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Compiled by Vhahangwele Nemakonde

Digital Deputy News Editor

Unit 1 at Koeberg Power Station back in operation

Koeberg, South Africa's only nuclear power station, has a total capacity of 1860 MW, contributing approximately 5% of electricity generated by Eskom.

Eskom has announced the successful synchronisation of Unit 1 at the Koeberg Power Station with the grid on Saturday.

This after the longest outage in the station’s history, during which three original steam generators were replaced with new ones.

The mechanical work for replacing the steam generators was completed on 28 July, Eskom mentioned in August during an update on the unit’s progress. At the time, Eskom promised to synchronise the unit to the grid in November.

ALSO READ: Glimmer of hope: Koeberg Unit 1 on track to return to service in November

“The new steam generators are more efficient and will produce an additional 27MW while enabling Koeberg to continue generating electricity for years,” said Eskom at the time.

“The conservative design of the station, the investment that Eskom has made in continuously improving the safety standards, the rigorous maintenance as well as the testing programme over its operating lifespan, give merit to Eskom’s decision to apply for the licence to operate the plant for an additional 20 years.”

Koeberg: ‘Huge milestone’

During Unit 1’s outage, Unit 2 generated electricity to the grid, and, according to Eskom, will continue to do so until the start of its next outage, which will include the replacement of its original three steam generators.

ALSO READ: ‘Middle-aged’ Koeberg nuclear plant a disaster?

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, said Eskom.

“The replacement of steam generators is 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 said it had 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. 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 on the project for ensuring that the unit was returned to service safely,” said Eskom’s Group Executive for Generation, Bheki Nxumalo.

ALSO READ: Koeberg: Electricity minister ‘worried and extremely upset’

Koeberg, South Africa’s only nuclear power station, has a total capacity of 1860 MW, contributing 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 in Africa.

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