New Slovakian reactor reaches first criticality

October 28, 2022, 12:01PMNuclear News
Slovakia’s Mochovce nuclear plant, located about 62 miles east of Bratislava, the nation’s capital. (Photo: Slovenské Elektrárne)

Unit 3 at Slovakia’s Mochovce nuclear power plant achieved initial criticality on October 22, plant owner Slovenské Elektrárne has announced.

The utility started the reactor’s first fuel load September 9—after receiving in August a final authorization for commissioning from the Slovak Nuclear Regulatory Authority—and completed the process three days later.

Full steam ahead: Cooling tower refurbishment at Mochovce

July 22, 2022, 2:37PMNuclear NewsGuest Contributor
A view of the entrance to tower #22, showing the dismantled part of an inclined column.

While the construction of two additional reactors at Slovakia’s Mochovce nuclear plant (Units 3 and 4) may get most of the attention, it isn’t the only major project underway there. In October of last year, plant owner Slovenské Elektrárne commenced the first phase of an effort to revitalize two of the four 125-meter-tall, Iterson-type cooling towers that serve the facility’s two operating reactors—both of which began generating electricity in the late 1990s. Towers #11 and #21 had been refurbished in 2011 and 2012, respectively. The other two, however, towers #12 and #22, had never undergone refurbishment.