Minister Kumer after the NEK Intergovernmental Commission session: NEK operated responsibly, safely and reliably
The Slovenian delegation was led by Bojan Kumer, Minister of the Environment, Climate and Energy, and the Croatian delegation by Davor Filipović, Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development.
The Intergovernmental Commission first took note of NEK's performance. Bojan Kumer, Minister of the Environment, Climate and Energy, who chaired the Commission and hosted this year's event, praised the report prepared by NEK's management: “We believe that NEK has operated responsibly, safely and reliably and has achieved excellent operational, safety and economic results. In doing so, NEK has made a significant contribution to mitigating the energy crisis, to the well-being of the citizens of Slovenia and Croatia, and to mitigating climate change. NEK has carried out all the necessary activities for long-term operation, including obtaining a new environmental permit for operation until 2043.”
Minister Kumer and the delegations also visited the dry storage facility for spent fuel inside NEK: “We can be very proud of this project because it is the only new nuclear facility built in independent Slovenia, and in a very short time. The dry storage facility for spent nuclear fuel will be essential to extend the lifetime of NEK and enhance nuclear safety. It also bolsters the experience of the nuclear profession.”
The Intergovernmental Commission took note of the report of the Coordination Committee on the takeover of low- and intermediate-level radioactive waste by the Agency for Radioactive Waste Management (ARAO) and the NEK Fund. It notes that preparatory activities for the takeover of the operational repository for low- and intermediate-level radioactive waste (LILW) from NEK have started, but the handover will not be carried out for either party to the extent and within the timeframe (by the end of 2025) as defined by the Intergovernmental Treaty. This is due to the delay in the construction of the repository in Vrbina near Krško and the long-term storage facility in Čerkezovac, Croatia, which will not be realised by 2025. The Intergovernmental Commission therefore instructs the NEK Fund and ARAO to start as soon as possible the construction of the long-term storage facility in Čerkezovac and the LILW repository in Vrbina, and to start the takeover of LILW from NEK by the beginning of 2028 at the latest.
The Intergovernmental Commission also instructs NEK to continue with the implementation of all activities and, if necessary, to initiate new activities that are necessary and feasible to ensure sufficient LILW storage capacity, with the aim of bridging the start of LILW acceptance from 2023 to early 2028.
The Intergovernmental Commission also familiarised itself with the reports on the status of the accumulated funds in the Slovenian and Croatian NEK decommissioning fund as at 31 December 2022.
The next session of the Intergovernmental Commission will be convened by the Croatian side in the first half of 2024.