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Koeberg nuclear power plant steam-generator replacement project, South Africa – update

Image of the Koeberg power station

Photo by ©Bjorn Rudner

2nd February 2024

By: Sheila Barradas

Creamer Media Research Coordinator & Senior Deputy Editor

     

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Name of the Project
Koeberg nuclear power plant steam-generator replacement (SGR) project.

Location
Western Cape, South Africa.

Project Owner/s
Eskom.

Project Description
The current steam generators in Unit 1 and Unit 2 at the Koeberg nuclear power station have been in operation since 1984 and 1985 respectively. The aim of the project is to extend the design life of the nuclear power station by 20 years to 2045.

The project involves the replacement of all six steam generators for units 1 and 2.

The SGR project involves the design, manufacture and installation of three steam generators in each of the Koeberg power plant's two operating units, as well as safety analyses and studies to comprehensively demonstrate the plant's design integrity, with no adverse impact on public and worker safety and health or the environment, including the enhancement of nuclear safety.

The new generators will incorporate modern design features for easy maintenance and inspections and improve heat-transfer efficiency, leading to an overall efficiency improvement of Koeberg.

The installation of the generators will be conducted during the scheduled refuelling, inspections and maintenance outages of the two units at Koeberg power station. Eskom is on track and progressing according to plan for installation during the next unit 1 and 2 outages.

The other major components of the life-extension plan include:

  • a refuelling water storage tank replacement project, completed in 2019.
  • the Unit 2 reactor pressure vessel head replacement.
  • the replacement of feed-train components on the conventional power plant, which is conducted during maintenance outages.
  • the ongoing Koeberg safety aspects of long-term operation assessment. The assessment is designed to provide the equipment-ageing management confirmation to enable the Koeberg plant to operate beyond its original life span of 40 years to at least 60 years.

Capital Expenditure
Not stated.

Planned Start/End Date
Not stated.

Latest Developments
The National Nuclear Regulator (NNR) has approved Eskom’s request to separate the operational timelines for the two reactors of Koeberg.

After completing its safety assessment, the NNR confirmed that the approval of the separation of the units would not affect the safety of the Koeberg nuclear power stations.

Unit 1 was commissioned in July 1984, while Unit 2 was commissioned about 16 months later, in November 1985.

The approval granted by the regulator means that Koeberg’s Unit 1 can now be operated until July 21, 2024, while Unit 2 can be operated until November 9, 2025. These dates are in line with the two reactors’ operational design life.

This approval is separate from Eskom’s application for authorisation to extend the life of the NPP (known as long-tern operation).

Key Contracts, Suppliers, and Consultants
Framatome (main SGR contractor); General Electric (modifications to the balance of plant or secondary turbine system); and Jacobs Engineering (balance of plant hardware changes).

Contact Details for Project Information
Eskom media desk, email mediadesk@eskom.co.za.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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