National Report of The Slovak Republic, september 2001

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1.2 The concept of the utilization of nuclear sources in Slovakia

To a significant extent, Slovakia remains dependent on imports of primary energy sources, these imports representing as much as 80% of the needs. The most important positions of imports of the primary energy sources include crude oil, gas and nuclear fuels from the Russian Federation.

Being a significant source of Slovakia’s grid, nuclear power plants make a significant contribution towards the coverage of the overall consumption of electricity in the Slovak Republic: compared to 1999 when NPPs´ share on overall production in Slovakia made up 47%, the share is expected to grow to approximately 55% within the years 2000-2003. Dominant producer of electricity in Slovakia is SE a.s.. Figure 1.1.1. illustrates the shares of the sources on power generation in 1999 and 2000, and Figure 1.1.2. shows the development of the consumption and the structure of production over the recent ten years.

Fig. 1.1.1 Shares of sources on power generation in the Slovak Republic

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Fig. 1.1.2 Development of consumption and production structure in the Slovak Republic

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For the time being, Slovakia operates 6 units with WWER-440 nuclear reactors, as well as additional nuclear installations at Jaslovské Bohunice and Mochovce sites.

In January 2000, the Slovak Government approved the main pillars of Slovakia’s energy policy:

  1. preparation for the integration into the European Union’s internal market,
  2. security of energy supplies,
  3. sustainable development.

Accounting for and based on them, short-term, medium-term and strategic goals of energy policy of the Slovak Republic were formulated. The following goals are relevant with respect to the future utilization of nuclear energy in Slovakia:

1. short-term goals:

  • modernization and safety improvement of NPP V-2 at Jaslovské Bohunice,
  • development of the concept for economic, material and time schedules of spent nuclear fuel treatment and of the time schedule of decommissioning of nuclear installations,
  • submission of the solution for the possible completion of units 3 and 4 of NPP Mochovce

2. medium-term goals:

  • implementation of the nuclear safety improvement programme at NPP V-2 - implementation of the list of measures oriented towards the achievement of the safety standard in compliance with ÚJD and IAEA requirements.

3. strategic goals:

  • fulfillment of international agreements in the area of the environment, nuclear safety, investments and trade in the energy sector (the Kyoto Protocol, Convention on Nuclear Safety, Convention on the Energy Charter, Protocol of the Energy Charter on Energy Efficiency, etc.)
  • finalization of the fuel cycle back end concept.

Annex No. 4 to Energy Policy shows objectives key with respect to the nuclear energy system:

  • completion of the construction of investments under construction: unit 2 of NPP Mochovce,
  • implementation of the gradual upgrades of safety and reliability of NPP V-1 and V-2 with a positive impact on the economy of the entire power grid (note: the NPP V-1 upgrading project was completed in 2000),
  • implementation of the lifetime extension and upgrading of NPP V-2 provided that such extension is efficient and effective.

Along the lines of Slovak Government’s resolution No. 302 of 21 April 1999, the Slovak Government (see paragraph A.1) acknowledged the report on the progress of works on gradual upgrading of NPP V-1, justification for continuing operation thereof, and cancelled Government’s Resolution No. 466/1994 on shut-down of NPP V-1 in 2000 at the latest. Also, the government instructed Minister of Economy to ensure accomplishing of the gradual upgrading of NPP V-1 by the end of 2000; and ÚJD Chairman to conduct, in cooperation with IAEA, safety reviews (see paragraph 2.1.). Gradual upgrading was completed in June 2000.

The Agenda 2000 - Commission´s opinion on Slovakia´s Application for the Membership of the European Union in its part Energy concludes:

„...No major difficulties are foreseen for compliance with Euratom provisions. Nuclear safety requires continued particular attention. Safety standards should be tackled appropriately and realistic programmes implemented quickly. Longer term solutions for waste need attention.”

The Accession Partnership has identified for the energy sector the following medium term priority “ Energy: implementing a comprehensive long term energy strategy based on efficiency and diversification which foresees the alignment to and implementation of EC energy legislation, the completion of Mochovce nuclear power station according to internationally agreed safety principles, and implementation of a realistic programme for the closure of the Bohunice plant.”

The High-Level Work Group (HLWG) of the EU and Slovak Republic established, on 1 June 1999, a Joint Task Force on Nuclear Energy that analyzed the impacts of five different alternatives of the shut-down of the NPP V-1 between 2003 and 2014. Based on background documents prepared by the Task Force mentioned, HLWG adopted a joint position on the acceptability of the realistic date of the shut-down of NPP V-1 in 2006 and 2008 respectively. In its resolution No. 801/1999 of 14 September 1999, the Slovak Government approved the said date. On 29 November 2000, the Slovak Government reviewed the draft procedure of the shut-down of NPP V-1 at Jaslovské Bohunice, including the solution to social and economic impacts thereof, and adopted Resolution No. 974/2000.

The objectives of the energy policy included the commissioning of units 1 and 2 of NPP Mochovce. After a successful trial operation, unit 1 started full operation on 29 January 1999. Physical start-up of unit 2 of NPP Mochovce commenced on 5 October 1999 by loading the reactor with fuel, and criticality was reached on 1 December. The approval for permanent operation has been issued by UJD on 11 April 2000.

By its Resolution No. 257/2000 of 19 April 2000, the Slovak Government did not suspended the completion of the construction of NPP Mochovce units 3 and 4; rather it decided to abstain from granting sovereign guarantees for loans to be used to finance the completion. In this way, the option of NPP Mochovce 3 and 4 being completed by foreign investors and/or foreign investors participating in the power energy privatization process through investments into units under construction has not been ruled out, and SE, a.s. was given the opportunity to officially negotiate with potential investors.

In this connection, SE, a.s.´s Board decided to establish a new branch plant of SE termed Mochovce Units 3 and 4 (acronym SE-MO34). This branch plant was established as of 1 July 2001 through splitting off from SE-EMO. The reason for the establishment of this branch was to distinguish the cost for the energy production on units 1 and 2 from the costs connected with the possible completion of units 3 and 4. The scope of SE-MO34´s activities includes activities such as administration and conservation of units 3 and 4 of the NPP Mochovce and administration and maintenance of equipment for construction. Proposals for future technical level of units 3 and 4 has been developed in accordance with the IAEA recommendations for delayed nuclear power projects in a manner to fulfill in a maximum extent the assumed development in nuclear safety.

By its Resolution No. 5/2001, the Slovak Government acknowledged the Draft Concept of the Economic, Material and Time Schedule of Spent Nuclear Fuel Management (SNF) and of Decommissioning Procedures of Nuclear Power Generating Installations.

Among others, the recommendations of the draft include:

  • to store Bohunice SNF at the upgraded ISFSF Bohunice - through 2047,
  • to select storage technology for long-term storage of SNF at the Mochovce site - by 2002,
  • to construct ISFSF Mochovce - by 2006,
  • to continue the development of the underground repository aimed at a high quality preparation for national and regional solution of direct disposal of spent nuclear fuel - by 2037,
  • finalize negotiations concerning SNF reprocessing with return of high-level activity wastes and products of reprocessing.

The NPP A-1 decommissioning plan assumes the completion of stage 1 of decommissioning by 2007 (the stage being characterized by the following major traits: spent fuel transported from the power plant; majority of liquid RAWs adjusted to a form enabling safe final disposal; all remaining RAWs treated to a form enabling their safe permanent disposal or long-term storage; the necessary decontamination of premises and rooms performed to further reduce potential sources of leakage of RA materials), closure of the power plant under supervision for a period of 30 years through 2037 and its decommissioning by 2050.

From among several alternatives, the variant „NPP Decommissioning with Protected Deposition of Containment for 70 - 80 Years and Decommissioning by 2098“ was selected for NPP V-1 and approved by the Government.

The development of the nuclear energy system in the Slovak Republic is in accordance with the above mentioned objectives and goals.

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