Eskom to replace six Koeberg steam generators

Engineering News 30 July 2012.

State-owned Eskom is embarking on a multibillion-rand project to replace six steam generators at the Koeberg nuclear power station, in the Western Cape, during 2016 and 2017.

As part of its ongoing maintenance and refurbishment plans, the power utility issued an expression-of-interest tender to identify suppliers able to design, manufacture and install three steam generators in each of Koeberg’s two units…

(Editor’s note: Koeberg is about 30 years old now and Eskom is considering replacing the steam and generation system? This raises several questions: is this being done for the sake of energy efficiency or are the systems nearing their end of life? Either way, it means that the assumptions in the IRP 2010 of a 60 year life for nuclear power plants are questionable. Either such plants might be overtaken by technology advances or they might break down long before the 60 years. With technology changing so far fast, it makes no sense counting on plants to last 60 years just to make the economics look good. Another pertinent question is: what about the reactor parts of Koeberg? Will they last as long as the new steam and generation plant? If not, what do we do then? I think it is a bad idea, rather scrap the current Koeberg plant and build a new plant. And when that time comes who knows what technology might be available.)