Electricity

NGOs challenge energy permit for nuclear power plant Krško’s second unit

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October 12, 2021

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Published:

October 12, 2021

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Three environmental organizations in Slovenia have filed a lawsuit challenging the legality of the energy permit issued for a proposed second unit of the Krško nuclear power plant. Along with the energy permit, the three NGOs are also challenging the legality and constitutionality of a part of the country’s climate strategy.

The lawsuit was filed against the Ministry of Infrastructure, which issued the permit for a second reactor at Krško, and the Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning. The permit was issued to state-owned power utility GEN Energija, which is expected to implement the project.

The proposed second nuclear reactor would have a lifespan of 60 years

The proposed second unit at Krško would cost between EUR 5 billion and EUR 6 billion to build. Its annual electricity production would be 8,800 GWh, while the estimated lifespan is 60 years.

According to Slovenian media reports, the Focus Association for Sustainable Development, the Legal Center for the Protection of Human Rights and the Environment (PIC), and the Slovenian branch of Greenpeace CEE claim that the decision was based on inadequate legal grounds.

They also claim that Slovenia’s long-term climate strategy, as a strategic basis for issuing the permit, was “adopted in an illegal and unconstitutional way,” according to reports.

Minister Vrtovec: without nuclear energy Slovenia would depend on exclusively on imports

Minister of Infrastructure Jernej Vrtovec has criticized the NGOs over the lawsuit, saying that nuclear energy has been recognized as important for the country’s energy independence as well as for achieving climate neutrality by 2050. He said the government hopes a final decision on the second unit will be reached as soon as possible, “because without that we will depend exclusively on imports.”

The lifespan of the existing, sole unit of the Krško nuclear power plant, which was built in the 1980s, expires in 2023, but procedures are under way to extend it until 2043.

Austrian NGO collects 50,000 signatures for shutting down existing Krško reactor

Meanwhile in Austria, environmental organization Global 2000 has collected 50,000 signatures in a campaign opposing the plan to extend the lifespan of what they describe as a high-risk nuclear power plant in the neighboring country.

Global 2000, a member of the global Friends of the Earth network, is demanding that the existing unit of the Krško power plant be shut down immediately, instead of being allowed to operate for another 20 years.

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