From Monday 25th, the Angra 2 nuclear power plant will be disconnected from the National Interconnected System (SIN) to refuel, removing the daily supply of 1,350 gigawatts (GW) of energy from the system. More than 5,000 maintenance and inspection activities will be carried out on equipment that cannot be isolated during the plant's operation, as well as the replacement of 52 - out of a total of 193 - fuel elements in the reactor core. The work is expected to last 30 days.
The main actions planned are overhauling the main electrical generator, inspecting the reactor pressure vessel and changing the fuel. Among the specialists involved will be approximately 1,300 people hired exclusively for the tasks, 500 Eletronuclear employees and 200 foreigners.
"All the activities are carried out with precision and quality to maintain Angra 2's extremely high reliability. An undertaking of this size can only be made possible with a great deal of planning and dedication from all areas of Eletronuclear, while also avoiding accidents at work," said Angra 2 superintendent Fabiano Portugal in a statement.
Angra 1's shutdown is scheduled to begin on October 28th and is expected to last 50 days. Around a third of the nuclear fuel will be refilled, in addition to the promotion of 4,800 activities, including periodic inspections and maintenance, and installations of project modifications.
In addition to refueling Angra 1, the reactor's control rods will be replaced, the main and auxiliary transformers will be serviced, the steam turbines will be overhauled and the reactor's pressure vessel lid will be volumetrically inspected.
"Shutdowns occur approximately every 14 months and are organized at least a year in advance, taking into account the duration of the nuclear fuel and the needs of the SIN," according to Angra 1's superintendent, Abelardo Vieira, dismissing the risk of shortages in the face of rising temperatures across the country, which have increased electricity consumption.