Eskom says Koeberg Power Station Unit 1 will be synchronised to the grid by the end of October, after the steam generators have been successfully replaced.
The power utility says residents close to Koeberg may have noticed steam rising from the power station on some occasions.
For the workers at Koeberg this is good news as it is an indication that the outage for Unit 1 is almost over.
After it is synchronised, the unit will start supplying electricity to the national grid, however the output will be ramped up to full power over a period of two weeks, while commissioning tests are performed.
Eskom says this marks another milestone on the Eskom’s Generation Operational Recovery Plan which is aimed at sustainably improving generation performance by improving the energy availability factor to an average of 65% by March 2024.
Although it experienced some delays, the process of returning Unit 1 to service is intentionally thorough, as it is essential to ensure all the safety systems are functioning correctly and that the unit is ready to operate reliably for the duration of the upcoming cycle.
The three steam generators on Unit 2 are scheduled for replacement in the upcoming Unit 2 outage, which will start once the Unit 1 commissioning is complete.
This outage start date has been shifted to mid-November 2023.
The replacement of the steam generators was identified in the licence application for long term operation of Koeberg that was submitted to the National Nuclear Regulator (NNR), as being a prerequisite for the station to operate safely beyond its original licenced operating period of 40 years (beyond 2024).
The completion of this long and challenging outage on Unit 1 through the commitment, sacrifice and hard work of all the Eskom employees, contractors, partners, and suppliers is a huge milestone in the process of extending the life of Koeberg and a positive development in the execution of Eskom’s Generation Operational Recovery Programme.
The NNR is currently considering the licence application.