Karlsruhe. Block 2 of the Philippsburg Nuclear Power Station (KKP 2) was taken offline last weekend for its scheduled annual inspection. In the next few weeks, test and maintenance work, technical projects and the replacement of some of the annual fuel elements will be completed.
"Since the plant was commissioned in 1984, we have invested much more than 500 million Euros in refitting. The result is a plant which fulfils the highest international standards and at the same time takes first place in electricity generation. Among all nuclear power stations worldwide, last year KKP 2 achieved 2nd place in electricity generated and was one of six German plants in the top ten. This proves that a well maintained, safe plant is a significant requirement for economic operation. In this way, Block 2 not only makes an important contribution to climate-friendly electricity generation , but also to a safe and reliable electricity supply.", explains Christoph Heil, technical director of the Philippsburg Nuclear Power Station.
Around 1,000 additional specialist employees support the inspection work
"This year, the programme includes a total of around 4,500 separate activities," reports Horst Janisch, director of the Block 2 plant. "Apart from the annual routine work, our team will also have a few projects to work on. These include eddy current testing on two of the four steam generators and the leak testing of the reactor containment shell. A motor inspection is to be performed on two of the six main coolant pumps, as well as a pump inspection on one of the two. We are also inspecting the pump and engine of one of the three feed-water pumps and the engine on one of the three main condenser pumps. We will also subject scoops, fittings and casing on one of the three low pressure turbines to a routine examination. Finally, there will be construction and maintenance measures on one of the six coolant channels." The nuclear power station is supported in this extensive programme by around 1,000 additional employees from manufacturing and specialist companies.
The inspection work is being monitored by the Baden-Württemberg Ministry for Environment, Conservation and Transport, and is accompanied by experts from TÜV and KeTAG (Kerntechnik-Gutachterarbeitsgemeinschaft Baden-Württemberg).
Block 2 of the Philippsburg Nuclear Power Station is a pressurised water reactor with an electrical output of 1,468 megawatts. The plant was commissioned in 1984 and in 2009 has generated around eleven and a half billion kilowatt hours.
Block 2 is operated by EnBW Kernkraft GmbH (EnKK). EnKK operates the nuclear power stations in Neckarwestheim and Philippsburg, as well as the nuclear power station currently being decommissioned in Obrigheim. The sites at Neckarwestheim and Philippsburg mathematically generate around half of the electricity required by Baden-Württemberg.