POWER producer Slovenské Elektrárne (SE) is to start gradually increasing the output of the V2 nuclear power plant in Jaslovské Bohunice to a planned 107 percent of its original upper limit, according to the company’s spokesman Juraj Kopřiva, the ČTK newswire reported. The company, which is controlled by the Italian energy group Enel, also started increasing the output of its two reactors in Mochovce in June. SE thereby intends to partially compensate for the shortfall in domestic power production resulting from the shut-down of the first unit of the Jaslovské Bohunice’s V1 power plant in 2006.
“During a temporary operational halt at Bohunice this year, adjustments to slightly increase the reactor output were completed,” Kopřiva said. The installed output of each Russian-designed VVER nuclear reactor normally amounts to 440 MegaWatts (MW).
SE has two such blocks in Bohunice, and two more in Mochovce, where the increase in output started after a licence was issued by the Office of Nuclear Inspection on June 2. The adjustments allowing an increase in output to 107 percent were completed at the first reactor, but are still ongoing at the second reactor.
A similar increase in output has been tried on similar types of facilities in Hungary, Finland, and the Czech Republic.
Slovakia lost part of its domestic power production capacity after the first block of the V1 nuclear power plant in Jaslovské Bohunice was shut down at the end of 2006. The second block must be shut down by the end of this year. Slovakia pledged to put the facilities out of the operation when negotiating conditions for European Union entry. The loss in production should be compensated by two new reactors in Mochovce which Enel has announced it is building.
In Slovakia, about 30 terawatt (TWh) hours of power are consumed annually. According to Kopřiva, the country will be forced to import at least 5 TWh of power until the two new blocks in Mochovce are completed.