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Hungary's nuclear plant to start removing fuel rods in few days

The plant will start the removal this weekend or early next week after checking whether all conditions for repair work have been met, Paksi Atomerőmű Zrt, the plant's operator, said in an e-mailed statement today. Tests for the removal were finished, the company said. The plant disconnected one of its four generation blocks on October 3 to prepare for the removal of fuel rods, the plant's operator said. Paks generates about 40% of Hungary's power. The fuel rods were damaged in April 2003 when they overheated in the cleaning tank next to a generation block. Hungary will pay Russia's TVEL $4.5 million for the repair work, which may take several months, István Kocsis, the chief executive officer of state-owned power wholesaler MVM Zrt, said September 27. MVM owns the power plant. About 55 people will work to remove the fuel rods in five to seven steps, he added September 27. (Bloomberg)