Paks (Hungary)

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4* 440 MW PWR reactors: WWER 440 V213 constructed by AEE/Skoda; operation started 1982-87;
Interim Spent Fuel Storage Facility.

Two new reactors are planned to be build. Operation start should be 2025 and 2030, lifetime 60 years each.

Facilities in Paks

plantreactor typconstruction startoperation startshut down
PaksInterim Spent Fuel Storage19951997
Paks-1WWER19741982
Paks-2WWER19741984
Paks-3WWER19791986
Paks-4WWER19791987
Paks-5WWER
Paks-6WWER
2009-05-04
"During a refuelling outage at the Paks nuclear power plant in Hungary on 4 May, a self-powered neutron detector (SPND) was transported from the reactor into the high activity waste storage pit according to a work program.
However, during a crane transfer, a wire cable holding the grab, which moves inside a part of the SPND container, broke when the crane was in motion. The detector and its grab fell down onto the working area covered with protective clingfilm through the transfer path. Due to falling, the four-metre-long detector tube became bent and tilted onto the decontamination tank of control rods drivers. No damage of other equipment occurred.

The event resulted in increased radiation in the reactor hall and all activities in the reactor hall were suspended, personnel were evacuated and the reactor hall was reclassified to non-accessible area. The workers in the reactor hall were not exposed to radiation over the daily screening level. The dose rate measured at one metre from the SPND tube exceeded 50 mSv/h. The area was cordoned off and warning signs were posted. After the event a special maintenance meeting was summoned and the steps of emergency operation were determined."
(source: world-nuclear.org)

2008-11-23

"Hungary’s only nuclear power plant, south of Budapest on the Danube in Paks, last Friday applied to the National Atomic Energy Office (OAH) for a 20-year extension to the working life of its four reactors. Spokesman István Mittler told state news agency MTI that the 30-year lifespan of the four reactors is due to expire between 2012 and 2017. The plan to extend the lifespan of Soviet-era pressurised water reactors was drawn up with the help of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the OAH. The power plant provides over 40 per cent of Hungary’s electricity generating capacity."
source: RSS

2008-07-08

Budapest/Vienna - Faulty maintenance procedures led to an incident in the Hungarian nuclear power plant in Paks on Monday, but no radioactivity was released, a report by Hungarian authorities to the UN nuclear agency said. It was the second incident in Paks caused by human error since 2006, the Hungarian Atomic Energy Authority said in its report to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

"On Monday morning, two workers failed to properly seal an air- locked area during maintenance of the first unit of the power plant, 100 kilometres south of Budapest.

Although no radioactivity was released, Hungary rated the incident as 1 on the IAEA’s nuclear event scale that runs from 0 to 7.

The rating, as an “anomaly” with some level of significance for plant safety, was due to the fact that the maintenance workers “serially violated” a number of rules during the incident, the report said.

This pointed to a “lack of basic knowledge”, it said."
(source: RSS form www.climatesceptics.org)

2006-11-02

Today Hungary delivered the environmental license for the lifetime extension of Paks to the Austrian Government.

2005-09-01

The Austrian Government published a report concerning the EIA (environmental impact analysis) process for the lifetime extension of Paks. Austria sees itself significantly affected by the extension of the operating time and therefore wants a transboundary EIA. The preliminary study did not include severe accidents (beyond design basis accidents), this is not in accordance with the ESPOO-convention and the EIA directive. Austria argues that several topics are missing in the study, that is the effects of ageing on the reactor pressure vessel, the steam genereators and confinement system, reliable data on the original state of several compounds, data about the corrosion of the steam generators and exchanger, data about the longterm behaviour of the confinement system etc. Seismic hazards, teror attacks and sabotage are not discussed.

2005-05-06

Unit 1 was shut down for planned maintenance work on 9 April 2005. During the cooling process of the unit a minor deviation was observed. Today, in the course of a detailed inspection experts established that the water temperature difference between two equipment had exceeded the value specified in the Technical Operational Specifications.
This event was classified level 1 on the International Nuclear Event Scale (INES).

2005-03-01

The IAEA OSART Expert Follow-Up Review was completed. This mission was started because of recommendations of the 2001 OSART mission and the 2003 expert mission after the fuel cleaning incident.
In six areas conclusions were published: management, regulatory oversight/interface, operations and maintanance, radiation protection, emergency planning an dpreparedness and transparency. The full report is available at www.haea.gov.hu.

2004-12-31

In 2004 in Paks two events occured that were rated INES 1.

2003-12-31

Besides the incident in Paks-2 that was rated INES 3 occured in Paks in 2002 three events that were rated INES 1.

2003-06-20
A special report concerning the incident of 10th April 2003 has been published. (http://www.osski.hu/sugeu/szammer/paksuzav.htm) Major findings are that the incident caused significant emissions approaching the annual limit values imposed on the whole plant in the case of radio-iodine. The concentration of I-131 measured within 30 km around the NPP exceeded the detection limit only in a few instances. The specialised institution of the public health authority (OKK OSSKI) assessed the dose contribution of air-born and liquid emissions and found 120 nSv for the population on the south part of Paks and 16 nSv for the adult inhabitants of Gerjen.
2003-05-30
Management's report on the fuel damage event at Paks-2 was "incomplete" the Hungarian Atomic Energy Authority (HAEA) said in its first formal assessment of the April 10 incident that left 30 assemblies of the VVER-440 severely damaged in an ex-core chemical cleaning vessel. The HAEA report stated that the technical root cause of the event was inappropriate design of the cleaning tank by Framatome ANP GmbH, notably location of the cooling water outlet at the bottom of the tank, where the water was coolest; the system's operators thus didn't realize the fuel elements inside were overheating. The HAEA report essentially absolves its own Nuclear Safety Department of any direct responsibility in the incident, saying the safety officials acted correctly and in compliance with the rules. The HAEA also severely criticizes licensee Paks Nuclear Power Plant Ltd. for failings in safety culture, poor organization, "exaggerated self-confidence in Paks NPP management and overwhelming enforcement of the interests of production". The report says Paks NPP's own internal report on the incident, submitted May 10, which laid the blame essentially on Framatome ANP, was "one-sided" and "lacked self-criticism". see also http://www.haea.gov.hu
2003-05-14
Publication of the Investigation report on the fuel damage occured on 10-11th April within the Cleaning equipment of ANP by Paks NPP http://www.npp.hu/hirek-e/hirek-e.shtml
2003-05-14

István Kocsis, general manager of Paks NPP, was speaking in front of Parliament's economic committee, which held a special session in Paks last Wednesday.
"Our investigations have revealed the responsibility of Framatome in making a planning mistake when creating a container for cleaning the reactor's fuel rods, and we intend to seek financial compensation from Framatome based on our contract," Kocsis said, while presenting a freshly released report about the accident to the committee.
As was reported earlier, 30 sets of fuel rods were damaged on April 10 while undergoing chemical cleaning in a special container outside the reactor area. The container was specially designed and built for Paks by Framatome, which was also responsible for operating the device. As a result of the accident, a leak of radioactive gas occurred in a limited area.
Ralf Güldner, technical director of Framatome, acknowledged the fact of a planning mistake, but declined to comment on Framatome's financial compensation obligations.
"Now we think that the accident was caused by the system not allowing the cooling liquid to flow into the container, but I would not like to comment on compensation obligations before all the investigations and our negotiations with Paks [Power Plant] are finished," Güldner said.
According to Güldner, the chemical process used in the cleaning was a well-established one, applied by the company in many other locations without any problems so far. In the case of the Paks equipment, it was the container itself that differed from the usual models because of the irregular shape of the rods used in Paks, he said. In addition, Paks is the only plant where a cleaning container has been used outside the primary circle of the plant, and the only place where such a container has been used to clean rods, rather than the usual practice of cleaning structural elements of power plants, Güldner explained.
"I cannot recall any similar accidents in connection with any of our cleaning devices, and we take this case very seriously and give every support to the Paks team," Güldner stressed.
Kocsis of the power plant also declined to reveal any details of the planned compensation scheme.
"We are still negotiating about compensation, and before we make a decision we do not wish to reveal any details of the talks," he said.

According to the report released last week by Paks Power Plant, the cleaning container supplied by Framatome lacked sufficient equipment to monitor what was happening inside it. At the same time, the report also stated that Framatome's plans were approved by both Paks Power Plant and the National Atomic Energy Office (OAH).
"The OAH is conducting an internal investigation about the approving procedure," said Iván Lux, head of department at the OAH.
The OAH is expected to issue a report about the events and the results of the internal investigations by the end of this month, he added.

2003-05-14

István Kocsis, general manager of Paks NPP, was speaking in front of Parliament's economic committee, which held a special session in Paks last Wednesday.
"Our investigations have revealed the responsibility of Framatome in making a planning mistake when creating a container for cleaning the reactor's fuel rods, and we intend to seek financial compensation from Framatome based on our contract," Kocsis said, while presenting a freshly released report about the accident to the committee.
As was reported earlier, 30 sets of fuel rods were damaged on April 10 while undergoing chemical cleaning in a special container outside the reactor area. The container was specially designed and built for Paks by Framatome, which was also responsible for operating the device. As a result of the accident, a leak of radioactive gas occurred in a limited area.
Ralf Güldner, technical director of Framatome, acknowledged the fact of a planning mistake, but declined to comment on Framatome's financial compensation obligations.
"Now we think that the accident was caused by the system not allowing the cooling liquid to flow into the container, but I would not like to comment on compensation obligations before all the investigations and our negotiations with Paks [Power Plant] are finished," Güldner said.
According to Güldner, the chemical process used in the cleaning was a well-established one, applied by the company in many other locations without any problems so far. In the case of the Paks equipment, it was the container itself that differed from the usual models because of the irregular shape of the rods used in Paks, he said. In addition, Paks is the only plant where a cleaning container has been used outside the primary circle of the plant, and the only place where such a container has been used to clean rods, rather than the usual practice of cleaning structural elements of power plants, Güldner explained.
"I cannot recall any similar accidents in connection with any of our cleaning devices, and we take this case very seriously and give every support to the Paks team," Güldner stressed.
Kocsis of the power plant also declined to reveal any details of the planned compensation scheme.
"We are still negotiating about compensation, and before we make a decision we do not wish to reveal any details of the talks," he said.

According to the report released last week by Paks Power Plant, the cleaning container supplied by Framatome lacked sufficient equipment to monitor what was happening inside it. At the same time, the report also stated that Framatome's plans were approved by both Paks Power Plant and the National Atomic Energy Office (OAH).
"The OAH is conducting an internal investigation about the approving procedure," said Iván Lux, head of department at the OAH.
The OAH is expected to issue a report about the events and the results of the internal investigations by the end of this month, he added.

2003-04-10

A serious incident has happened in cleaning fuel elements at the Hungarian Paks-2 reactor. A majority of the 30 fuel elements in a ?washing' machine got severely damaged and radioactivity was released into the environment. The incident was initially classified at level 2 ("incident") of the International Nuclear Event Scale (INES), but later reclassified to level 3 ("serious incident").

The incident was discovered at 22.30h on 10 April, when a sudden increase in released radioactive gases through the exhaust stack was observed. Radiation monitors inside the reactor hall also reached alarm levels. The reactor hall was evacuated immediately after the alarm signals were activated.

Paks-2 was taken offline on 28 March for its annual refueling and maintenance period. The fuel elements from the reactor were stored in the spent fuel pool next to the reactor. Part of the fuel elements were to be cleaned to operate more effectively during the further operation of the reactor .
The chemical cleaning technology is a process, which is usually used for cleaning corrosion products in steam generator tubes and pipes of cooling systems. The first time this cleaning technology was used for partially burnt fuel assemblies was in 2001 at Paks ?2 . The system was hired from Framatome ANP (a joint company of French Areva and German Siemens). The cleaning system is placed on the bottom of the spent fuel pool, next to the reactor, and consists of a container in which fuel elements are placed.

On 11 April Paks personnel tried to open the lid of the cleaning container but the cable of the crane broke and the lid was half open. That allowed radioactive gases to escape from the container, bubble up from the water, and enter the reactor hall and eventually escape into the environment.

When the head of the cleaning container was removed on 16 April, video inspections revealed that most of the elements (probably even all of them) had been damaged (7). The extent of the fuel damage was reason to newly classify the incident at level 3 of the INES scale (8). The HAEA however had doubted to uprate the incident at level 3 because it feared that such a rating could cause unwarranted public "excitement". But they had to admit that a level 3 was justified "because the situation in the tank was worse than expected" (9).
The extent of the damage is not known today, but some reports state that their are broken fuel rods, and uranium pellets have fallen to the bottom of the cleaning tank.

The total release in the period from 10th April to the 26th April was:
Noble gases: 410 TBq
I-131: 350 GBq

The release of Noble gases during the incident was well below the annual emission limit for the 4 Paks units of 12760 TBq, but it exceeded considerable the emissions from year 2002 (56 TBq)

The release of I-131 was significant, it amounted to about half of the total annual release limit for I-131 for Paks NPP of 738 GBq !!

The cause and sequence of the accident as well as the extent of the damage is not known today, but some reports state that their are broken fuel rods, and uranium pellets have fallen to the bottom of the cleaning tank.

On 11 May 2003 Paks NPP submitted its report to the Hungarian Atomic Energy Authority (HAEA) in accordance with its legally stipulated obligations. The HAEA started the evaluation of this started , but also
has started an independent investigation. The results of the independent investigation will be summarized in a report which is due by the end of May.

Sources:
wise Amsterdam,
Advanced Nuclear Power, Framatome ANP, August 2001
Hungarian Atomic Energy Authority; http://www.haea.gov.hu/english/

2002-12-31

In 2002 in Paks four events occured that were rated INES 1.

2001-12-31

In 2001 in Paks three events occured that were rated INES 1.

1997-05-22

Paks NPP Ltd. hopes to conclude contracts with insurance pools to cover third-party damage from nuclear accidents by July 1, according to utility officials, who said they didn't expect the insurance to add much to the cost of a nuclear kilowatt-hour in Hungary. However, the cost of setting up an internal fund to cover estimated back-end expenses could add up to 10% to nuclear power cost, they said.
Hungary's new nuclear law, passed in December and scheduled to enter force this year, requires Paks to cover liability risks but does not require the company to insure against its own losses. Paks is still a state-owned enterprise. The utility officials said, that the property insurance would be much more expensive than the liability coverage.
The issue is separate from another requirement of the new act, that Paks establish a back-end waste management and decommissioning fund. Reports in the Hungarian press have said the back-end fund will contain about 20-billion forints and the Paks NPP will have to pay 500-million forints per year into it. That would add an estimated three to four fillers (hundredths of a forint) onto each kWh from Paks.

1997-02-01

HAEA issued a license for commissioning of the Interim Storage Facility at Paks.

1996-09-17

Paks has chosen Siemens/KWU to backfit the RPS in the four units. contract was signed on September 17, is worth 40 million DM (26 million $). A 40 million DM credit will be made available by Siemens in 1999.
After two years of planning the first new RPS will be installed in 1999 on unit . Siemens hopes that the order will help encourage the 16 other VVER V440 stations to entrust I&C modernization to KWU.

1996-02-22

235 fuel elements from Greifswald have arrived at Paks. Greenpeace and German anti-nuke groups have critizised the deal because Paks is of the same reactor type as Greifswald, which has been shutdown in Germany because of safety concerns. IAEO experts said that the last years modernization in Paks was successful, even if the 4 units do not meet Western safety standards.

1995-12-31

Th HAEA issued a license for construction of the Interim Storage Facility at Paks.

1995-11-07

Paks-2 was expected to restart this week after investigation of a control rod irregularity led to discovery of malfunctioning equipment and a loose piece of foreign material in the primary system.
The Hungarian licensing authorities estimate the loss suffered by Paks Nuclear Power Plant Ltd. at 500- to 600-million forints (about US $ 4 million). The shutdown left Hungary 8% short of its daily 5.000 MW of power consumption.
The incident began the night of November 7 when an irregularity in rod position was indicated by the monitor for the Paks-2 control rods. The reactor was shut and cooled down, and investigation began into whether the failure was in the instrument or in the rods.
On November 15, a piece of metal weighing 10 grams was discovered in the system and removed, and further investigations are underway to establish how the object got into the reactor and how long it had been there.

1995-01-19

At an American Nuclear Society symposium it was reported that Paks meets western safety standards , therefore the US government will end its safety aid to Hungary; Paks management said production cost is now 2.10 forints ( US$ 0,02)/kWh; 0,5 forint will be added to establish a fund for dismantling, recultivation and waste disposal; A dry spent fuel storage facility is being built at Paks; This is a temporary solution in case Russia will not take the fuel back; A complete strategy of spent fuel & radwaste disposal, is expected to be developed by 1996 (Project of the National Atomic Energy Commission & five Ministries)

1994-07-14

One pump in HP- ECCS did not work for 10 hours during maintenance.

1993-09-15

During refueling outage the temperature of the cooling water rose above tech. specs and the boration was found to be insufficient - no damage was found to the fuel

1992-06-01

During refueling outage a welding crack was found in the housing of one of he main stop valves.

1991-07-18

Seal on a joint failed where a pulse line connected to the reactor pressure monitoring system . The steam leak caused failure of some measuring instruments, activated safety systems and stopped the unit.

1990-10-20

Seapage in RCS