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AKW Isar 2 in short shutdown: Low mains voltage - for a week

AKW Isar 2 in short shutdown: Low mains voltage – for a week

Status: 10/21/2022 12:20 pm

Following the decision to continue operating three nuclear power plants, Isar 2 is taken offline for maintenance work. The repair sparked heated discussions across the country. Local support for the nuclear power plant is great.

vby Philip Kuntschner, BR

The Isar 2 nuclear power plant is closed and off the grid. At least for a week. A few days after the “power word” of the Federal Chancellor to leave the three active nuclear power plants in Germany connected to the grid after the end of the year, the necessary prerequisites for this are being created in Lower Bavaria. This requires a fix, which has sparked heated discussions in recent months.

First thing in the morning, almost no steam was coming out of the Isar 2 cooling tower. A specialist company took over, specifically internal leaks in the reactor containment pilot control valves had to be repaired. A repair in the sensitive area of ​​the plant, which quickly generated nervousness in public opinion, but which is described by the operating company as a purely routine intervention.

Power plant manager speaks of “standard measure”

“Checking these valves is a standard measure,” explains power plant manager Carsten Müller. ard interview. “In regular overhaul, we overhaul, reset and reinstall these valves every year. That’s nothing unusual. What’s unusual is that this issue has now been brought to the public.”

Because in September it will be known that the continued operation of Isar 2 will not be possible without further ado. “Internal leaks” are shortened to “leaks” in media reports, and once again the question of plant safety is raised.

Discontent also in Berlin, where the Federal Minister for the Environment, Steffi Lemke (Bündnis 90/Greens), criticizes not having received any prior information from Bavaria. There, the operator of the power plant and the Minister for the Environment Thorsten Faithr (free voters) are opposed. Limit values ​​were not exceeded, it was not a reportable process. But the problem is that Isar 2 cannot continue without repairs.

Nuclear energy crisis communication

Therefore, the operating company Preussen Elektra is transparent, the exact procedure of the intervention is described in detail on the website of the nuclear power plant. Crisis communication at a time when advocates and opponents of nuclear energy follow what is happening at the plants with pinpoint precision.

However, the transparency of power plant operators usually ends at the fence of the company’s premises, but at the latest on the walls of the building. There are no publicly available images of the repair. Moderation in the details, despite the routine that is repeatedly emphasized.

Nuclear elimination as an election campaign issue

Meanwhile, the debate about abandoning nuclear power continues in Bavaria. Battery runtime has long been a campaign issue. The ruling coalition of CSU and Free Voters can’t do much with the chancellor’s decision. Both sides have been in favor of buying new fuel assemblies for months and are demanding that they continue to function for several years. Opinions differ only on the question of whether 2024 or 2025 should be the end.

Insisting on April nuclear phase-out date is remiss, says Deputy Prime Minister Hubert Aiwanger (Free Voters) in the ard interview: “One should at least prepare for the fact that nuclear power will accompany the winter until 2024. Therefore, in my opinion, one should reserve the fuel rods now.” They don’t necessarily have to be used, says Aiwanger. In case the situation repeats itself next winter, the country is at least prepared.

Lots of support in the region.

Aiwanger himself is from Lower Bavaria, hailing from the district of Landshut, where the nuclear power plant is located and has shaped the region for decades. With your lawsuit you are running into open doors here. The nuclear power plant enjoys great support, is considered an economic engine and a good employer. Advocates say electricity has been produced here for some 43 years without major incident. A few more months or years doesn’t matter anymore.

One of the critics is Landshut Greens politician Rosi Steinberger. She has opposed nuclear power from the beginning and has been fighting for its closure for years. The fact that this is now being further delayed is painful, says MP. A well-known back-and-forth, which in an emergency could be carried along this one time: “But it’s clear you can’t buy any more new fuel assemblies. That’s the red line for us. Don’t shake it.” .”

Traders must create safe trades in the spring.

A few days after the decision to leave the Isar 2, Neckarwestheim 2 and Emsland nuclear power plants in operation until April 15, 2023, tensions are high. Preussen Elektra has repeatedly been willing to speak up in the debate about a possible postponement of the nuclear phase-out. If the politicians decide to go ahead with the operation, Preussen Elektra will do everything in its power to implement this wish.

It is now up to the operators to create all the prerequisites for a safe operation in the spring of 2023, both in terms of personnel and technology. In just over a week, the Isar 2 nuclear power plant will restart. Probably for the last time in its history.