On February 19th, the management of MVM Hungarian Power Utilities and US-based Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) signed an agreement to collaborate on R&D fields.
The cooperation may not only contribute to the safe operation of the Paks nuclear power plant in the long run but also to the extension of EPRI’s knowledge base.
For the year 2015, EPRI budgeted USD 170m for nuclear-related research projects. The main research topics range from aging-management methodologies, non-destructive in-service inspection techniques, opportunities for increasing fuel- and component reliability, state-of-the-art nuclear technologies, risk- and safety management to handling of low-, medium- and high level radioactive waste and spent fuel assemblies.
„All the details of EPRI’s achievements to date shall be made available to us and we can also join their running research programs expected to best contribute to meeting the current challenges our plant is exposed to. As members we can join the process of determining the research directions and opportunities are revealed for building professional links on an international scale. By all means, this agreement represents a major step toward the further improvement of the safety and operational reliability of our plant however, with the attendance of the excellent subject matter experts of the country in specific areas of development we also expand EPRI’s potentials.” said Mr. Geza Pekarik, Technical Director of MVM Paks Nuclear Power Plant Ltd.
Each year EPRI produces 350 reports in different nuclear topics thus making their members a huge knowledge base available. The Paks NPP exploiting this knowledge base shall be able to introduce important good practices in its own functioning. On the daily level EPRI’s members are provided with an on-line ’dashboard’ to access pieces of information which in parallel is the platform to communicate with other professionals within the organization.
Mr. Neil M. Wilmhurst, vice-president of EPRI highlighted the mutual benefits of the agreement: „We are in contact with 80% of nuclear power plants around the globe. This new collaboration expands our knowledge and experiences about the VVER-plants. In the core of our activity is the safe and economic operation of nuclear power plants hence we are determined that we shall be able to contribute to the long term safe operation of Paks NPP as well.”
EPRI, founded in the United States back in 1972 is an independent, non-profit organization intended to search for solutions to the challenges of the electric energy industry. Its activities by now spread over more than 30 countries interlacing almost every area of the industry. EPRI classifies itself as a link between the fundamental R&D activities and the marketable technology developments: it provides both the electric-energy industry and the consumers with solutions elaborated on the basis of short- and long term research programs.
In relation with the nuclear sector their primary objectives are not only maximizing safety and availability of the existing nuclear power plants but also facilitating the construction of advanced nuclear power plants and they also wish to act in support of the long term sustainability of nuclear-based electric energy production.