Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia Tirana /Newsroom /

Life span of the Krško Nuclear Power Plant (NEK) extended until 2043

The Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning was the first institution in Europe to carry out the demanding task of the environmental impact assessment for the Krško Nuclear Power Plant (NEK). The environmental consent for the extension of the life span of the NEK for an additional 20 years (until 2043) was issued on 13 January 2023 and is currently being served to all parties and accessory participants and to the participating countries.

The Minister of Environment and Spatial Planning and future Minister of Natural Resources and Spatial Planning, Uroš Brežan, noted that the procedure was carried out in accordance with the highest standards and good practices. As part of the environmental impact assessment procedure, all environmental topics have been addressed, and improvements to ensure safety, reduce the likelihood of environmental accidents, resilience to climate change and external factors, and the impact on water resulting from the warming of watercourses in the eastern part of Slovenia have been examined. Since the NEK is located in a seismic area, an important emphasis was also placed on the topic of earthquake preparedness. The Minister of Infrastructure and future Minister for Climate, Environment and Energy, Bojan Kumer, noted that while the environmental consent is important, future steps with which the future operation of the nuclear power plant will be comprehensively addressed are also of key significance. "The use of nuclear energy, especially in light of the current energy crisis, is an important topic for the future generations in our country, which is why the current government has undertaken to thoroughly examine it, while taking into account the opinion of the public," Minister Kumer also noted. "As a responsible nuclear country, we must first and foremost take care of future waste – solve the issue of a low- and intermediate-level radioactive waste repository, finish the construction of a dry storage facility for spent nuclear fuel and conduct a ten-year safety inspection. We believe that we will succeed."

The Chairman of the NEK Management Board, Stanislav Rožman, noted that the entire project was very demanding and complex, with as many as 50 experts being involved. All procedures are in the final phase, including the completion of the statutory periodic safety review. The resulting action plan will be finalised in the middle of the year. He noted that there is no need for physical technological upgrades. The transfer of spent nuclear fuel to dry storage is also being completed. The facility is completed, and testing of the procedure is starting, with the project scheduled to be completed in the middle of the year. With this, all conditions will be fulfilled and all decisions of the administrative authorities for extending the operation of the NEK will be implemented.

At the end, Minister Uroš Brežan thanked all participants in the procedure - providers of opinions, non-governmental organisations and participating countries for their professional, organisational and technical cooperation. As minister, he will extend his gratitude to all participating countries through the diplomatic network of the Republic of Slovenia and, of course, at the first opportunity at the meeting of the Council of Ministers. He especially thanked the management board and team of the NEK, which provided a large professional team and convincing and well-argued documents so that the procedure could be carried out efficiently both at home and internationally.

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