Power Production and the Environment
During its twenty-eight years of service, the V1 NPP was a pillar of the electric network of the former Czechoslovakia and of the Slovak electric network right after the foundation of the Slovak Republic. Ever since the start of commercial operations in December 1978 until their operation termination in December 2008 the V1 units have together produced 159,010,000 MWh of electricity, which is about 5.3 times the yearly consumption of Slovakia in 2008. This value is of course influenced by reduced output when providing supporting services according to requirements issued by the transmission grid dispatch as well as by prolonged down-time during revitalization procedures.
Aside from producing electricity, the V1 units supplied heat to the V1 NPP premises and the SE-EBO suppliers, some other non-related customers in the area and the SE-VYZ facility, where the heat was used for technologic purposes. To produce the aforementioned amount of electricity, the reactors must have produced at least 1,873 million GJ of heat. Just for comparison, to produce the same amount of heat, approximately 75 million tons of bituminous (black) coal or 170 million tons of lignite (brown coal), or 46 million tons of mazut or almost 55 million cubic meters of natural gas would have to be burned. It is also possible to express these figures in terms of railroad cars — if one car can carry 40 tons, the black coal train would be 1,873,000 cars long, the brown coal one would be 4,256,818. Bringing up these figures is not just serving its own purpose, it demonstrates the ecology behind nuclear energy and the enormous contribution to preserving the environment and emission reduction this has. This becomes especially interesting as the greenhouse gas quotas of the EU are ever decreasing, what has a strong impact on thermal power plants.