Cape Town – On Wednesday, Eskom celebrated the arrival of its long-awaited replacement steam generators at its Koeberg nuclear power station in the Western Cape.
In a statement released by the power utility, it said its six new steam generators arrived at its power plant on Tuesday.
Eskom said this was a culmination of “exceptional teamwork and collaboration and a milestone for Africa’s only nuclear power station”.
Each steam generator weighs approximately 380 tons and spans about 20m.
The first three generators are set to be installed between February and June 2021.
The generators are being transported over a distance of approximately 40km by road from the Cape Town Harbour, which takes eight hours per generator.
The trailer used to transport the generators is the longest in South Africa. At 42m long, it requires four trucks during each trip.
A replacement steam generator facility has been constructed to house the steam generators until the old generators are removed during the plant’s next outage.
The replacement has been scheduled into the Koeberg outage plan and the power utility’s generation plan.
The generators, which were approved in 2010 by the Eskom board, are to extend the power station’s life by 20 years. The steam generators are set to replace the ones installed to the national electricity grid in 1984.
“The steam generator replacement is a key part of the larger programme to extend Koeberg’s operating life, which was budgeted to cost an estimated R20 billion (about US$1.2 billion), and will be the best investment into sustainable and less carbon-intensive electricity generation infrastructure that Eskom can buy,” the power utility said.
Extensive engineering analyses and safety studies on the project concluded the new generators could be safely installed, commissioned and operated, enabling the power station to continue generating electricity beyond its 40-years operational life.
According to Eskom, a steam generator replacement is the most intensive and expensive project a nuclear power station can undergo.
The old generators, which will be removed from the power plant, will be packaged, dismantled and disposed of at a national nuclear waste repository.
African News Agency