South African power utility Eskom has revealed that plans are underway to install six new steam generators at its Koeberg nuclear power plant in 2021.
Eskom confirmed on Thursday 10 September, that the first of the six steam generators is already in transit and expected to arrive in Cape Town later this month.
“We are on track and progressing according to plan for installation during the next unit 1 and 2 outages,” said an Eskom spokeswoman.
“Three steam generators have been completely built and the remaining three for Koeberg Unit 2 are progressing well, even given the COVID-19 pandemic and consequences on productivity,” the spokeswoman added.
The Koeberg nuclear power plant has two pressurized water reactors generating around 1,940 megawatts of power and has been in operating since 1985.
Plans are that the first set of generators will be replaced in February next year and the second set in September 2021 during scheduled refueling maintenance, with the possibility of each unit going offline for four months.
The 366 tone generators are being assembled in China before shipping across to South Africa, after which they will be transported on flatbed trucks to their final destination.
Eskom said the old radioactive generators will be stored in a temporary site at Koeberg, before being finally disposed of underground “as complete and sealed units” at South Africa’s remote Vaalputs radioactive storage facility in the Northern Cape.
Today (Thursday 10 September) Eskom announced that there is a possibility that Stage 2 may strike at short notice.
This after a conveyor belt feeding coal into the Medupi generation units failed late Wednesday night.
“This means the four-generation units in service are not able to take in the requisite amount of coal to generate electricity. This puts further strain on Eskom’s ability to fully supply electricity over the next 24 hours,” Eskom said.