Valve leak causes problems: Isar 2 would have to be repaired for a longer service life

The Isar 2 nuclear power plant in Bavaria should actually be available as an emergency reserve until mid-April 2023 in the event of bottlenecks.

Valve leak causes problems: Isar 2 would have to be repaired for a longer service life

The Isar 2 nuclear power plant in Bavaria should actually be available as an emergency reserve until mid-April 2023 in the event of bottlenecks. However, the operator is now announcing that the nuclear power plant would have to be shut down for about a week for a term beyond the end of the year.

A valve leak at the Isar 2 nuclear power plant raises questions about possible reserve operation. According to the operator, a repair is not necessary if the nuclear power plant ends power operation as planned at the end of the year, the Federal Ministry for the Environment announced. In order to be available for longer, according to Preussen Elektra, a one-week standstill for a repair would have to take place - this, however, already in October.

According to the information provided, Preussen Elektra pointed out that the fuel elements in the reactor core were already too low in reactivity in November to then start up the plant again from a standstill. The ministry explained that so far the operator had "always stated that the system would run at almost full capacity until the end of the year".

According to the information provided, the energy company Preussen Elektra informed the Federal Ministry for the Environment last week in the course of technical talks about preparations for a standby reserve about the internal valve leakage. There is therefore no impairment of safety. The nuclear supervisory authority of the state of Bavaria was informed by the operator.

Federal Economics Minister Robert Habeck announced at the beginning of September that the Isar 2 power plants in Bavaria and Neckarwestheim in Baden-Württemberg should remain available as emergency reserves until mid-April 2023 in the event of bottlenecks. The Federal Ministry for the Environment pointed out that the information from Preussen Elektra contained "some important new facts" compared to those that the operator had made to the Ministry of Economics in a letter dated August 25.

According to the Ministry of the Environment, these new facts must now be taken into account when planning the availability of the nuclear power plant for electricity production after December 31st. Both ministries are therefore examining “the new situation and its impact on the design and implementation of the standby reserve”. For the Federal Environment Ministry, the priority is that the currently high safety standards of German nuclear power plants continue to be guaranteed. "Particular attention is paid to checking the assessment of the nuclear supervisory authority of the state of Bavaria and the operator with regard to the leakage of the valve," said the ministry responsible for nuclear safety.

In the aforementioned letter from Preussen Elektra dated August 25, the operator warned against transferring the system to a reserve from the turn of the year. Habeck's proposal in this regard was "technically not feasible," it said. The economics minister said he was "surprised" about the company's letter.

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