The third unit of the Slovak nuclear power plant Mochovce, which was completed last year, went online for the first time on Wednesday evening. After final testing and nuclear regulatory approval, “steam was fed into the turbines and Block 3 was connected to the grid at an initial output of 20 percent,” the Slovenske elektrarne (SE) operating company said on Wednesday.
The reactor will make a “significant contribution” to the stability of the energy supply and to climate neutrality, explains CEO Branislav Strycek. Slovakia borders both Ukraine, which was attacked by Russia, and Austria. Austria is strongly opposed to nuclear power. The Slovak power plant is located about 165 kilometers from Vienna as the crow flies.
The first steps towards the construction of the third reactor were already taken in 1987, but the actual further construction was only resumed in 2008. In addition, after financing problems and conflicts with companies involved in the construction, objections, especially from the Austrian environmental protection organization Global 2000, delayed the final operating permit.
“No one knows what other technical defects there are in the Mochovce 3 reactor, which is completely obsolete by Soviet design and furthermore weakened by deliberate corruption or sabotage and accidental construction errors. The Slovak Nuclear Supervisory Authority continues to order only random tests and not a comprehensive test of all components,” criticized Reinhard Uhrig, anti-nuclear spokesman at Global 2000. As an example, he cited the failure of a carbon-nickel seal in the upper part of the reactor pressure vessel at the end 2022.
Green for exit
The Greens called for the closure of the new reactor. “This nuclear power plant, which is based on age-old plans, is far from state-of-the-art. The potential danger of terrorism and war should not be underestimated,” said Greens anti-nuclear spokesman Martin Litschauer.
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