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The Annual Report 2015 on Radiation and Nuclear Safety in the Republic of Slovenia

The SNSA prepared »The Annual Report 2015 on Radiation and Nuclear Safety in the Republic of Slovenia«, which was adopted by the Slovenian Government on 30 June 2016. The report will also be discussed by the National Assembly.

In 2015 there were no significant events in the field of nuclear safety and radiation protection. The Krško Nuclear Power Plant operated without major problems. The annual electricity production was slightly lower than in the record year before due to the regular spring outage. Fuel damage occurred before the scheduled outage, therefore a significant design modification of the core bypass flow of reactor core was implemented, which is likely to eliminate similar problems in the future.

The intergovernmental Slovenian-Croatian commission for monitoring the performance of the contract on the ownership of the Krško NPP met after several years in summer 2015. It confirmed the owners' intention, the Slovenian company GEN Energija and the Croatian Hrvatska Elektroprivreda, to extend the operational lifetime of the NPP from 2023 until 2043. They also confirmed the project for the construction of the dry storage of spent fuel at the NPP site and the preparation of the new Programme for Decommissioning and Disposal of Radioactive Waste.

The Krško NPP has submitted an application for the extension of the period for the implementation of planned safety updates in order to prolong the operational life of the NPP and on the basis of the lessons-learned from the Fukushima accident in 2011. Due to the complexity and cost, it will not be possible to fully carry out the projects by 2018, therefore the anticipated deadline for the implementation will be extended for two fuel cycles until the year 2021. Part of the projects have already been implemented.

ARAO, the Agency for Radwaste Management, has continued its activities for building a low and intermediate level radioactive waste disposal site in Vrbina, Krško, which is expected to start its trial operation in 2020. In the future, it would be reasonable to slightly amend the legislation in this area, because now the ARAO has problems due to delays in approvals of their plans and delays in the signing of appropriate contracts.

The long-term management of the Jazbec mine waste disposal site at the former Žirovski Vrh uranium mine was assumed by ARAO. Two studies on the Boršt hydrometallurgical tailings were ordered by the Ministry for the Environment and Spatial Planning. These two studies should form the basis for completing the remediation of the disposal site and handing over its long-term management to the ARAO.

In 2015, there were no major problems at the organisations and institutions that carry out radiation practices. At the same time, there were only few interventions with regard to finding sources of ionising radiation in the field.

On 23 September 2015 the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia adopted amendments to the Act on Ionising Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety, which has been in preparation for two years, but could not be adopted due to the change in government in 2014. The amendment of the Act simplifies certain administrative procedures and introduces a number of additions due to the latest findings.

In 2015 the SNSA prepared the Resolution on the National Program for the Management of Radioactive Waste and Spent Fuel Management for the period 2016-2025. The public debate and interdepartmental coordination were carried out by the end of 2015, so its adoption is scheduled for 2016.