Nuclear Power in Slovenia
(Updated May 2016)
- 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 2013 was 16.1 TWh gross. Net exports range 0.9 to 2.1 billion kWh over 2010-13; most trade is two-way with Croatia, and most export is to Italy. Nuclear power from the single reactor supplied 5.3 TWh of the country's electricity in 2013 (6.1 TWh in 2014), coal provided 4.9 TWh and hydro 4.9 TWh. Electricity consumption per capita is about 6100 kWh/yr.
Neighbouring Croatia has 4.5 million people and 4000 MWe installed. It produced 13.4 TWh gross in 2013. Some 20% of its electricity comes from the jointly-owned Krsko nuclear plant in Slovenia (shown as imported in IEA figures). It was considering building a new nuclear plant of its own in eastern Slavonia near the Serbian border with capacity of up to 1600 MWe.
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.
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 was confirmed in mid-2015, subject to inspections in 2023 and 2033.
It is owned and operated by GEN Energija, which incorporates the Slovenian stake in Nuklearna Elektrarna Krško (NEK), a joint Slovene-Croat company operating Krsko.
Operating and proposed power reactors
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 was expected to decide on this in 2011, and it remains an objective as JEK2 project. The cost is estimated at up to €5 billion, and it would be fully owned by Slovenia.
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. In mid 2015 the intergovernmental commission responsible for the plant agreed to construct a dry storage facility for used fuel. The commission has requested a plan for the disposal of used fuel and decommissioning the plant, and in 2015 said that until this program is developed and approved by both the Slovenian and Croatian governments, payments made by the two countries into a decommissioning fund will remain at the current level. Each country is responsible for half the wastes.
A permanent repository for low- and intermediate-level wastes is planned at Vrbina, in Slovenia near the Krsko plant. Site selection was undertaken over five years, and compensation of €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. In mid-2014, Slovenia allocated €157 for the project, which will be built from 2017 and is due to open in 2020. Croatia may participate, or will build its own repository.
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.
The Slovenian Infrastructure and Spatial Planning Ministry is responsible for environmental approvals.
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.
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.