Following a trip at Koeberg Unit 1, Eskom has implemented Stage 4 loadshedding since Tuesday afternoon.

The utility has issued a statement in which it provides an update to the status of Koeberg and goes into greater detail regarding why the unit was tripped in the first place.

It appears as if there was an issue with cooling the secondary side of the plant. Upon closer inspection it was discovered that the circulating cooling water system pump tripped due to a low level of water in the suction pit. This was caused by fish and jelly fish clogging up a drum filter.

“Normally, Koeberg units are able to survive a trip of one circulating cooling water system pump. The actions required from the Operators are to reduce power to below 60 percent and to ensure that temperatures of various components on the secondary side stabilises,” explained Eskom.

“In this case, the temperature did not stabilise due to the heat exchanger remaining in service had [sic] reduced heat transfer efficiency and was planned for maintenance this week,” the utility added.

The marine life that blocked the drum filter has reportedly been cleared and the pump is back in service with no issues to report.

Eskom has said that the required technical assessments and regulatory approvals for start-up have been obtained and Koeberg Unit 1 will be synchronised with the national grid this weekend. Eskom states “Sunday 14 March” but the 14th is Saturday so we’re not entirely sure whether to expect the unit to be feeding power to the grid on Saturday or Sunday.

As for loadshedding, Eskom said in the same update that Stage 4 loadshedding is expected to continue until Friday evening.

“Some generation units are expected to return to service this evening and tommorrow. This together with reduced weekend demand, will help ease the supply constraints and reduce the stage of loadshedding,” Eskom said on Thursday.

Loadshedding at a lower stage is expected to continue throughout the weekend.

[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]