Nuclear refurbishment

ABB has won orders worth $73m (£44m) from Kernkraftwerk Leibstadt (KKL) to refurbish and upgrade the non-safety related operational control and automation system at its 1,220MW Leibstadt nuclear power plant in Switzerland.

For the upgrade, ABB will replace the existing multiple control systems with a single solution, based on its Extended Automation System 800xA. ABB will design, engineer, install, commission and test the installation, and is also responsible for upgrading the KKL simulator used for operator training.

To avoid any disruption in electricity supplies, the project will be carried out in phases that coincide with planned annual outages, starting in 2011 and running until 2018. Prior to installation, each stage of implementation will be extensively tested on a full-size test bed and on the KKL training simulator.

The initial scope of the new control system will include the ventilation systems, the demineralisation plant and the cooling tower make-up water system, which makes up for losses due to evaporation. It will later be extended to incorporate the water steam cycle, the turbine controls, operational reactor support systems and other elements.

‘Upgrading the control system will improve access to critical data and facilitate efficient management of the plant,’ said Peter Leupp, head of ABB’s Power Systems division.