Virus Impacts Nuclear Industry Around The Globe

The global coronavirus pandemic is affecting the nuclear power plant, impacting both decommissioning and daily operations at various locations.

Philippsburg NPPIn Germany, energy producer EnBW said that the coronavirus outbreak has temporarily derailed its schedule for demolition of the Pillippsburg Nuclear Power Plant, suspending plans for a controlled detonation that was to bring down the plant’s cooling towers.

A planned detonation has been rescheduled for the middle or May, but the date is only a tentative one. The schedule will change depending on how the pandemic plays out, the company said.

“The demolition of the cooling towers is directly related to the future security of supply in southern Germany,” Nuclear Engineering International quoted the head of ENBW’s nuclear division Jorg Michels as saying.

The demolition and removal schedule is impacting the construction of a transformer station that will deliver electricity to areas south of the plant.

In a separate report, the Ukrainian government on March 18 ordered all four nuclear power plant cities to follow quarantine restrictions, the utility Energoatom announced.

Special work schedules are in place to minimize physical contact between employees.

The impacted cities include Energodar, home to the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, Varash, home to the Rovno NPP, Yuzhnoukrainsk, home to the South Ukraine plant, and Netshyn, home to the Khmelnitsky nuclear power plant.

While in quarantine, plant operators have been divided into separate groups that are isolated from each other. Employees are now staying in local hotels with the rooms sequestered by group. Sanitization protocols have been put in place to keep everyone as safe as possible.

“During the quarantine period, optimized work-schedules and isolated passage to and from workplaces without contact with other personnel have been developed,” the company announced. The separate schedules apply to transportations to and from the plant, as well.

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