Mochovce operating licence decision ready for comment

14 May 2021

Slovak nuclear regulator Úrad jadrového dozoru (ÚJD) announced yesterday it had  issued an operating licence for unit 3 of the Mochovce nuclear power plant, as well as related permits for the management of radioactive waste and used nuclear fuel, and "the early use of buildings". Interested parties have until 19 June to comment on the regulator's decision to approve commissioning of the unit, which the government has said it expects to start by the end of this year.

The Mochovce nuclear power plant (Image: Slovenské elektrárne)

Branislav Strýček, CEO of Slovenské elektrárne (SE), operator of the Mochovce plant, said yesterday it will start fuel loading at unit 3 immediately after the licence enters into force.

"The verification of the readiness of unit 3 for operation also included two international inspections, namely by the International Atomic Energy Agency (Pre-OSART mission) and the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO mission), which were attended by several dozen international experts. The missions did not find any obstacles that would prevent the commissioning of the third unit and the subsequent safe and reliable operation in the coming years," Strýčeksaid.

"The exact date of introduction of fuel into the reactor depends on the entry into force of the permit. However, the nuclear fuel for the reactor is already in the fresh fuel storage. Our top priority when putting the unit into operation is safety, and this is how we will approach the next phase of physical and energy start-up."

The new unit has an installed capacity of 471 megawatts and will meet about 13% of total electricity consumption in Slovakia, enabling the country to become self-sufficient in power supply for the first time since 2007, SE said. It will avoid also avoid the emission of 2.6 million tonnes of CO2.

Mochovce 3 and 4 are VVER-440/213 reactors. Unit 4 is expected to start operation two years after unit 3. Construction on the two units was restarted in 2008 and aimed at having both units in operation by 2013.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News