Electricity

Second unit of Krško nuclear power plant projected to come online in 2035

Photo: GEN Energija

Published

January 27, 2023

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Published:

January 27, 2023

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The second reactor in the Krško nuclear power plant in Slovenia could be in operation in 2035, according to its operator GEN energija. However, permits for the project are still pending. The company points out it is doing everything to speed up preparations.

The second nuclear reactor at the Krško power plant in Slovenia could be built and put into operation in 2035 if all procedures and the construction run on schedule, said Danijel Levičar, chief operating officer at state-owned energy company GEN energija.

Although there is still no final decision on whether Krško 2 unit will be built, Gen energija stressed that it is determined to manage the process so that things are ready to go ahead once the decision is known.

Given that Slovenia plans to abolish coal by 2033, about 60% of electricity demand will depend on imports unless new production capacities are established, Levičar told ePosavje TV.

GEN energija also pointed out that it would do everything in its power this year to speed up the preparations for the Krško 2 project implementation.

Slovenian Prime Minister Robert Golob recently announced that a referendum on the construction of the second nuclear power plant unit, to be held once the technology is selected. It should be organized in 2027 at the latest.

Last week the government issued environmental approval for the extension of the service life of the first reactor at the Krško NPP until 2043.

Estimated completion date was postponed

Since 2021, when GEN energija submitted a request to amend the national spatial plan, the activities were slow and the estimated date for completion was pushed back from 2033 to 2035.

Levičar: The next milestone will be a contract with the supplier of the reactor, which is planned for 2027

The next milestone will be a contract with the supplier of the reactor and it should be signed by 2027, said Levičar. He explained that according to experiences from other places, the preparation for the future plant’s large components takes about three years. The construction could take another five years, and the probationary period could begin in 2035, in his view.

GEN is also examining the possibility to deploy small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs), but the technology is still in development and not commercially available.

Krško 2 is still awaiting necessary permits

The Ministry of Infrastructure issued an energy permit for Krško 2 in July 2021, but environmental organizations filed a lawsuit against it.

According to previous announcements, the construction of the second unit would cost between EUR 5 billion and EUR 6 billion. It is envisaged with 1.1 GW in capacity and 8.8 TWh in annual electricity production. The reactor’s projected lifespan is 60 years.

The Krško NPP is located near the border with Croatia, which supports the construction of the second unit. The company Krško Nuclear Power Plant (NEK) is co-owned by Gen energija and Croatia’s government-controlled utility Hrvatska elektroprivreda (HEP).

In December, nuclear power accounted for 43.4% of Slovenia’s electricity production.

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