March 20 (SeeNews) - Slovenia's sole nuclear power plant Krsko plans to complete the first transfer of spent nuclear fuel to its new dry storage facility by this autumn, the plant operator, Nuklearna elektrarna Krsko (NEK), said.
With the launch of the dry storage facility, NEK will fulfil all the conditions to extend the operation of the nuclear power plant, the company said in a statement on Friday.
"In the first campaign, we will move 16 containers with 592 spent fuel cells to dry storage by the autumn of 2023. The transfer will be supervised by Slovenia's nuclear safety administration, and it will also be monitored by authorised organisations," NEK said.
NEK plans to invest 100 million euro ($107 million) in the project, which includes transferring the spent nuclear fuel already stored in a wet storage facility in a total of four campaigns, with the second one scheduled for 2028, public broadcaster RTV quoted NEK board member Sasa Medakovic as saying.
In January, Slovenia's environment ministry said it issued a permit for extending the lifespan of Krsko nuclear power plant to 2043. As many as 50 experts participated in the environmental assessment and the resulting action plan will be finalised by the middle of 2023, the president of the management board of NEK, Stanislav Rozman, said back then. He added that the plant will need no physical technological upgrades and NEK expects to complete the installation of a facility for dry storage of spent nuclear fuel by the middle of this year.
Krsko NPP, located in Slovenia near the border with Croatia, generates some 40% of Slovenia's electricity output. The NPP is located around 100 kilometers from Austria and operates a Westinghouse pressurised light water reactor of 2,000 MW thermal power capacity. NEK is co-owned by Slovenia's Gen-Energija and Croatian power utility Hrvatska Elektroprivreda.
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