Cape Town – A Unit that went down nearly a year ago at Koeberg Nuclear Power Station has been safely and successfully synchronised to the grid.
Commenting on the development on Saturday, Eskom said it was “pleased to announce that Unit 1 at Koeberg Power Station was successfully synchronised to the grid today, (18 November 2023), after almost a year”.
The power utility said this was the longest outage in the history of the power station during which the original three steam generators were successfully replaced by three new steam generators.
Eskom said this was a huge milestone in the Generation operational recovery plan and Eskom’s strategic objectives.
“For the duration of the Unit 1 outage, Unit 2 has been safely generating electricity to the grid and will continue to do so until the start of its next outage which will include the replacement of its original three steam generators,” Eskom said in a statement.
“The outage on Unit 2 will start once Unit 1 is stable and all the required commissioning tests are complete.
“Although Unit 2 outage will be similar in terms of the scope, the lessons learnt from Unit 1 outage will enable the duration to be reduced, however as was the case during the Unit 1 outage, Nuclear Safety will not be compromised.”
The power utility said the replacement of steam generators was a huge milestone in the life of Koeberg as it was identified by Eskom as a prerequisite for the extension of the operating licence for Koeberg beyond its original design life of 40 years.
Eskom has already submitted a licence application to the National Nuclear Regulator (NNR) for Koeberg’s operating life extension by additional 20 years, which is being assessed by the NNR.
“We are pleased by the synchronisation of Koeberg’s Unit 1 to the grid today,” said Eskom’s Group Executive for Generation, Bheki Nxumalo.
“This milestone is as a result of the hard work and determination of the Eskom employees, suppliers, and contractors who have had to endure a long and challenging outage in the Koeberg Power Station’s history.
“I commend everyone involved in the project for ensuring that the unit was returned to service safely.”
Koeberg remains South Africa’s only nuclear power station with a total capacity of 1860 MW, approximately 5 % of electricity generated by Eskom.
The two reactors (Unit 1 and Unit 2) at the Koeberg Nuclear Power Station, are the largest generating units on the African continent and have been well maintained and safely operated for close to 40 years.