Permanent store for Slovenian waste

15 January 2010

Radioactive waste will be stored forever at Vrbina, Slovenia after a decree that took effect today. The store for low and intermediate level waste should operate in 2013.


The passing of a government decree marks the end of a site selection process that began in 2004. A range of sites were considered with the voluntary participation of local people and narrowed down to two, Vrbina and Brezice, in 2008.


Both potential sites were near the country's only nuclear power plant, Krsko, and only about 1.5 kilometres apart. However, a report from the Department of Water excluded Brezice and the selection of Vrbina was confirmed when the authorities of Krsko municipality consented to plans in July last year. Compensation to the community will be €5.1 million ($7.3 million) per year, which is to be distributed under certain agreed criteria.


Construction of the facility should begin in mid 2012, based on two silos. Together they will have the capacity for 9400 cubic metres of low-level and intermediate-level radioactive waste (LLW and ILW) - enough for half that produced by Krsko during its entire lifetime and decommissioning.


How the facility should look on completion in 2013

Vrbina is only for Slovenia's portion of the waste, although it could be doubled in case of an agreement between with Croatia or further use of nuclear power. It will also hold all of Slovenia's industrial and medical radioactive waste as well as the LLW and ILW from the 250 kW research reactor at the Josef Stefan Institute in Ljubljana.


The Krsko nucelar power plant is jointly owned by Slovenia with Croatia and it supplies each of them with about 2.9 billion kWh per year, or 40% and 15% of electricity respectively. Nuclear energy is viewed favourably in Slovenia and there have long been discussions on expanding Krsko with another reactor. Public opinion is generally favourable, thanks in large part to good use of a power plant visitor's centre.


Researched and written

by World Nuclear News