Eskom shuts down second unit at nuclear station-SABC
JOHANNESBURG, July 26 |
JOHANNESBURG, July 26 (Reuters) - South African state power utility Eskom [ESCJ.UL] has shut down a second unit at its Koeberg nuclear plant after detecting a suspected fault in the cooling system, the South African Broadcasting Corp reported.
The shutdown of Unit 1 at Koeberg, located in the Western Cape province, came several days after Eskom announced that Unit 2 at the plant had been taken offline as the result of a technical problem.
Eskom spokesman Tony Stott told SABC late on Friday the shutdown of Unit 1 would reduce power supply on the national grid by about 900 megawatts, but he added that the utility did not foresee it leading to power cuts this weekend.
Koeberg is South Africa's only nuclear power station.
Eskom, which produces about 95 percent of South Africa's electricity, has been rationing electricity through a process known as load-shedding for the past six months in an effort to keep the national power supply system from collapsing.
The crisis has led to frequent power cuts, plunging millions into darkness and forcing industry to reduce its consumption. Mines, a cornerstone of the South African economy, are operating at between 90 and 95 percent of their normal power supply.
Eskom said on Thursday it saw an increased risk of load-shedding in the coming weeks as it conducted repairs at Koeberg. Further technical problems were reported at Eskom's Majuba and Duvha power stations earlier this week. (Reporting by Paul Simao; editing by Lincoln Feast)
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