Commissioning complete at Mochovce 3

19 October 2023

Commissioning of unit 3 at the Mochove NPP has been completed with the last test in the stage of active tests - a 144-hour demonstration run at full power, owner-operator Slovenské elektrárne (SE) announced. The demonstration run lasting six days proved that the project parameters of the new unit were met and proved that it is capable of safe operation, SE said.

Since January, when it was first connected to the grid, the new unit has already supplied more than 1.2 TWh to the network. “We believe that the unit 3 will contribute to Slovakia's energy mix in the long term and help us fulfil our obligations in the field of climate change,” said Branislav Strýcek, SE Board Chairman. “Our goal is to continue investing in the technologies of the future in order to ensure a sustainable future for people in Slovakia and Europe."

Juraj Krasnanský , Director of completion and commissioning of Mochovce 3&4 noted: "After more than 20 years, we have launched another nuclear unit in Slovakia.” He noted that the plant construction also involved nuclear experts from the former Czechoslovakia also worked together. “It is important that we pass the baton to the next generations and maintain the knowledge necessary for the energy security of our country."

Unit 3 contains almost 100,000 devices with 5,500 kilometres of cables and 175 kilometres of pipes. The unit's power was increased to 35% in February, 55% in March, 75% in July and 90% in August. Martin Mráz, Mochovce Director said the unit had successfully passed demanding tests, including disconnection from the power system at full power. “This means that unit 3 can handle such demanding situations. Today we are already preparing for its first planned shutdown and normal operational activities."

Construction of the first two 471 MWe VVER units at the four-unit Mochovce plant began in 1982. Construction of units 3&4, which started in 1986, was frozen in 1992. Units 1&2 began operation in 1998 and 1999 and work to complete units 3&4 resumed in 2009 but faced a series of delays. The new unit, which has a design life of some 60 years, will supply some 13% of Slovakia's total electricity consumption. Slovakia expects to become self-sufficient in electricity production in 2023. Unit 4 is expected to start up within 1-2 years.

SE has two shareholders. The majority shareholder is Slovak Power Holding (SPH) with a share of just over 66%. Within SPH, EP Slovakia owns a 50% share and the remaining 50% belongs to Enel Produzione (a subsidiary of Italy’s Enel). The minority shareholder with a share of just under 34% is the Slovak Republic through the Ministry of Economy.

Image: Mochovce nuclear power plant (courtesy of Slovenské elektrárne)

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