Partners agree on life extension for Krško

21 July 2015

The operating life of the Krško nuclear power plant in Slovenia will be extended by 20 years following an agreement between Slovenia and neighbouring Croatia, which jointly own the plant. It was also agreed that a dry storage facility for used fuel will be built at the site.

Krsko plant - 400 (NEK)
The single-unit Krško plant (Image: NEK)

The intergovernmental commission "regulating the status and other legal issues related to investments, exploitation and decommissioning" of the Krško plant met at the site yesterday. The meeting - the tenth that the commission has held - was headed by Slovenian infrastructure minister Peter Gašperšič and Croatian economy minister Ivan Vrdoljak.

At the meeting, the commission adopted a report by the plant's management board and it was concluded that since the last meeting of the commission five years ago the Krško plant had "achieved very good operating, safety, economic and investment results".

The commission agreed to support an extension of the operating life of the plant, from 40 to 60 years, which would allow it to continue operating until 2043.

In addition, the intergovernmental commission agreed to construct an on-site dry storage facility to store the used fuel generated until the end of its extended operating life. The facility is to be financed by the shareholders in the plant and will be included in the operating costs.

The commission instructed the appropriate professional bodies to prepare a proposal within three months for the terms of reference for the preparation of an audit program for the disposal of radioactive waste and used nuclear fuel and for the eventual decommissioning of the Krško plant. It stated 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.

The Krško plant, operated by Nuklearna Elektrarna Krško (NEK), is jointly owned by Slovenia and Croatia and electricity output is shared equally between them. Each country is responsible for half of the radioactive waste generated by the plant, a single 696 MWe Westinghouse PWR which began operating in 1983.

In July 2014, the Slovenian government approved an investment program for a national repository for low- and intermediate-level waste. The site of the planned repository was selected as Vrbina, close to Krško, by government decree in December 2009 following a public consultation process lasting several years. A construction permit for the facility is expected in 2017, with construction taking place between 2017 and 2019. Trial operation of the repository is scheduled to start in 2020. The total investment costs depend on whether Croatia participates in the project or builds its own repository.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News