The Slovak Nuclear Regulatory Authority (UJD) has mandated more inspections and reassembly of some internal reactor components before Slovenske Elektrarne can load fuel into the Mochovce Unit 3 reactor, which completed hot tests in March of this year. The reactor was expected to have fuel loaded in the fall, but the new schedule, which some have questioned, calls for fuel loading in February of 2020, Nuclear Engineering International reported.
The hot tests revealed a number of problems, most of them considered minor. However, the aggregate effect of many minor problems could be significant. While SE said the modifications will not greatly affect the $5.91 budget for the project, the UJD is asking for “a thorough inspection of the reactor and other components of the primary circuit, especially the reactor structures, main circulation pumps, piping, volume compensator and others,” said SE spokesman Miroslav Sarissky. In addition, he said, “the extended revision also includes the complete dismantling and subsequent assembly of the internal reactor parts.”
A number of operational tests will needs to be redone once the modifications are completed.
The UJD was thought to be concerned by thousands of parts, but the regulator said that “In order to confirm the readiness of the block for heating it is necessary to remove 86 deficiencies.”
The plant is owned by the utility SE, which is 34 percent government owned, while a joint venture between Enel of Italy and EPH, a Czech group, owns the majority of the Mochovce project. Slovak Power Holding, the name of the joint venture, has the option to buy the entire project once the plant is operational.
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