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US, Russia eye potential nuclear power project in Slovenia - PM Sarec

Author Iskra Pavlova
US, Russia eye potential nuclear power project in Slovenia - PM Sarec Slovenia's Nuklearna Elektrarna Krsko (NEK), Photo: NEK

LJUBLJANA (Slovenia), September 17 (SeeNews) - Investors from the US, Russia and other countries are interested in the potential construction of a second unit at Slovenia's Krsko nuclear power plant, prime minister Marjan Sarec has said.

Sarec made the announcement in an interview for public broadcaster RTV Slovenija on Monday when asked to elaborate on his statement made in August that Slovenia should put all efforts to start building a second unit at Krsko in order to avoid any electricity shortages in the future.

"It is normal that everyone is interested," Sarec said on Monday.

According to Sarec, it might take up to ten years before Slovenia takes a final decision on the project and opens an international tender for the construction of a second unit but it is necessary to launch discussions on the matter now.

Sarec, who paid an official visit to Moscow earlier this month, discussed with his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev the opportunities to invest in Slovenian infrastructure and energy projects, including a second unit at Krsko and modernisation of the Adriatic country's railways, STA news agency reported.

The Krsko plant generates some 40% of Slovenia's electricity output. It operates a Westinghouse pressurised light water reactor of 2000 MW thermal power capacity, which generates over five billion kWh of electricity per year.

The plant is jointly managed by its two owners - GEN Energija and Croatian power utility Hrvatska Elektroprivreda (HEP). The two neighbouring countries share the power plant's output.

Krsko was built in Slovenia near the border with Croatia in the 1970s and launched operations in 1982, when the two countries were still part of the former Yugoslavia.

The plant was originally designed to operate until 2023. In 2016, however, GEN Energija and HEP decided to extend its lifespan by 20 years until 2043, under the condition that the plant will undergo a security check every 10 years.