The Slovenian infrastructure ministry has issued an energy permit for a second unit of the country’s sole nuclear power plant, Krško, with a planned capacity of 1.1 GW. Minister Jernej Vrtovec said this is not a final decision on the project, but rather a step that will allow the launch of administrative procedures and the preparation of documentation required for a decision on whether to build the new unit.
The proposed second unit at Krško would cost between EUR 5 billion and EUR 6 billion to build, and the project would be carried out by state-owned power utility GEN Energija. Its annual electricity production would be 8,800 GWh, while the estimated lifespan is 60 years.
The project would cost EUR 5-6 billion
Martin Novšak, general manager of GEN Energija, said that the company wants to finance the project from own sources, but that it would accept assistance from the EU if offered. He also said that the permitting procedure will take at least five years.
Vrtovec explained at a press conference that the proposed facility would be a safe, reliable, CO2-neutral, third-generation nuclear power plant with the highest standards.
Nuclear energy is expected to help Slovenia achieve climate neutrality by 2050
He also recalled that Slovenia’s goal is to achieve climate neutrality by 2050 and that the country’s National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP) and Climate Strategy both recognize nuclear energy as an important part of the solution.
The issuing of the energy permit for the project, called JEK2, represents an important milestone, as it enables the start of a broad public debate on the further inclusion of nuclear energy in the country’s transition, according to Vrtovec.
The lifespan of the existing nuclear reactor expires in 2023, but Slovenia seeks to extend it until 2043
According to media reports, the lifespan of the existing 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.