Westinghouse signs Bohunice V1 dismantling contract

28 September 2017

Westinghouse Electric Company has signed a contract with Jadrová a vyraďovacia spoločnosť (JAVYS) for the dismantling of the reactor coolant systems of two VVER-440 units at the Bohunice V1 nuclear power plant in Slovakia. The project is financed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

Bohunice V1 reactor hall - 460 (JAVYS)
Inside the reactor hall at Bohunice V1 (Image: JAVYS)

The contract, announced yesterday, covers the pre-dismantling decontamination, dismantling, and fragmentation of power reactor pressure vessels, power reactor internal components and other power reactor structures, systems and components of Bohunice V1. It also includes material and waste management in accordance with Slovak and European Union regulations.

Luc Van Hulle, president of Westinghouse's Europe, Middle East and Africa Region, said the contract represents an important opportunity for Westinghouse, in collaboration with local partners, to dismantle Bohunice's reactor coolant systems.

Yves Brachet, Westinghouse senior vice president for Global Decommissioning, Decontamination, Remediation & Waste Management, added: "Decommissioning is a critical growth area for the company and we look forward to demonstrating our value over the course of this project."

In 1958, the Czechoslovak government started building its first nuclear power plant - a gas-cooled heavy water pressure-tube reactor at Bohunice (now in Slovakia). This 110 MWe net Russian-designed Bohunice A1 reactor, built by Skoda, was completed in 1972 and ran until 1977 when it was closed due an accident arising from refuelling.

In 1972, construction of the Bohunice V1 plant commenced, with two VVER-440 V-230 reactors supplied by Atomenergoexport of Russia and Skoda. The first was grid connected in 1978, the second two years later. In 1976, construction started on two V-213 reactors (the V2 plant) built by Skoda. The V2 units commenced operation in 1984 and 1985. All were designed by Atomenergoproekt.

Despite major upgrade work on the two V1 units, the units were shut down at the end of 2006 (unit 1) and 2008 (unit 2) as a condition of Slovakia's accession to the European Union. In 2013, the EU Parliament Committee on Budgetary Control complained that it was "unacceptable" that these reactors were not in irreversible shutdown.

From 2005 to 2008, operator Slovenské Elektrárne (SE) carried out a major modernisation program on the two Bohunice V2 units, to improve seismic resistance, cooling systems, and instrumentation and control systems with a view to extending operational life to 40 years (2025). This was followed by a progressive uprating program of both units1, eventually bringing the capacity of each unit from 440 gross to 505 MWe gross (472 MWe net) by November 2010. SE is planning to extend the licences of the V2 units to 2045 following upgrading.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News