Hot hydrostatic testing has been successfully completed at unit 3 of the Mochovce NPP in Slovakia, power company Slovenske Elektrarne (SE) announced on 16 April. SE said the new VVER-440 unit is 98.8% completed. SE said, the system met expectations at 50% overpressure. The tests also cover performance of the secondary circuit, which carries steam to the turbine generator, as well as systems for control, security, heating, cooling and ventilation. Juraj Krasnanský, in charge of the work, said the results were twice the regulatory demand and this "demonstrated the strength and tightness of the containment and definitively refute the misleading and false claims of the Austrian antinuclear activists".
Construction of the Mohovce NPP began in 1982, and the first two units were commissioned in 1998 and 1999. Construction of the second stage of the plant (units 3 and 4) began in 1986, but was frozen in 1992 in the wake of the Soviet collapse. Work resumed in 2009 but was suspended again after the 2011Fukushima accident for upgrading to comply with new safety requirements. The exact date of commissioning unit 3 will depend on the licensing process, SE said, noting that it could take up to eight months to undergo all tests and get the necessary permits. Fuel loading is now scheduled for later this year. SE said the delays will put up costs by €270m, representing a 5% increase in total costs, which will be covered by SE’s majority shareholder, Slovak Power Holding. The total cost last year was estimated at €5.4bn.
SE Chairman and CEO Branislav Strýcek said there are over 3500 employees and contractors on site, two-thirds of which are working on Mochovce 3 and the rest on unit 4, which is 84.6% complete. The two new reactors are expected to produce about 7 billion kWh a year, which should make Slovakia self sufficient in electricity by 2020. Slovakia was previously self-sufficient until 2007 when it was obliged to shut down two reactors at the Bohunice V1NPP as a condition for accession to the European Union. In 2017, SE said, it imported almost 10% of Slovakia’s 31TWh electricity consumption.