Vandellós II starts its 25th refueling
The Vandellòs II nuclear power plant was disconnected from the electricity grid at midnight last morning to start the work corresponding to its refueling and, in this way, prepare the plant to undertake a new generation cycle of 18 months.
To the team of professionals from ANAV and auxiliary companies that carry out their activities at the facility on a permanent basis, more than a thousand workers with different profiles and specialties, from some 60 specialized service companies, are added during this stoppage period. The recharge budget is over 21 million euros.
During these first hours, the plant is in the cooling phase while the plant goes through the different operating modes, from Mode 1 (power operation) to Mode 6 (recharging).
It will be at that moment when the polar crane inside the containment building will be put into service, the equipment will enter and the reactor cavity will be filled with water to proceed with the extraction of all the fuel from the core to the storage pool. to, among other actions, proceed with the renovation of 60 of the 157 elements with which the plant operates.
In addition to the fuel change, during these weeks, the human team will carry out some 8,000 work orders, 90% of which correspond to maintenance actions, mostly preventive.
Also planned are 28 design modifications and other facility improvement activities that can only be carried out when the plant is shut down and have been carefully timed to fit into the refueling schedule.
Among the relevant projects of this 25th Fuel Recharge, it is worth mentioning that in the primary circuit the induced current inspection of the steam generator 'C' will be carried out, the replacement of the continuous section plate of 25 guide tubes, activity for which will require the installation of a temporary cover, the replacement of the reactor coolant pump “A” motor, and the replacement of the three safety valves of the pressurizer.
Other outstanding works will be the cleaning of the part belonging to the secondary circuit of the steam generators and the revision of the low pressure turbines.
The coordinated execution of all the planned activities requires a very detailed prior planning that involves all the organizational units. These work together and are oriented towards a priority objective: to execute all the programmed tasks safely, efficiently and in accordance with the program.
For this, the prior training of all the incorporated personnel has been essential, which has registered more than 1,800 attendances at the courses organized for this purpose.