BKW Energie AG

Mühleberg Nuclear Power Plant: Revision completed on schedule - plant restarted

    Bern (ots) - BKW FMB Energy Ltd (BKW) has restarted operations at Mühleberg nuclear power plant (KKM) following a scheduled four-week annual revision and approval from the Federal Nuclear Safety Inspectorate (ENSI). As part of the revision, BKW carried out various important renovation and maintenance work and performed the usual repeat tests on the plant's safety systems. Technically as well as in terms of safety, the KKM is in excellent condition for long-term operation. The 2010 annual revision mainly involved extensive repeat tests as well as work on and in the reactor pressure tank, and the use of specialised ultrasound systems to check various nozzles and pipelines. The drive systems for the reactor recirculation pump as well as the protective equipment for the plant's own electricity supply were renewed, making the facility state of the art in this area. Work was also carried out on a main cooling water line outlet, as part of a multi-year maintenance check cycle to ensure the plant's long-term operation, and annual maintenance work was performed on a large number of other plant components. 36 of the 240 fuel elements were replaced. The usual comprehensive annual checks and inspections were conducted throughout the plant, and in particular on the safety systems, turbines and generators, electrical protection and regulation systems and transformers. Nothing detrimental to the plant's safety was found. Additional checks were also carried out on the pressure vessel and spray lines, using the latest highly sensitive ultrasound measuring equipment. No relevant indications concerning plant safety were detected. Extensive analyses confirmed that the components are reliable and able to guarantee the plant's safe long-term operation. During the revision work, more than 1,000 experts were involved: 330 BKW employees and around 700 external specialists from Switzerland and abroad. The ongoing modernisation and preventive maintenance of the plant is performed in the interests of the plant's safety and with a view to its long-term operation. In terms of technical retrofitting, the KKM is an international standard-setter. Continual upgrades optimise the plant's availability and increase production. The KKM ensures the reliable, CO2-free supply of electricity to North Western Switzerland. Around 40% of current requirements for electricity are covered by this plant.

Contact: Antonio Sommavilla; phone 0041 31 330 51 07; e-mail: antonio.sommavilla@bkw-fmb.ch