The dominant power producer Slovenské Elektrárne has completed a successful cold hydraulic test of the third unit of the Mochovce Nuclear Power Plant. The test is one of the crucial parts of the nuclear power plant commissioning process.
“It is a key milestone that confirmed the functioning of all tested components and took us closer to commissioning the plant,” said Branislav Strýček, director general of Slovenské Elektrárne.
Testing started in mid-July and took 38 days. The main objective of the cold hydrotest was to demonstrate that the plant systems and components such as the pressure vessels, pipelines and valves of both the nuclear and conventional island are leak proof and to clean the main circulation pipes.
The primary circuit during the test was pressurized to 13.7 MPa (more than 111 percent of the operating pressure) and heated up to 120°C. Consequently, the steam generators were tested from the secondary circuit side, as well as feedwater and live steam pipelines at the pressure of up to 7.65 MPa (more than 166 percent of operating pressure).
Now the power plant will prepare for the hot hydrotest of the block.
“The power plant will be prepared as if for nuclear operation,” said Peter Andraško, general manager of the project. “But instead of nuclear fuel we will use imitations.”
The block should be put into operation during the second quarter of 2019. The fourth block should be then put into operation within one year.
Project started in 2008
When work started on Mochovce in late 2008, it was scheduled to end in 2012 and 2013 with a budget of €2.8 billion. In addition to the timetable, the budget for the completion of the nuclear units has also changed several times. The latest budget for completion is €5.4 billion. Strýček admits that the budget may still increase.
The new nuclear units in Mochovce will have a capacity of 471 megawatts each after they are finished, which will cover about 13 percent of the total electricity consumption in Slovakia.