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Thursday, September 29, 2022

Krško N-plant operating normally after Zagreb earthquake, Austria urges closure

The Krško Nuclear Power Station (NEK) said on Sunday that a preventive examination of systems and equipment had not detected any damage or impact on operations caused by a severe earthquake in Zagreb that was felt in Slovenia as well. However, Austrian politicians reiterated their calls for the closure of Slovenia’s sole nuclear power plant.

The power station, situated roughly 50 kilometres north-west of Zagreb and hence close to the earthquake’s epicentre, is operating normally, said the Nuclear Security Administration, adding that no safety alarm had gone off either.

NEK spokeswoman Ida Novak Jerele told the STA that the nuclear plant had various and specific protocols prepared in case of potential natural or other disasters. Nuclear experts performed their tasks and analyses in line with them today as well, she added.

Meanwhile, the Austrian press agency APA reported that cross-partisan calls for the NEK shutdown followed the 5.3 magnitude quake. A number of Austrian politicians said that the plant posed a great risk to the region’s security and that its lifespan was coming to an end.

“It all turned out well this time, but what about next time,” the governor of the Austrian state of Carinthia, Peter Kaiser, told the media. He said that a transition to alternative energy resources did not have an alternative in the medium-term and long-term.

The Austrian politicians highlighted that NEK had a limited lifespan and would have to be closed by 2023, saying that today’s earthquake should be a wake-up call reminding Slovenia to shut down its sole nuclear power plant.

They all agreed that plans to build a new reactor at the power station would have to be dropped. The last time Austria protested over this issue was last year in August when the then Prime Minister Marjan Šarec said that all the efforts had to go into the construction of another reactor.
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