Hungary’s Paks Nuclear Power Plant has joined the US Electric Power Research Institute’s (EPRI) nuclear research programme to gain access to research results and technical guidance.
The facility is owned by the Hungarian energy developer Magyar Villamos Muvek. It has a capacity of around 2GW.
Four VVER 440 reactor units feature in the plant. Each of these can generate 500MW of nuclear power.
The reactors have Russian-designed pressurised water reactors similar to those deployed in Russia and other eastern and central European countries.
Two more reactors are expected to be operational in the 2020s, as per the agreements signed by the Hungarian Government with nuclear vendor Rosenergoatom last year.
The collaboration deal is expected to expand the application of EPRI technical products at the nuclear plant, on the basis of the research institute’s guidance.
EPRI vice-president and chief nuclear officer Neil Wilmshurst said: "The existing Paks units, two of which have already received government approval for 20-year life extensions, will be able to tap into our diverse range of research activities related to long-term operations, aging management, fuel reliability, waste management, radiation protection, and risk and safety.
"Just as importantly, our engagement with Paks will enable our global membership to draw lessons from Hungary’s nuclear plants that can be shared with the broader nuclear industry."
MVM Paks Nuclear Power Plant technical support director Geza Pekarik said: "This agreement represents a major step toward further improvement of our plant’s safety and operational reliability.
"Moreover, through this collaboration, we can provide input into EPRI’s research activities and, at the same time, create opportunities for building professional contacts on an international scale.
The research programme will be able to ensure safety and reliability of operations for the commercial nuclear facilities in the country.
The deal will also offer EPRI the scope to connect with nuclear energy experts in Hungary.
Image: Paks Nuclear Power Plant in Hungary. Photo: courtesy of MVM Paks Nuclear Power Plant Ltd.