Hungarian Nuclear Power Plant Joins EPRI's Nuclear Research Program

PALO ALTO, Calif., Feb. 25, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) announced today that the Paks Nuclear Power Plant in Hungary has joined its nuclear research program. The membership will enable Paks to access a wide array of EPRI research results and technical guidance that can inform the safe, reliable, cost-effective operation of Hungary's commercial nuclear power plants.

The Paks facility, which is principally owned by state-owned power wholesaler Magyar Villamos Művek (MVM), consists of four VVER 440 nuclear reactors, each rated at 500 MW. The VVER reactor is a Russian-designed pressurized water reactor design that is deployed in Russia and a number of other eastern and central European countries. The collaboration between Paks and EPRI will enable EPRI to further expand the applicability of its technical products and guidance to VVER reactors.

Hungary currently obtains the majority of its electricity from thermal and nuclear power, but government policy intends to increase the amount of renewable energy, nuclear energy, and energy efficiency to meet future demand. In 2014, the Hungarian government signed agreements with nuclear vendor Rosenergoatom to build two new VVER units at Paks, to be brought on-line in the 2020s.

The Hungarian nuclear power sector will derive many benefits from the EPRI membership. "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," said Neil Wilmshurst, EPRI vice president and chief nuclear officer. "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."

"Access to EPRI's past research results and active participation in EPRI's current research programs will help meet the challenges our plant is facing," said Geza Pekarik, technical support director of MVM Paks Nuclear Power Plant Ltd. "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. In addition, this agreement will provide EPRI with access to our country's technical professionals in the field of nuclear energy."

About EPRI:

The Electric Power Research Institute, Inc. (EPRI, www.epri.com) conducts research and development relating to the generation, delivery and use of electricity for the benefit of the public. An independent, nonprofit organization, EPRI brings together its scientists and engineers as well as experts from academia and industry to help address challenges in electricity, including reliability, efficiency, affordability, health, safety and the environment. EPRI's members represent approximately 90 percent of the electricity generated and delivered in the United States, and international participation extends to more than 30 countries. EPRI's principal offices and laboratories are located in Palo Alto, Calif.; Charlotte, N. Car.; Knoxville, Tenn.; and Lenox, Mass.

CONTACT: Clay C. Perry, Senior Media Relations Manager, 202-293-6184 clperry@epri.com Brian Schimmoller, Communications Manager, 704-595-2576 bschimmoller@epri.comSource:Electric Power Research Institute