Fuel secured for new Slovakian reactors

08 April 2010

Russian nuclear fuel fabricator TVEL has signed a contract with Slovakia’s Slovenské Electrárne (SE) to supply fuel for units 3 and 4 of the Mochovce nuclear power plant, currently under construction.


The contract covers the period from 2012 to 2017 and provides for the supply of fuel assemblies for the initial core loading of Mochovce 3 and 4, as well as five subsequent reloads for each unit. Neither TVEL nor SE gave details of the value of the contract, but local media put it at some €300 million ($400 million).


The contract was one of more than ten documents signed in Bratislava on 7 April during an official visit by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to Slovakia.


TVEL-SE (Rosatom)
The contract between TVEL and SE is signed in the presence of the Russian and Slovak presidents (Image: Rosatom)


In a statement, TVEL said that the new Mochovce units will be supplied with "advanced fuel with higher than average enrichment providing more benefit as a result of better burn-up fraction and more economic fuel makeup."


TVEL noted, "Signing the contract can be seen as an extension of the continuous and mutually beneficial collaboration of the Russian and Slovak parties in providing the active power units with Russian fuel."


In November 2008, TVEL and SE signed two contracts. The first, worth a reported €500 million ($632.7 million), covered fuel supplies for Slovakia's operating nuclear units - Mochovce units 1 and 2 and Bohunice units 3 and 4 - for the period from 2011 to 2015. The second contract covered cooperation principles between the two companies beyond 2015. According to reports of the signing ceremony, the agreement would see TVEL producing fuel for all "existing and future reactors" at Slovak nuclear power plants.


The Bohunice and Mochovce units covered in the contracts are all Soviet-designed VVER-440 pressurized water reactors, for which TVEL has supplied all the fuel since their commissioning. The contract currently in force for the supply of fuel for Mochovce units 1 and 2 and Bohunice units 3 and 4 was signed in December 2003 and covers supplies up to 2010.


Slovenské Electrárne, which is 66% owned by Italian utility ENEL, officially started the €2.8 billion ($3.6 billion) project to complete the two new units at Mochovce in early November 2008. Units 3 and 4 are scheduled to be commissioned in 2012 and 2013, respectively. The two units will cover 22% of Slovakia's electricity requirements after their completion.


The Slovak government has also announced plans for a further unit at Bohunice 5, looking to a 2020 start-up, and also includes a 1200 MWe nuclear plant at Kecerovce, starting up around 2025, in its list of priority power projects.


Researched and written

by World Nuclear News