Gergely Jákli: a total of 1.5 million meters of boreholes will be drilled as part of the soil consolidation

2/22/24 9:45 AM
Sustainability and nuclear energy were the focus of the conference of the Scientific Association for Energy Management in Szeged, where Paks II. was also a prominent topic.

– We are committed to the lifetime extension of Paks I. and the construction of Paks II. – said Tibor Gulyás, Deputy State Secretary of the Ministry of Energy, at the ELI-ALPS Laser Research Institute in Szeged. The first interdisciplinary energy conference of the Energy Management Scientific Association (Energiagazdálkodási Tudományos Egyesület, ETE) focused on sustainability and nuclear energy.  The experts attending the event agreed that without nuclear power generation there can be no secure, climate-friendly electricity supply, while the use of renewable energy sources is also important.
Dr. Csaba Kiss, Chairman of ETE, Deputy Chief Executive Officer for Production of MVM Ltd. emphasized that the role of nuclear energy in Hungary is of great importance. A key issue in MVM's strategy is the maintenance of the Paks Nuclear Power Plant's production in the long run, as well as the support of the Paks II. project and, in time, the domestic use of SMR (small modular reactors) technology.

– The vast majority of the nuclear profession is concentrated in Tolna county – said Gergely Jákli, reflecting on this. The Chairman-CEO of Paks II. Ltd. presented the latest news on the project. – Construction on the new unit’ site started last year and soil consolidation work is currently underway – highlighted Mr Jákli. All this was preceded by the construction of the cut-off wall, which surrounds the site of the new units for 2,7 kilometers. The wall, which is 32 meters deep on average, is intended to act as a water-tight barrier to ensure that groundwater can only enter the working pit in a controlled way, which is important mainly because of the four NPP units in operation.

– We are facing an active period. Bauer has nine machines doing the soil consolidation on 17 hectares. A total of 75000 boreholes are being drilled to ensure that the soil under the working pit is sufficiently solid to provide a safe foundation for the large nuclear island

– said Gergely Jákli, adding that afterwards, probably in the summer, excavation of the soil under Unit 5 could start beyond the already excavated -5 m level up to the design level. In parallel, soil consolidation will continue in Unit 6 until summer 2025. – In total, 1,5 million meters of boreholes will be drilled during the consolidation. This would take us from the surface of Pluto to its core – he said. In addition, the CEB buildings are being built and major equipment is being produced, with the core-catcher of Unit 5 due to be completed shortly.

– It is a big and a good project, as confirmed by the participation of several international partners. Austrian, American, German, French and Swedish companies are participating in the project, along with more than 100 Hungarian companies – Gergely Jákli emphasized. 

He added: we are working to pour the first concrete this year. The Chairman-CEO also said that the project management experience gained during this investment would be useful for the further lifetime extension of Paks I. Meanwhile Paks I. experts will be able to provide effective assistance in the operation and preparation of the new units.

During the conference, Dr. Ákos Horváth, Director General of the HUN-REN Centre for Energy Research, gave a presentation on the domestic applicability of SMRs, Mihály Czibula, Project Manager of the Paks Nuclear Power Plant, detailed the further lifetime extension of the Paks NPP, and Gábor Szabó, Rector of the University of Szeged, guided the audience into the world of petawatts, outlining the development of laser neutron sources and their possible nuclear connections.