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Slovenia urgently needs a 2nd Nuclear Power Plant

(Photo: Wikipedia)

By: Vida Kocjan

The SDS parliamentary group has proposed a consultative referendum on the construction of the second block of the Krško Nuclear Power Plant and small modular nuclear reactors. They suggest a prompt referendum and then the swift construction of the mentioned facilities. They are supported by the National Council of the Republic of Slovenia and the business sector. Prime Minister Robert Golob publicly supports the proposal, but it seems that his actual stance might differ from his statements.

Slovenia currently generates about a fifth of its electricity from nuclear energy. Most of this is produced at the Krško Nuclear Power Plant, accounting for around 40% of the country’s electricity. Half of the ownership of the power plant belongs to the Republic of Croatia.

In a little over a decade, we will be facing challenging times

In a little over a decade, Slovenia will be facing the challenge of reduced energy self-sufficiency. For the past 40 years, the majority of electricity has been generated from nuclear power plants, thermal power plants, and hydroelectric power plants. However, there are several milestones in the coming years. In 2033, the Šoštanj Thermal Power Plant (TEŠ 6) is expected to close. In 2043, the first block of the Nuclear Power Plant Krško will be 60 years old, and it may need to be shut down unless permission for extended operation is granted. By 2050, the goal is to completely decarbonise the energy sector. Experts warn that the transition to a carbon-neutral society will be more challenging and expensive without nuclear energy. Therefore, a stable, reliable, and green source of energy is needed to maintain economic growth and competitiveness. Nuclear energy undoubtedly represents such a source, and the construction of the second block of Nuclear Power Plant is essential, providing a stable and secure method of generating electrical energy.

How is it in other countries

Many other European countries are also looking into establishing new nuclear reactors, including the United Kingdom, France, Poland, Sweden, and others. Several countries are increasing their budget for nuclear energy. The United Kingdom, for instance, announced in 2022 an increase in energy independence and the construction of eight new nuclear reactors. Poland is expanding its nuclear capacity, and France has confirmed an ambitious government plan for investments in nuclear energy, with a key focus on building six new reactors. In June 2023, Sweden adopted a new energy goal that includes nuclear energy. New nuclear power plants are also being constructed in Finland, Slovakia, and Hungary in Europe. All these developments indicate that countries are turning to nuclear technology, as it has been proven to provide energy independence, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and stimulate the economy through the construction of nuclear facilities. Therefore, nuclear energy plays a crucial role in the energy sector and has been classified as a green energy source by the European Commission. Both the European Parliament and the European Commission acknowledge that without nuclear energy, there is no energy security for Europe.

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