsburg sites.