In a statement released by Eskom yesterday [March 12], they announced that load shedding will continue until tonight [March 13]. In the statement they claim that the cause of this is a blockage in the water pump. The pump was clogged by marine life including jellyfish and fish.
Eskom explained that on March 10, Koeberg Unit 1 was manually tripped, following operating procedure.
“The reason for the manual trip was as a result of the increasing temperature on the secondary side of the plant due to degraded heat removal (or cooling) capability because the pump that remained in service was supplying a heat exchanger that was degraded and not able to sufficiently remove heat. The circulating cooling water system pump that tripped was due to low level in the suction put as a result of the drum filter that was clogged by an acute ingress of marine life (jellyfish and fish)”, elaborated Eskom.
Since this discovery, the drum filter has been cleared of marine life and excess debris. It is now back in service, and no damages to the pump have been noted.
“The required technical assessments and regulatory approvals have been obtained to start-up and safely return the Koeberg Unit 1 back on the grid,” it said.
Apparently, the synchronisation date for Koeberg Unit 1 to be returned to the grid is expected to be Sunday, March 15.
Eskom notes that they expected lower stages of loadshedding during the course of the weekend.