While a decision on a new nuclear reactor in Slovenia is still pending, it could be built and running by 2035 if things proceed without hiccups, according to a senior official of Gen Energija, the company which manages Slovenia’s only nuclear power station in Krško.
Given that Slovenia plans to phase out coal by 2033, it will depend on imports for roughly 60% of its electricity needs unless new generation capacity is in place, chief operating officer Danijel Levičar said on 24 January.
This shortfall can be partly offset by increased investment in wind and solar, but by no means to the extent that this alone would guarantee a reliable supply.
Krško 2 would bring Slovenia closer to the necessary levels of energy independence and combined with the extension of the life span of Krško 1 by twenty years until 2043, a process which is nearing completion, Slovenia’s electricity production could be decarbonised by 2035, according to Levičar.
While there is no final decision yet on whether to build Krško 2 – the government has said there will be a referendum – Gen Energija is striving to manage the process so that things will be ready to go ahead once the decision is known.
“Krško 2 is an intergenerational project. If the visionary decision for Krško 1, this non-carbon resource which gives us energy independence and climate neutrality today, was made in the past to enable future generations to enjoy its fruits, I believe that our decision for Krško 2 will similarly ensure that our generation and the generations to come will also have energy independence.”
The aim is for Krško 2 to be operational in 2035, “but on the condition that operations and construction from today onwards are uninterrupted”, Levičar said.
Gen’s management feels procedures have been too slow. The request for a national spatial plan was filed in December 2021 and a response came in September 2022 so that the forecast completion of the project has already had to be postponed from 2033 to 2035.
While the motion for a spatial plan is presently being supplemented, the next milestone will be a contract with the supplier of the reactor, which is planned to happen by the end of 2027.
The construction of the large components should take about three years, which would be followed by a final construction permit. The actual construction could take around five years.