Unit 1 at the Koeberg nuclear power station near Cape Town tripped on Monday, but Eskom — which operates the facility — said there is no reason for concern about safety.
“Eskom can confirm that Koeberg Unit 1 reactor tripped at 4.30pm on Monday due to a fault on the electrical breaker to one of the primary coolant pumps. Eskom can confirm that the reactor was then safely shut down by the operators, in compliance with the operating procedure.”
It emphasised that there are no nuclear safety concerns. “Initial fault-finding ruled out any concerns on the primary pump or the motor itself.”
By mid-morning on Tuesday, Eskom had determined that the trip was caused by a faulty electrical protection relay, which tripped the primary motor.
“The secondary side was already fully conditioned and on standby, waiting for the reactor and the primary system to be returned to service.
“Only once an assessment of the protection relay is complete, together with the analysis of the trip, the unit will be returned to service,” the utility said.
“The unit shutdown and response were straightforward, and no safeguard systems were required to operate. The National Nuclear Regulator does not need to approve the restart, although the regulator is kept informed of the situation, the findings and the actions being taken.”
The unit is expected to return to service this weekend. — (c) 2021 NewsCentral Media