Nuclear Power in Slovenia

(Updated September 2017)

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

Slovenia in 2015 produced 15.1 TWh of electricity, 5.7 TWh (37%) of which was from nuclear, 4.8 TWh (32%) from fossil fuels (mostly lignite), and 4 TWh (27%) from hydro. Final consumption in 2015 came to 12.8 TWh, about 6200 kWh per capita. Both imports and exports were significant at about 9 TWh each; imports were mainly from Austria (4.7 TWh) and Croatia (4.2 TWh); 6.3 TWh was exported to Italy and 2.7 TWh to Croatia. At the end of 2015, net installed electricity generating capacity was 3.4 GWea.

Neighbouring Croatia produced 11.4 TWh in 2015 and consumed 15.3 TWha. Nearly 20% of its electricity consumption comes from the jointly-owned Krsko nuclear plant in Slovenia. It has in the past considered building a new nuclear plant of its own in eastern Slavonia near the Serbian border with a capacity of up to 1600 MWe.

Nuclear facilities

Slovenia has a 696 MWe Westinghouse nuclear reactor in operation, Krsko 1, 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 the unit 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 lifetime 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.

Nuclear reactors operating or planned in Slovenia

Reactor Type MWe net First power Expected close
Krsko 1 Westinghouse PWR 696 1981 2043
Total (1)   696    
Krsko 2 ? 1100-1600
MWe
?  

A further Krsko unit of 1100 to 1600 MWe is under consideration. 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 the project – referred to as JEK 2 – remains an objective. The cost is estimated at up to €5 billion, and it would be fully owned by Slovenia.

Waste management

Operational low- and intermediate-level waste is stored at Krsko, as is used fuel.

In February 2017 Holtec was confirmed as contractor for establishing a dry cask storage facility for used fuel at Krsko.

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 of the waste.

A permanent repository for low- and intermediate-level waste 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 radioactive waste. In mid-2014, Slovenia allocated €157 million 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.

Research and 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.

Regulatory framework

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

The Slovenian Ministry of Infrastructure is responsible for environmental approvals.

The Agency for Radwaste Management (ARAO) is responsible for managing all radioactive wastes.

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 the 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.


Notes & references

a. Electricity data from International Energy Agency's Electricity Information 2017. [Back]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


You may also be interested in