Koeberg power station GM suspended over performance issues

Eskom confirmed that Velaphi Ntuli was placed on suspension on Friday while investigations into the performance of the Koeberg nuclear power station are conducted.

04 June 2021 - 19:58 By shonisani tshikalange
A view of the setting sun through the pylons of the Koeberg nuclear power station near Cape Town.
A view of the setting sun through the pylons of the Koeberg nuclear power station near Cape Town.
Image: ESA ALEXANDER

Koeberg nuclear power station general manager Velaphi Ntuli has been suspended over performance-related issues.

Eskom confirmed that Ntuli was placed on suspension on Friday while investigations into the performance of the Koeberg power station are conducted. Unit 1 at Koeberg has been on an outage since January 2021.

Eskom spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha said Eskom’s chief nuclear officer, Riedewaan Bakardien, will oversee all the operations of the power station.

“Eskom is currently experiencing load-shedding that is affecting the entire country and its economy.

“One of Eskom’s biggest generating units with a capacity of 900MW, Koeberg Unit 1, has been on an outage since January 2021, and could have assisted in reducing the depth of load-shedding had the unit been brought back on time as originally planned.

“Eskom confirms that there are no nuclear safety concerns at Koeberg, and if needed the required time will be taken to complete all the outstanding work before returning Unit 1 to the grid,” he said.

Mantshantsha said Eskom's leadership has been “concerned with outage performance at Koeberg, and the recent outage on Unit 1 has again been plagued with delays, resulting in significant slippage on the return to service date”.

“The unit is currently planned to return to service during the third week of June. Eskom leadership and the board encourage Koeberg staff to continue to focus on the remaining outage work and safely returning Unit 1 as soon as possible, as it is an essential part of the national fleet of generating assets,” he added.

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