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Nuclear Power in Slovenia

(Updated October 2013)

  • Slovenia has shared a nuclear power reactor with Croatia since 1981.
  • It has further capacity under consideration.

 

Slovenia has a population of 2 million. Lignite is its main source of energy. Electricity production in 2012 was 15.7 billion kWh gross. Net exports range 0.9 to 2.1 billion kWh over 2010-12; most trade is two-way with Croatia, and most export is to Italy. Nuclear power from the single reactor supplied 5.5 TWh of the country's electricity in 2012, coal provided 5.1 TWh and hydro 4.1 TWh. Electricity consumption per capita is about 6100 kWh/yr.

Neighbouring Croatia has 4.5 million people and 4000 MWe installed.  Some 15% of its electricity comes from the jointly-owned Krsko nuclear plant in Slovenia.  It is considering building a new nuclear plant of its own in Eastern Slavonia near the Serbian border with capacity of up to 1600 MWe.

NPP Krsko supplied a record 6.2 billion kWh in 2010, attributed to Slovenia in published statistics but in practice split equally between Slovenia and Croatia, which accounts for some of the trade mentioned above.

Nuclear power

Slovenia has a 696 MWe Westinghouse nuclear reactor in operation, the NPP Krsko, which is jointly owned by Croatia. This pressurized water reactor was the first western nuclear power plant in eastern Europe. Construction started in 1975 and it was connected to the grid in 1981, entering commercial operation in 1983. In 2001 its steam generators were replaced and the plant was uprated 6% then and 3% subsequently.  Its operational life was designed to be 40 years, but a 20-year extension is being sought.

It is owned and operated by GEN Energija, which incorporates the Slovenian stake in NEK, a joint Slovene-Croat company operating Krsko. 

A further Krsko unit is under consideration, of 1100 to 1600 MWe. An application towards a second reactor at the Krsko nuclear power plant was submitted to the country's ministry of economy by GEN Energija in January 2010. Parliament is expected to decide on this in 2011. The cost is estimated at up to EUR 5 billion, and it would be fully owned by Slovenia.

Radioactive wastes

Operational Low and Intermediate-level wastes are stored at Krsko, as is used fuel. The 1996 strategy for long-term management of used fuel recommends direct disposal of it, but leaves open the possibility of a later decision to reprocess it.

A permanent repository for low- and intermediate-level wastes is due to open in 2013 at Vrbina, near the Krsko plant. Site selection has been undertaken over five years, and compensation of EUR 5 million per year will be paid to the local community. The repository will consist of two silos holding 9400 m3 of material, enough for Slovenia's share of Krsko arisings plus other Slovenian radwastes.

Regulation

Krsko is supervised and licensed by the Slovenian Nuclear Safety Administration (SNSA), as well as by international expert missions organized by IAEA, EU, WANO, etc.

Research & Development

Slovenia has a 250 kW Triga research reactor operating since 1966 at the Josef Stefan Institute, which is a major research establishment. It also operates a nuclear training centre.

Non-proliferation

Slovenia has been a party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty since 1992, and in 2000 the Additional Protocol on its safeguards agreement with IAEA entered into force. It has been party to the Paris Convention on civil liability for nuclear damage since 2001 and the supplementary Brussels Convention since 2003.


Main References:

IAEA 2003 Country profiles.