New steam generators delivered to Embalse ahead of overhaul

02 September 2016

The second pair of replacement steam generators has been delivered to the Embalse nuclear power plant in Argentina. The components will be replaced as part of a project to extend the operating period of the Candu pressurized heavy-water reactor by up to 30 years.

Embalse SG arrival - 460 (Nucleoelectrica)
The ceremony to mark the arrival of all four new steam generators at Embalse
(Image: NASA)

A ceremony was held yesterday at the Embalse plant in Córdoba province to mark the arrival of the new components, plant operator Nucleoeléctrica Argentina SA (NASA) announced today.

It was attended by the provincial secretary of energy and climate change, Javier Britch; the mayor of Embalse city, Federico Alesandri; NASA president, Rubén Omar Semmoloni; and IMPSA business development manager, Thomas Roby.

The first two steam generators arrived at the site on 11 August.

The four components - each measuring 13 meters long and weighing about 130 tonnes - were manufactured by power equipment manufacturer IMPSA at its plant in Mendoza. Special trucks were used to transport the steam generators in pairs to the Embalse plant, with each journey taking about four days.

The components will now be held in a purpose-built storage facility at Embalse until they are installed within the plant.

The Embalse plant was taken offline on 31 December 2015, having completed its first operating cycle after more than 30 years. The 648 MWe (gross) Candu pressurized heavy-water reactor was built by Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd in the early 1980s as Argentina's second nuclear power plant. The unit was connected to the grid in 1983. It will undergo a maintenance and refurbishment outage that will involve replacement of core reactor components to enable the plant to continue operating for another three decades.

As well as extending the operation period of the Embalse reactor, the modernization project will also increase its generating capacity to 683 MWe.

Speaking at the ceremony, Semmoloni said: "This project allows us to develop our own capabilities, substitute imports, as well as conclude that it is impossible to carry out the development of our country if not through the training of specialized human resources and boosting the domestic industry to bridge the technological gap with developed countries."

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News