A banner year was closed by Paks Nuclear Power Plant Ltd, since they had produced more electric energy in 2015 than at any other time during their operation ever. This means that the electric energy generated by the four Units of the power plant covered as much as 36.2% of the domestic demand on electric energy and amounted to 52.7% of the total domestic electric power generation.
„MVM Paks Nuclear Power Plant Ltd have been the largest and, with regard to the energy supply of Hungary, the most significant member company of the MVM Group. I believe that the only nuclear power plant of Hungary, the effective operation of which is the guarantee for the cheap electric energy, can be operated steadily, safely, and successfully by MVM exclusively, emphasized Mr Péter Csiba, Chairman, and CEO of MVM Ltd.
„Maintaining and further improvement of the safety of operation were ones of the most important objectives of the power plant for the last year, which was accomplished to the maximum extent. This is also evidenced by the fact that the Safety Culture Indicator increased by 10% during the past two years, and was measured to be 84% in 2015", said Mr István Hamvas CEO of MVM Paks Nuclear Power Plant Ltd. "Nothing is more indicative of the commitment of our employees and partners to the safety than the fact, that no safety related event, rated to Level 1 or higher on the INES Scale, occurred at Paks Nuclear Power Plant in 2015 and only 15 reportable events of Level 0 (i.e. the lowest level) happened during the last year, which is also considered a kind of record achievement. The value of the collective dose also shown a definitely decreasing trend over the past few years and has practically halved during the last five years. We expect that this trend will continue upon the effect of the 15-month operational cycle introduced late last year and will result in further reduction of the cumulative radiation exposure, which, in view of the high level of safety culture at our company, is a fully realistic expectation” presented the CEO the most important performance indicators of the nuclear power plant. "Resuming the enumeration of records, the load factor of the power plant was as high as 90.4% in the last year with which we occupy a podium place in the ranking list of similar nuclear Units. Of course, this degree of the load factor and the production record contributed to our financial results too; our profit before tax will be higher by more than 4 billion forints than we envisaged before. By the presentation of these data, we confirmed again now that, in a nuclear power plant, the safe operation is the only way of achieving outstanding production results.", added Mr István Hamvas.
An additional guarantee for the safe operation will be provided by the fact that a new safety review will be carried out by the World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO) at Paks Nuclear Power Plant, which is expected to commence in the middle of February. The latest review of WANO was finished in November 2014 and resulted in a conclusion drawn by the review committee composed of various specialists that the operation of Paks Nuclear Power Plant complies with the international standards, and that the safe operation of the power plant has been guaranteed.
The continued implementation of the actions taken as a result of a focussed safety review initiated following the Fukushima accident also serves for maintaining the safe operation. This program will be finished by 2018.
The enhancement of the safety and efficiency is considered a permanent objective for the power plant. In this spirit, the reconstruction of the turbines and the preparation process for the introduction of the in-service maintenance of the diesel generators will commence this year. This work will result in the further improvement of the availability factor of Paks Nuclear Power Plant, which has been remarkable even at international level and, in parallel, will generate an increase in the amount of electric energy produced in a cheap, and environmentally sound manner.
In addition to safety, Paks Nuclear Power keeps the cost effective and environment friendly operation in mind in the future too. For this purpose, the introduction of the 15-month operational cycle commenced late last year upon the relevant permit of the Hungarian Atomic Energy Authority, as result of which the reactors will be opened and their internal equipment disassembled after 14 months of operation rather than the previously applied 11-month interval. This will have the result as early as this year, that the number of maintenance outages will be three instead of four. The 15-month operational cycle does not involve any safety related or technical risk but will bring numerous benefits, e.g. reduction of the collective dose, lower number of Unit shutdowns and restarts causing high stresses to the items of equipment, and reduced quantity of spent nuclear fuels and low and intermediate level radioactive wastes.
Paks Nuclear Power Plant submitted its license application for the service life extension of Unit 3. It is expected that the licensing process will be completed this year. The preparatory work for licensing the service life extension of Unit 4 will also commence, thus, the power plant can guarantee on long term the stability of supply of electric energy produced at low price and in a safe manner.