18 instead of 12 months – Temelin nuclear power plant extends the fuel cycle

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In the future, at the controversial Temelin nuclear power plant in the Czech Republic, the reactor blocks will only be shut down every 18 months for regular replacement and maintenance work on fuel elements. The partially state-owned company CEZ announced this in Prague on Thursday. Previously, this work took place approximately once a year.

The change is made possible by using new fuel elements to which more absorbers are added, which slows down the reaction speed, says Temelin director Jan Kruml. “It’s like putting seven charcoal briquettes in the oven instead of five, but then turning off the air supply so they last longer,” he noted.

In the future, 48 instead of the previous 42 fuel elements will be exchanged for new ones
According to the information, 48 instead of the previous 42 of the total 163 fuel elements per reactor will be replaced with new ones each time they are replaced. Environmentalists view the Temelin nuclear power plant as vulnerable to failure due to the combination of Russian reactor and American control technology. It is only about 60 kilometers from the border with Germany and Austria.

The operator assures: “All safety reserves” are maintained
At the more than 35-year-old Dukovany nuclear power plant in South Moravia, the interval between the replacement of fuel elements is being extended to 16 months. Dukovany is located almost 100 kilometers north of Vienna. In this way, both nuclear power plants in the Czech Republic could together produce almost two terawatt hours of additional electricity annually, according to CEZ board member Bohdan Zronek. He assured that “all safety precautions” would be observed.

Source: Krone

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