Slovakia's Mochovce-3 Connected to the Grid

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Slovakia's Mochovce-3 reactor was connected to the grid for the first time this week, operating at 20% power with one of the unit's two turbine generators. The Dec. 31 grid connection followed the Slovakian Nuclear Regulatory Authority approving power start-up on Jan. 13. When fully commissioned the 471 megawatt Mochovce-3 will supply approximately 13% of Slovakia’s total electricity consumption and make the country self-sufficient, according to Slovenske Elektrarne. Mochovce-3’s grid connection comes 11 years after the originally planned launch date and at double the initial planned cost, following years of controversy around alleged construction defects and fraud. Mochovce-3 is expected to begin operating at full power in within the next several months. Meanwhile, in Belgium, the Tihange-2 reactor was permanently shut down on Jan. 31 after 40 years of operation under a 2003 law requiring the phase-out of all nuclear electricity generation. The Belgian government has reportedly asked the country's nuclear safety authority to investigate extending the lifetime of its Doel-1 and -2 and Tihange-1 reactors, which are scheduled to shut down in 2025.

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