June 23, 2009 / 5:31 PM / in 8 years

Eskom shuts nuclear unit due to a technical glitch

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa’s utility Eskom shut a unit of its 1,800 megawatts Koeberg nuclear power station on Tuesday due to a technical fault, a spokesman said.

Spokesman Andrew Etzinger said the 900 MW Unit 2 was shut just a day after Unit 1, supplying the same capacity, was restarted on Monday following maintenance works and should reach full capacity by Wednesday morning.

“The second generator tripped just as the first one was coming back to service ... there was an indication that there was a problem in the cooling system,” he told Reuters.

“We hope to have it running as soon as possible, but cannot give a definite timeline.”

Etzinger said power supply in the country was tight as a result of Koeberg and other generators tripping in the past day and the cold weather, but said the utility could use gas turbines to fill a supply shortage if needed.

“The system is tight, but under control,” he said.

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