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NEWS

The management of the Slovenian Nuclear Safety Administration is taken over by Igor Sirc

Mr. Igor Sirc was appointed Director of the Slovenian Nuclear Safety Administration (SNSA) by the Government of the Republic of Slovenia on 18 April 2019. He will begin his five-year term on 1 May 2019

On 30 April 2019, the current SNSA Director, Andrej Stritar will retire and finish his term which was started on September 2002. The beginnings of that period were marked by the processes in the implementation of the new Ionizing Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Act (ZVISJV), which entered into force in autumn 2002. At exactly the same time and until 2004, when Slovenia became an EU member state, intensive arrangements for the harmonization of Slovenia's nuclear legislation to the European legal order were under way.  An international bilateral agreement was signed between the Republic of Slovenia and the Republic of Croatia regulating the ownership of the Krško Nuclear Power Plant. Until 2010, the SNSA was following the process of site selection for a repository of low and intermediate-active waste. The SNSA closely monitored the operation and modernization of the Krško Nuclear Power Plant. Well before 2010, the flood protection system of the NPP was significantly improved. Already in 2011, at the time of the Fukushima-Daiichi accident the third diesel generator was installed at the Krško NPP to increase the level of safety in case of a nuclear emergency. However, the accident in Japan triggered several rapid improvements in emergency preparedness in the Krško NPP. Later, the NPP carried out extensive and demanding improvements to significantly reduce any negative impact on the environment in case of a nuclear accident.


In 2007, the European counterparts of the newly established group of high nuclear representatives of EU Member States elected Dr. Andrej Stritar Chair of the group. Later the group was renamed as ENSREG and it was under Mr. Stritar's leadership for four and a half years, when the new European Directives on Nuclear Safety and on the Management of Radioactive Waste were adopted.  Immediately after the Fukushima-Daiichi accident, he was leading the preparations of stress tests of all European nuclear power plants.


Step by step, the SNSA has become a highly respected regulatory body and nuclear regulator in Slovenia and abroad. At the beginning of this millennium, the SNSA was primarily a recipient of assistance and advice provided by colleagues of Western countries. Nowadays, the number of SNSA colleagues, who have become recognized international experts, has quite increased. They are invited to share their experience and expertise with other colleagues from countries around the world. The SNSA also introduced a management system that complies with the ISO 9001 standard and similar standards in the nuclear field.


The SNSA also saw some troublesome situations. The release of the coolant from the primary circuit at the Krško NPP in June 2008 triggered a turbulent media reaction. Journalists from all over Europe reported on a nuclear accident in Slovenia, which did not occur at all. The nuclear power plant was safely shut down, no radioactive release into the environment was detected. The next major challenge was the Fukushima-Daiichi accident in Japan, when the SNSA's primary role was to provide proper and correct information to the public. Similarly, the SNSA did a very good job during the campaigns of spent nuclear fuel transported from other countries to the USA or Russia through the Port of Koper.


During that period, the SNSA also completely took over administrative control of the use of ionizing radiation sources in industry and science, it established and managed appropriate registries and kept ensuring the modernization of legislation to be in line with the latest European and global standards.


Mr. Igor Sirc has been employed at the SNSA for almost 20 years. He has vast experience in the work of the regulatory body and is familiar with all its main challenges. As a lawyer, he acted as the main vehicle in the process of the preparation of numerous acts, resolutions, regulations and decrees, which were developed in the past years. In recent years he has been the Head of the Emergency Preparedness Division. In this post he had to demonstrate his managerial skills and capability in communicating with a number of stakeholders outside the house. In the future period, the SNSA is expected to continue its work and mission in a similar way as up to now. The new leadership will certainly bring new ideas that will lead the SNSA to further improvements.