Eskom to Shut Down Koeberg Nuclear Power Station for Revamping

Eskom’s new CEO, Andre de Ruyter

Starting from Monday, South Africa’s state power provider Eskom will carry out a phased shutdown of both units of its Koeberg nuclear power station for scheduled refuelling and maintenance.

This important maintenance will put an already overburdened power system under additional strain.

In a statement, Eskom said it would take Unit 2 offline from Monday for five months, then do the same with Unit 1 for a similar duration afterwards. Each unit generates 920 megawatts (MW).

Eskom’s power stations which are mostly run on coal are struggling to meet national demand, and Africa’s most industrialised nation has suffered several power cuts for years, a situation which the maintenance work could worsen.

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Eskom’s new CEO, Andre de Ruyter

“The extended unavailability of the units due to the planned long outages does mean the electricity supply system may be under additional strain during the coming year,” the statement said.

Early 2021, Eskom implemented scheduled power cuts because of a maintenance issue at Koeberg, prompted by a rising leak rate in one of its steam generators.

Koeberg nuclear power station is currently the only one on the entire African continent. It is located 30 km north of Cape Town, near Melkbosstrand on the west coast of South Africa.

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