Revamping Slovenia’s Energy Future: The JEK2 Nuclear Power Plant Project
The Emergence of the JEK2 Working Group
In the face of global climate change and the urgent need for sustainable energy solutions, Slovenia has taken a bold step towards securing its future energy needs. The government formed a working group in September to spearhead the preparatory activities for a new nuclear power plant in Krško, known as JEK2. The group’s primary objective is to lay the groundwork for this project, including legislative provisions, to ensure that citizens can make informed decisions about the construction of the new nuclear power plant.
Despite the technical, professional, and political challenges associated with such a project, the government believes that a coordinated approach involving various stakeholders could help overcome the hurdles. The project, estimated to cost well over 10 billion euros, is regarded as a significant investment towards Slovenia’s energy future.
The Role of Danijel Levičar
In a bid to streamline the project, the government appointed a special state secretary in July. Danijel Levičar, the former business director of Gen Energija, the company investing in the new nuclear power plant, was chosen for this role. His experience and expertise are expected to be instrumental in coordinating the project’s various facets.
Inaugural Session of the Working Group
The inaugural session of the working group, which consists of representatives from various ministries, the Nuclear Safety Administration, Gen Energija, the Krško Nuclear Power Plant, and Eles, was attended by Prime Minister Robert Golob. In his address, the Prime Minister emphasized the urgency of climate change and the need for decisive action. He reiterated the purpose of the working group, stating that its mission is to prepare everything necessary for citizens to make an informed decision about the new nuclear power plant’s construction.
Project Timeline and Legal Basis
The working group aims to create a legal basis that would allow for faster and cost-effective construction. Initial projections by Gen Energija suggest that under the existing laws and regulations, the new plant could only be operational by 2049. However, with the appropriate legislative adjustments and accelerated procedures, Gen Energija intends to connect the new nuclear power plant to the network by 2038.
Project Criticisms and Advances
The government has faced criticism for its perceived delay in advancing the new nuclear power plant project, supposedly due to its focus on renewable energy sources. Critics argue that this approach could endanger the country’s long-term energy supply. In response, the government has increased its efforts, with Gen Energija even ramping up its ambitions for the project.
As for the project’s technical aspects, American, French, and South Korean technologies are currently under consideration. Additionally, both domestic and foreign investors have shown interest in participating in the investment. However, even with all these developments, the construction of the plant and its network connection will not be completed before 2037 at the earliest. A public referendum on the project is also a possibility, further underlining the government’s commitment to ensuring citizens’ involvement in this pivotal decision.
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