Slovak Nuclear Power Plants Must Ramp Up Power Supply

Stress tests at Slovakia’s two nuclear power stations revealed that the facilities need to improve the safety of auxiliary electricity supply, the country’s nuclear security chief said.

Plants in Jaslovske Bohunice and Mochovce, controlled by Enel SpA (ENEL), were forced to review and improve the diesel generators that ensure the supply of power to the power stations, especially the circuits operating the nuclear reactors, Marta Ziakova, the chairwoman of the Slovak Nuclear Safety Office, said in an interview in Valec, Czech Republic yesterday.

The Mochovce plant, which currently operates two Soviet- designed water-pressure reactors VVER and is building two more, had to increase the capacity of its diesel generators to be able to supply all four units with electricity at the same time, she said. Her office also asked the Jaslovske Bohunice plant to carry out a seismic safety review.

“We asked the Bohunice management to review the plant’s resistance to seismic activities, especially the resistance of the diesel generators,” Ziakova said.

The reviews were part of Europe-wide nuclear stress tests carried out after the reactor disaster at Japan’s Fukushima Dai- Ichi plant in March last year. The accident occurred when a tsunami knocked out power supply to Fukushima reactors, disrupting the cooling process that led to reactor meltdown, causing mass evacuations and leading to long-term environmental damage.

The post-Fukushima stress tests have delayed the completion of units 3 and 4 at Mochovce to 2014-15. So far there is no indication of further delays, Ziakova said.

The older Jaslovske Bohunice reactors received a 10-year life extension in 2008. Slovenske Elektrarne AS, the Slovak utility controlled by Enel, invested about 500 million euros ($645 million) into modernization and improving output. Slovenske can apply for further lifespan extension by 2014, she said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ladka Bauerova at lbauerova@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Will Kennedy at wkennedy3@bloomberg.net

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