South Africa power utility Eskom said on Wednesday its Koeberg nuclear power station had launched a mobile groundwater desalination plant to take care of its needs and ease the pressure on the city of Cape Town’s water supply.
“The desalination plant is part of Koeberg’s three-pronged water management strategy to address the current water shortages in the Western Cape, while ensuring that the plant is able to provide safe and sustainable electricity,” Koeberg’s manager Velaphi Ntuli said.
Ntuli said the strategy included reducing the power station’s daily water usage, keeping adequate on-site water storage and looking at alternative groundwater and sea-water supplies .
Koeberg had saved approximately 115,000 kilolitres of water since June 2017, equivalent to Cape Town supplying 10.5 kilolitres to approximately 11,000 houses for a month, said Ntuli.
Koeberg, Africa’s only nuclear power station, has an installed capacity of 1,860 MW, which provides 50 percent of the Western Cape’s and approximately 5.6 percent of South Africa’s energy needs.
The station can only operate about two weeks without off-site potable water, and Eskom said the desalination solution was therefore important to ensuring continuity of supply.
Eskom said Koeberg saves 22 billion litres of fresh water per annum as its condensers are cooled by means of sea water, which is returned to the sea after use.n