In response to information from the Austrian NGO GLOBAL 2000 published in the Austrian media, the Nuclear Regulatory Authority of the Slovak Republic (UJD SR) presents the following opinion:
UJD SR points out that the aim of the Austrian NGO is to stop Mochovce 3 & 4 (EMO 3 & 4) NPP being commissioned by any means, so it does not hesitate to spread false and misleading information and startling news. UJD SR considers it necessary to emphasize that it is conducting a “EMO 3 & 4 Safety Dialogue” with the Austrian Government at both governmental and experts’ levels. In addition, in an effort to ensure a fair and helpful approach beyond this dialogue, UJD SR also provides detailed information to GLOBAL 2000 representatives, both in writing, as well as during face-to-face meetings, most recently in February 2019, where it answered in detail all their questions and provided special presentation. Yet GLOBAL 2000 continues to spread its unjustified claims.
Although UJD SR has repeatedly expressed its dissatisfaction with managing the process of completion of EMO3&4 by the management of Slovenské elektrárne, a. s., and due to insufficient control on the part of the licensee, UJD SR carries out a thorough in-depth inspection to a much greater extent than it is usual, UJD SR strongly insists on its previous declarations that unless all nuclear safety requirements are met and all systems of the power plant are tested with positive result, the commissioning of the power plant, which starts with loading of nuclear fuel into the reactor, will not be permitted.
As for the specific claims by GLOBAL 2000 regarding reduced resistance of the reactor wall as a result of drilling:
First of all, it should be stressed that no drilling into the reactor shell took place. The anchoring elements in connection with the enhancement of seismic resistance of the nuclear installation have been installed in the building structures of selected building objects of EMO 3 & 4, among other, in the walls of the containment, according to a pre-approved design.
Since the beginning of the installation of additional anchoring elements related to the increase of seismic resistance of the nuclear facility, UJD SR has paid increased attention to ensuring that the existing reinforced concrete building structures are not weakened, not only at the boundary forming the containment.
Before the drilling work, investor had to develop a series of detailed technological procedures for identifying reinforced steel, including structures covered with hermetic lining before drilling, and for drilling operations themselves, followed by videoscopic inspection with the participation of author´s supervision, including accurate records of each drill hole, as well as potential collisions with the reinforced steel, up to an overall assessment of possible weakening, including a comprehensive static assessment of the reactor building load bearing structures.
UJD SR carried out several inspections, where it dealt with the issue of adherence to technological procedures and records related to drilling work directly at the construction site of the nuclear power plant EMO 3 & 4. Based on the findings, UJD SR can confirm that the steel reinforcement of walls and ceilings has not been weakened. The quality of the workmanship of the containment is also confirmed by successful completion of integral strength and tightness test, at which the deflection of selected walls and ceilings at the containment boundary is measured at maximum overpressure. At the same time, UJD SR assures that there is no threat for the population from a radioactive cloud in case of (extremely unlikely) an earthquake, as GLOBAL 2000 tries to depict it.
Furthermore, UJD SR uses this opportunity and appeals to the Slovak media not to promote the spread of unverified false and misleading startling news. In relation to whistle-blowers from EMO 3 & 4 completion environment – whether it be directly the staff of Slovenské elektrárne, a. s., or the contractors´ staff, UJD SR is available to receive reports of any doubts about the quality of design implementation, as it is qualified to professionally assess and verify them. UJD SR pays attention and thoroughly verifies all suggestions, including anonymous ones, while maintaining anonymity of whistle-blowers in cases where concerns about disclosure of the whistle-blower´s identity are justified.