Slovenia and Croatia have agreed to extend the lifespan of their jointly-owned Krsko NPP until 2043, despite protests from local environmental groups. The single unit 696MWe Westinghouse pressurised water reactor, operated by Nuklearna Elektrarna Krško (NEK), is situated in Slovenia within 50km of Croatia's capital Zagreb. It was initially scheduled to close in 2023.
Greenpeace, in its 2012 Nuclear Stress Test report, called for the plant to be phased out due to its age and seismic risks.
"We decided to extend Krsko nuclear plant's lifespan because it has good operational security, economic and investment results," Slovenia's Infrastructure Minister Peter Gaspersic said after talks with his Croatian counterpart Ivan Vrdoljak during the 10th meeting of the inter-governmental commission supervising the NPP. The plant was built in 1983 by Slovenia and Croatia while they were part of former Yugoslavia.
Electricity output is shared equally between them and each country is responsible for half of the radioactive waste generated by the plant. The meeting also agreed that a dry storage facility for used fuel will be built at the site. The facility will be financed by the NPP's shareholders and will be included in the operating costs.
The commission instructed the appropriate professional bodies to prepare a proposal within three months for the terms of reference for the preparation of an audit program for the disposal of radioactive waste and used nuclear fuel and for the eventual decommissioning. Until this programme is approved by both governments, payments made by the two countries into a decommissioning fund will remain at the current level.