Slovenske elecktrarne said Tuesday this week that technicians at the Mochovce Nuclear plant connected it’s Unit 3 to the grid for the first time, taking the reactor up to 20 percent power in an ascension exercise after a series of prescribed tests.
The Slovakian operator said the two turbine generators of the unit reached this important milestone less than thr5ee weeks after the country’s Nuclear Regulatory Authority gave its approval for the startup, which took place on January 13.
After the transition to power start-up, tests were conducted successively at the levels of 5, 15 and 20 percent of the reactor's rated power, with measurements and tests of both nuclear and non-nuclear parts of the plant. The secondary circuit was heated up and steam lines blown down, cold and hot flushes of turbine condensers and low-pressure regenerators as well as feedwater lines were done, and tests of steam generator relief valves were carried out, which were heard in wider vicinity of the plant.
After successful preparation and performance of the tests necessary to start the turbines, steam was brought into the turbines for the first time over the weekend (28 and 29 January), spinning them step-by-step up to their rated speed of 3,000 rpm.
Slovenské elektrárne, a.s. also tested functionality of all electrical protections of the generator itself, the block transformer and finally the 400 kV line connecting the plant to the power system via the Veľký Ďur substation. Electricity will flow along this route to Slovak consumers.
Once this part of the power start-up was completed, Slovenské elektrárne, a.s. could proceed to the actual synchronization of the first turbine-generator with the grid at 20 percent of the reactor's nominal power and the reactor began to supply the first electricity to the grid.
The unit is still to be tested at various power levels ranging from 35 percent to 100 percent, the operator said.
"In the following weeks, the new unit will supply electricity to the grid with short-term planned shutdowns, according to the new unit commissioning schedule," explained Marti Mraz, Director of Mochovce Nuclear Power Plant.
The new nuclear unit in Mochovce will have the installed capacity of 471 megawatts at start-up, which will cover approximately 13 percent of Slovakia's total electricity consumption. In terms of electricity production, Slovakia will thus become energy self-sufficient already in 2023.
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