The planned start-up of unit two at the Mochovce NPP in the Slovak Republic has been delayed for six months. The Slovak authorities want the first unit to demonstrate effective performance for a longer period, so that safety enhancement measures can be implemented with confidence in unit 2. Under the new schedule, Mochovce-2 should complete a trial run of 144 hours of continuous operation, by the end the year.
Financial difficulties are being blamed on the failure of previous governments to introduce a tax holiday for the power sector and on late introduction of electricity price increases.
Economy minister Ludovit Cernak says there are no funds to complete the third and fourth units at the site. Stanislav Kosovan, head of the state-run power company (SE) is seeking alternative sources of funds including the possible participation of neighbouring countries.
The EU is pressing Slovakia to close the two oldest units at the Bohunice plant. Cernak says this will cause economic problems as Bohunice is the country’s cheapest source of power. Safety improvement work on Bohunice-2 was virtually completed last year, and upgrades are due to be finished this year on unit 1. Cernak is hoping for an agreement with the EU to keep them running if the third and fourth units at Mochovce are not completed.