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Paks block shut down to allow removal of damaged fuel rods

One of the four blocks at Paks Nuclear Power Plant Zrt has been shut down to allow for the removal of damaged fuel rods, spokesman István Mittler said on Thursday.

Removal of the rods is scheduled for mid-October, he said. The rods were damaged in April 2003 when they overheated in a cleaning tank adjacent to the reactor. The incident was blamed on the tank's manufacturers, French-German company Framatome-ANP, which agreed to pay compensation.
TVEL of Russia was picked to clean up the damaged rods and cleaning tank at a reported cost of $4.5 million. The removal of the rods - 30 bundles of 129 rods apiece, weighing a combined 3.6 tons - is expected to take two months, National Nuclear Energy Office director Iván Lux told daily Magyar Hírlap early in September.