Mochovce 3: Start of repeated primary circuit heating
Following the recent completion of the pre-operational inspection mission performed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and additional inspections performed by the Nuclear Regulatory Authority of the Slovak Republic (NRA SR), Slovenské elektrárne proceeded to the next phase of testing the Mochovce Nuclear Power Plant Unit 3 before its commissioning.
During the repeated Unit 3 heating, primary circuit and reactor pressure tests, equipment functional tests of primary and secondary circuits, safety systems, electrical parts and instrumentation and control systems will be performed, already in compliance with operating procedures that will be used even after the nuclear fuel is loaded.
Thorough inspections of the Unit 3 hermetic confinement and airtight zone, tests and inspections of relevant HVAC systems, as well as complex functionality inspections of new signalling cables, electromagnetic compatibility tests and readiness tests of cable corridors will be performed.
During this test, the reactor and circuits of the primary circuit are heated up to 260 °C and pressurized to 16.8 MPa. Dummy fuel assemblies are loaded to the reactor in order to simulate hydrodynamic characteristics of real operation which will include the nuclear fuel. Following the heating-up, the primary circuit will be after-cooled to 20 °C.
This phase also involves a test of primary coolant pumps and several hundreds of additional tests necessary to start the primary circuit heating. During the repeated heating, conclusions resulting from the automatic reactor protection system and ESFAS system validation report will be verified as well.
In early 2020, an additional expert mission of the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO) will come to perform a reactor unit inspection, being invited by Slovenské elektrárne as a standard part of the reactor unit commissioning preparation process.
Slovenské elektrárne expects that the fuel loading to the reactor and subsequent physical and power start-up tests could be performed by the end of April 2020.