Electricity

Serbian president calls for regulatory changes to enable nuclear power projects

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Photo: Government of Serbia

Published

April 4, 2024

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Published:

April 4, 2024

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Electricity consumption in Serbia will quadruple by 2050, and the only way to tackle that problem is to build large and small nuclear power plants, according to Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić. At a government session, he called for starting work on changing the regulations in that area.

Nuclear plants will be an important topic he will discuss in France at the upcoming meeting with President Emmanuel Macron. France is Europe’s largest nuclear power, which gets 70% of its electricity from nuclear plants, Vučić noted. The topics to be discussed at the meeting will also include automobiles and the production of batteries, the government said in a statement.

“I just want you to know that by 2050 we will be consuming four times more electricity than today. No matter what we do, no matter how we do it, we don’t stand a chance if we don’t start addressing that problem quickly. And solving that problem is only possible by building large and small nuclear power plants,” Vučić said at an extraordinary government session on Thursday.

He also called on government members to begin necessary preparations for changing the legislation in the country, which has had a nuclear moratorium in force since 1989.

Vučić: Serbia needs support to build at least four small modular reactors

At the Nuclear Energy Summit 2024 in Brussels in March, Vučić revealed that Serbia was interested in building “at least four small modular reactors (SMRs) that can replace 1,200 megawatts of capacity.”

However, according to him, Serbia does not know how to finance such a project, worth up to eight billion euros. “We will be prepared for significant participation, but we need some kind of support from the leading countries of the European Union,” said Vučić.

The summit brought together leaders and government representatives of Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, and Turkey, reflecting the rapid policy turnaround back toward atomic energy. One of the factors is the surge in projects for the small modular reactor technology, even though it is far from maturity.

In late 2021, Vučić said that Serbia was considering building a nuclear power plant. Previously, he said that the country would like to become a minority owner of a nuclear power plant in the region, such as the one in the Hungarian city of Paks.

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