Alstom secures Paks generator contract

06 August 2013

Nine generators at Hungary's Paks nuclear power plant are to be refurbished in a retrofit that will take Alstom eight years to complete, enhancing reliability as the station gears up for 50 years of operation.

 Paks turbine hall (MVM Paks)_460
Paks's generators are to be overhauled (Image: MVM Paks)

Eight generators serving Pak's four nuclear reactors, plus one spare, will be serviced at a rate of one generator per year starting this year. The contract, worth €5.1 million ($6.8 million), will be carried out by Alstom Hungary.

Paks is Hungary's only nuclear power plant, supplying over 40% of the country's electricity, and is operated by MVM Paks NPP, a subsidiary of state-owned Hungarian Power Companies Ltd (Magyar Villamos Művek, MVM). Its four VVER units have been operating since the 1980s and the company claims the plant is the lowest-cost electricity generator in Hungary.

Following an extensive program of upgrades and modernisation, Hungarian nuclear regulators recently agreed that unit 1 should be allowed to operate for a further 20 years beyond its initial 30 year design life subject to economic and safety considerations. Similar decisions for the other three units are expected to follow. Proposals to build two new 1000 MWe reactors at the site received strong preliminary support from the Hungarian parliament in 2009.

The 500 MWe generators require servicing every 10-12 years. Noting the company's extensive experience of the domestic market, Alstom Hungary president László Deák looked to the future opportunities that Paks could provide. "This contract creates a sound professional basis for Alstom's participation in further development projects at this nuclear power plant," he said.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News