Cape Town - The Koeberg Nuclear Power Station’s Unit 1 outage has been delayed until Saturday, should the national grid conditions have recovered to ensure stability of the system.
Eskom on Thursday afternoon said after a careful assessment of the current state of the national grid, it was decided to delay the start of the outage of Unit 1 to allow time to stabilise the system and the recovery of some generation capacity.
Koeberg Unit 1 has been online for 407 days since the last outage.
This comes as the country grapples with Stage 6 rolling blackouts.
The Koeberg Unit 1 refuelling and maintenance outage is now planned to commence on Saturday, December 10, should the grid conditions have recovered to ensure stability of the system.
“While Eskom is ready to commence with the outage, with the contractors and all the requisite resources on standby, grid stability is an important consideration prior to shutting down the Unit 1 reactor to commence the maintenance and refuelling outage,” said Sadika Touffie, acting chief nuclear officer.
“This is going to be a long but necessary outage – the first of its kind for Koeberg. Eskom has taken care to ensure no undue delays are experienced once the project gets under way,” he said.
The outage will be for a duration of approximately six months. The extended unavailability of the unit due to the planned long outages does mean the electricity supply system may be under additional strain during the outage, Eskom said.
This will be the 26th refuelling outage on Unit 1 since commissioning and will also see the replacement of the unit’s three steam generators as part of the long-term operation programme of the power station. The reactor pressure vessel head on this unit was replaced several years ago.