BUDAPEST, 26 Feb – The first reactor vessel for the Paks-2 NPP will begin to be manufactured in Russia in April, and the first “melt trap” will be delivered to the construction site in the fall of 2024, the vice-president of ASE JSC, director of the Paks-2 NPP construction project, said in an interview. Vitaly Polyanin.
The reactor vessel is the main irreplaceable element of the reactor installation of any nuclear power plant unit. The reactor vessel must ensure reliable sealing of the core, where a controlled nuclear chain reaction occurs, during the entire period of operation. Therefore, the housing material is subject to requirements for high corrosion resistance in aqueous coolant, high radiation resistance and resistance to brittle fracture. The housing material must have low heat capacity, high thermal conductivity, and possibly a low coefficient of thermal expansion. Therefore, the reactor vessel is a high-tech product.
A “melt trap”, or melt containment device, is a special protection system for a nuclear power plant. The trap developed by Russian scientists can hold molten nuclear fuel for an unlimited amount of time, preventing radioactivity from leaving the trap body and entering the environment.
At the end of 2014, Russia and Hungary signed documents on the construction of new power units No. 5 and No. 6 at the Paks NPP with reactor units according to the advanced Russian VVER-1200 project. It was reported that Russia will give Hungary a state loan of up to 10 billion euros for the Paks 2 project, and the total cost of work will be 12.5 billion euros. A license has already been issued for the construction of the power units themselves.
At the end of August 2022, Hungary issued Rosatom a license for the construction of power units of the Paks-2 nuclear power plant. In May of this year, the European Commission approved amendments to the agreements on the construction of the station and financing of the project. The start of construction of the Paks-2 nuclear power plant is expected at the end of 2024 – beginning of 2025, Rosatom General Director Alexey Likhachev previously said.
The only nuclear power plant in Hungary, Paks, is located 100 kilometers from Budapest and five kilometers from the city of Paks. The Paks nuclear power plant currently generates almost half of Hungary’s electricity, and with the planned commissioning of two new Paks units this share is expected to double. For Hungary, nuclear energy is a way to ensure its energy security, the leadership of this country has repeatedly emphasized.