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06.07.2021 Our Media Coverage

Adrian Kovalyk on Behalf of VUJE for Reportáže z průmyslu: We Focus on New Markets in Egypt, India or Turkey

VUJE, a. s. with a 100% share of Slovak shareholders and a 44-year history on the international nuclear energy market attributed last year another successful year with total revenue of €140 mil. It is despite the difficulties caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic. The success achieved is mainly the result of the joint efforts and dedicated work of the company´s employees, said for Reportáže z průmyslu ADRIAN KOVALYK, Director of the Nuclear Power Plant Diagnostics Division.

Adrian Kovalyk on Behalf of VUJE for Reportáže z průmyslu: We Focus on New Markets in Egypt, India or Turkey

What projects is the company currently working on and what are its top priorities for this year? Not only about this is talking Adrian Kovalyk, Director of Division and Member of the Board of Directors of VUJE, a. s., in our interview.

Your company is a market leader in the field of nuclear power engineering, services to support and operate the transmission and distribution systems. We know that your company implements comprehensive projects, in a form of turnkey deliveries, from initial documentation to final testing. Can you introduce your company in more detail and what projects do you focus on?

VUJE will celebrate 45th anniversary of its foundation next year. During this period of rich history, the company's activities have, in addition to research and development, expanded to include design, engineering, technical, training, diagnostics and consulting. Today, the summary of activities, together with work on decommissioning, ensuring the safety of nuclear power plants and services related to the support of the operation of transmission systems, forms the core of our company's activities.

VUJE is a respected and recognized authority with lots of international success. What success have you achieved recently?

The most significant achievements of the company are naturally associated with the successful implementation of demanding projects in the past year. In the area of the transmission system, these were projects on the national market, namely the project of reconstruction of the key electricity node in eastern Slovakia in Spišská Nová Ves and the projects of two key transmission lines 2×400V Križovany-Bystričany and 1×400V line in Rimavská Sobota up to the state border with Hungary.

An exceptional project was the construction of the northernmost 420 kV line in Europe, connecting the north and south of Norway. The construction took place 600 km away from the Arctic Circle in a complicated and inhospitable northern terrain, which in its appearance resembled a lunar landscape. In these extreme conditions, we carried out work associated with the erection of 279 electricity pylons on a 55 km long section.

In the area of development and production of diagnostic equipment, it was the completion of a 4-year project of delivery of 4 remote-controlled manipulators for steam generator inspections and blinding of leaking heat-exchanger tubes for ČEZ, a. s. The success of the project was confirmed by the deployment of manipulators for outages at the beginning of the year and by the fulfilled expectations of colleagues at the nuclear power plants in Dukovany and Temelín.

What markets do you currently operate in? Do you plan to focus on new ones, and what do you consider to be your biggest competitive advantage?

In addition to the Central European countries operating units with VVER technology, we are, obviously focusing on more distant markets. Apart from Ukraine, where our company's products are installed at every nuclear power plant in operation, and Chernobyl, we are currently working on the supply of various diagnostic and monitoring systems for Akkuyu NPP in Turkey or Hanhikivi NPP in Finland. Naturally, we also focus our business activities on gaining new markets in countries such as Egypt, India and Bangladesh, where new nuclear power plants are currently under construction.

Upon entering the European Union, Slovakia undertook to decommission two shutdown units of V1-NPP in Jaslovské Bohunice. One of the main decommissioning projects of V1-NPP is the D4.2 Project – Dismantling of Reactor Coolant System Large Components of no longer needed primary circuit equipment. Can you tell us something more about this project? 1 000 tonnes of metallic material can be reused in the industry. Where exactly?

The D4.2 Project, Dismantling of reactor coolant system large components of V1-NPP, implemented by the consortium of Westinghouse and VUJE, a. s., is unique due to the fact that it is the first ever that comprehensively solves the decommissioning of all key components of the nuclear power plant of VVER-440 type, i.e. two reactors with reactor internal parts, twelve steam generators, twelve reactor coolant pumps, twenty-four main isolating valves, twelve loops of the main circulation pipeline, two pressurizers together with bubbler tanks in such a way that all parts of the primary circuit are fragmented in-situ, i.e. in the newly built unique workplaces directly in the premises of V1-NPP. All fragments are subsequently processed in accordance with their physical properties and radiological parameters.

Part of the D4.2 Project is also the operation of fragmentation and decontamination lines under the leadership of our company, on which metal materials and fragments from dismantling are processed so that they can be released into the environment. At present, more than 1,400 tonnes of metals have been released during the project, which is a secondary raw material for further processing or recycling outside the nuclear facility, which means that they will not have to be treated and stored as radioactive waste and thus do not additionally burden the environment for future generations.

What other major projects are you currently working on and what are your top priorities for this year?

One of the most significant projects at present is the construction of a dry intermediate spent fuel storage in order to expand the current storage capacities of the existing interim spent fuel storage facility in Jaslovské Bohunice. In this area as well as in this location, we expect a successful completion of a long-term project of Metallic RAW Melting Facility.

In the area of diagnostic equipment, we are preparing a unique manipulator for inspection and blinding of heat exchanger tubes, which will not be intended for operation, but exclusively for training and preparation of personnel at the Training and Implementation Centre (TARC) of ČEZ, a. s. The aim of this new approach to staff training is to ensure the full readiness and skills of the personnel operating the remote manipulators we have developed.

Another new product that we are working on intensively is aerial diagnostics in the field of energy, gas industry, as well as in the field of ensuring general protection and safety. Our company has state-of-the-art technology for the implementation of complex measurements of a wide range of parameters, which ranks us to the technological top in the given area on a European scale.