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Hungarian nuclear power plant completes generation block repair

Paksi Atomerőmű Zrt, which operates Hungary's only nuclear power plant, completed repair work on one of its four generation blocks, where an incident had disrupted production for 44 months.

Russia's TVEL yesterday concluded the three-month removal of radioactive fuel-rod parts from under 8 meters (26 feet) of water, the company said in a statement on its Web site. Some of the pieces were no larger than a few millimeters (1 millimeter is 0.04 inches), according to the press release.

The plant, 100 kilometers (62 miles) south of Budapest, supplies 40% of the country's electricity. It restarted the affected generation block at full capacity on January 1. The fuel rods had been damaged in April 2003, when they overheated in a cleaning tank adjacent to the reactor.

Hungary agreed to pay TVEL $4.5 million for the repair work. Paksi Atomerőmű Zrt produced 13,461 gigawatt-hours of electricity last year. The country's parliament voted in 2005 to extend the life of its four generation blocks by 20 years, until 2037, in a project worth Ft 170 billion ($856 million). (Bloomberg)