More delays possible for Slovakia’s Mochovce 3&4

8 June 2018

Completion of units 3 and 4 at Slovakia’s Mochovce nuclear plant (both 440MWe Russian VVER V-213 PWRs) may be delayed again, the Slovak Spectator reported on 5 June. 

Slovak Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini, who opposes any further delays, is planning to visit the nuclear power plant soon to investigate the situation. 

“I have to say that the declared schedules have not been met several times and the construction milestones have been postponed to later deadlines,” he told the European Nuclear Forum. “The number of reported arrears of work raises concerns and raises questions whether the declared date of putting the third block into operation this November is realistic.”

Current data indicate that Mochovce 3 is 97% complete. In late January, the completion rate for Mochovce 3 was 96.2% and for Mochovce 4, 85.1%. According to the schedule, unit 3 is expected to be put into operation at the end of this year, and unit 4 a year later. Plant operator Slovenské Elektrárne (SE), says that the schedule budget approved in March 2017 is still valid. 

"Slovenské Elektrárne is doing the maximum to minimise risks that might emerge during tests and their impact on the schedule,” said company spokesperson Miroslav Šarišský. “First of all, we want to secure the highest level of reliability and security that take precedence over the other factors.”

At Mochovce 3 cold and hot testing have been completed, the fuel rods have been loaded in the reactor and first criticality has been achieved; at unit 4 work is completed on cabling and control systems has now been competed.

Mochovce 3&4 were originally expected to be completed in 2012 and 2013 and costs have also increased to €5.4bn ($6.3) from the original estimate of €2.8bn. Construction began on the two additional units in 1986 and resumed in 2008 after being suspended for 16 years. In June 2009 SE signed contracts with the main suppliers for the construction - the Czech company Škoda Jaderné Strojírenství, Russian company Atomstroyexport (which has since withdrawn from the project), and Slovak companies VUJE, Enseco, Inžinierske Stavby Košice (which has also withdrawn), and Italian company Enel Ingegneria & Innovazione. 

Enel owns 66% of SE and the Slovakian government holds the remaining 34% of shares in the utility, which owns Slovakia's four operational nuclear units - two 471MWe units at Bohunice V2 and two 436MWe units at Mochovce - all Russian-designed VVERs. Enel has signed a deal with Czech energy company EPH to sell its stake in Slovenske Elektrarne in two stages, 33% initially and the rest after the Mochovce expansion is completed.

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