New national planning strategy allows construction of modular nuclear reactors
Slovenia's parliament has adopted a new national spatial planning strategy that paves the way not just for the planned expansion of the country's only nuclear power station but also for the construction of small modular reactors.
The strategy, which sets the national planning framework until 2050, creates the legal basis for siting procedures for Krško 2, the planned new unit at the Krško nuclear power station, Natural Resources Minister Uroš Brežan said on 29 June.
"The transition from the old to the new strategic document means we can start siting Krško 2," he said.
The strategy does not speak of a precise location for Krško 2, which will be the subject of subsequent administrative procedures.
Previous statements by officials indicate it is likely Krško 2 will be build adjacent to the existing installation.
The document however also opens the doors to the possibility of building multiple small modular reactors around the country, according to Brežan.
Small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs), with a capacity of up to 300 MW, are a technology that is still in its infancy but is expected to mature within the next decade.
Several senior Slovenian officials have indirectly spoken about the possibility of SMRs in recent months as a means of getting more nuclear power faster since Krško 2 is expected to take at least a decade to build.
Westinghouse, which built Krško in the 1970s, is one of several companies developing SMRs and US officials have been lobbying in favour of SMRs in Slovenia for years.