Mochovce 3: Start of repeated primary circuit heating

Mochovce 3: Start of repeated primary circuit heating
Slovenské elektrárne, a.s. proceeds to the next phase of testing at Mochovce Nuclear Power Plant Unit 3 before its commissioning.

Following the recent completion of the pre-operational inspection mission performed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and additional inspections performed by the Nuclear Regulatory Authority of the Slovak Republic (NRA SR), Slovenské elektrárne proceeded to the next phase of testing the Mochovce Nuclear Power Plant Unit 3 before its commissioning.

During the repeated Unit 3 heating, primary circuit and reactor pressure tests, equipment functional tests of primary and secondary circuits, safety systems, electrical parts and instrumentation and control systems will be performed, already in compliance with operating procedures that will be used even after the nuclear fuel is loaded.

Thorough inspections of the Unit 3 hermetic confinement and airtight zone, tests and inspections of relevant HVAC systems, as well as complex functionality inspections of new signalling cables, electromagnetic compatibility tests and readiness tests of cable corridors will be performed.

We have teams available at the construction site working twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, we will jointly do everything to manage this test and prove the equipment and staff readiness for the next phase, i. e., for the power plant commissioning.

Mr. Peter Andraško
Director of Construction General Management
Slovenské elektrárne

During this test, the reactor and circuits of the primary circuit are heated up to 260 °C and pressurized to 16.8 MPa. Dummy fuel assemblies are loaded to the reactor in order to simulate hydrodynamic characteristics of real operation which will include the nuclear fuel. Following the heating-up, the primary circuit will be after-cooled to 20 °C.

This phase also involves a test of primary coolant pumps and several hundreds of additional tests necessary to start the primary circuit heating. During the repeated heating, conclusions resulting from the automatic reactor protection system and ESFAS system validation report will be verified as well.

I am very glad that the team responsible for the construction and commissioning succeeded in achieving the reactor unit readiness for the performance of repeated heating, in fulfilling all conditions specified by the relevant program and inspections performed by the Nuclear Regulatory Authority inspectors. Safety is the No. 1 priority for Slovenské elektrárne and for me personally. We have tens of years of experience with safe operations of nuclear power plants that will be transferred to the Unit 3 operation as well. We underwent demanding inspections performed by international experts, including observers from Austria, and additional ones are scheduled.“

Branislav Strýček
 BoD Chairman and CEO
Slovenské elektrárne

In early 2020, an additional expert mission of the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO) will come to perform a reactor unit inspection, being invited by Slovenské elektrárne as a standard part of the reactor unit commissioning preparation process.    

Slovenské elektrárne expects that the fuel loading to the reactor and subsequent physical and power start-up tests could be performed by the end of April 2020.