Following the modernisation and optimisation of the cooling towers, Czech power company CEZ said it will increase production at the Dukovany NPP by approximately 15,500 MWh.
Just a seemingly small reduction in the average temperature of the circulating cooling water by 0.35° C will increase the efficiency of the entire power plant, said. Improved cooling of the secondary (non-nuclear) circuit means the generators will supply 15,539 MWh of extra electricity to the grid, according to preliminary calculations.
"Since the launch of the first Dukovany unit, we have managed to safely increase the output of our NPPs by almost 500MWe, without any emissions or land take. We can compare this to the construction of a smaller nuclear unit or a large coal-fired power plant," said Bohdan Zronek, a member of the Board of Directors and Director of the Nuclear Energy Division.
The current modification in Dukovany consists in connecting the cooling water circuits between the new fan and the existing cooling towers. Power engineers have to conduct most of their work during downtime periods when part of the equipment is unused.
"In the long run, we are looking for all opportunities to increase our efficiency. We have managed to save 160,000MWh of electricity since 2014, and I believe we are not done yet,” said Roman Havlín, director of the Dukovany NPP.
CEZ intends to operate the Dukovany and Temelin NPPs for at least 60 years. The investment plan adapts to this, which aims both to further increase safety and production efficiency. The annual average investment in Dukovany totals CZK2 billion ($85m), which is aimed at further strengthening safety and increasing efficiency.
Image: CEZ's Dukovany NPP