The Slovak Nuclear Regulatory Office (UJD) has approved operation unit 2 of the Jaslovske Bohunice V1 reactor for the next 10 years. "However, the UJD decision does not affect the cabinet's resolution to decommission the block in 2008," a UJD spokesman said. Unit 1 is due to be decommissioned in 2006, but was also recently relicensed for ten years (see NEI October 2001, p3).
Over the past 10 years, V1 has undergone a gradual reconstruction costing approximately 8.4 billion Slovak korunas ($175 million), which substantially increased the safety of the plant. During the reconstruction, UJD was granting approvals only for one fuel season (less than one year).
Meanwhile, the Slovak government has given final approval to an agreement with the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to set up a fund financing the shutdown of the two V1 reactors. Under the agreement, the EBRD and Slovakia will co-manage a fund providing finances needed to rebuild the plant's infrastructure for a different use in the energy sector, and to cover social programmes and retraining for V1 employees.
The EBRD will contribute 6.56 billion korunas ($140 million) towards the cost. The Economy Ministry has estimated the direct cost of decommissioning at 15 billion korunas ($310 million). The rest of the money is expected to be paid by the State Fund for the Liquidation of Nuclear Facilities, which is partly funded by the plant's owners Slovak Electric.