Nuclear power remains an integral part of the Slovenian energy mix
Statement by Ambassador Andrej Benedejčič, Permanent Representative and Governor from Slovenia, at the meeting of the IAEA Board of Governors, on Nuclear Technology Review 2017 (Agenda Item 3), Vienna, 7 March 2017
Slovenia aligns itself with the statement delivered on behalf of the European Union. In addition, I would like to make several remarks in my national capacity.
Let me start by welcoming the activities of the Agency aimed at promoting applications, as described in the Nuclear Technology Review. It is, indeed, impressive that there are so many different uses for nuclear technology, ranging from the study of ocean acidification to preservation and consolidation of historical artefacts. These are great examples of how radiation can provide substantial benefits with almost negligible risks.
We also appreciate the efforts of Member States, as presented in the chapter on radioactive waste disposal. In Slovenia, we are also working towards the construction of a Low and Intermediate Radioactive Waste Repository. We expect that the operator, our Agency for Radioactive Waste, will file the construction licence documentation this summer, which will bring us another step closer to the realization of the project.
Last year, the Slovenian TRIGA research reactor celebrated fifty years of successful operation. We are therefore pleased that it takes part in the IAEA promoted ICERR initiative. We are also pleased that, on the margins of the 60th IAEA General Conference, an agreement was signed by the Director of the Jožef Stefan Institute, which is the reactor's owner, and the Managing Director of the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission. This way, the cooperation in the area of reactor applications and staff training has been formalized. We believe that this cooperation will contribute to effective knowledge management and capacity building, which are key elements for maintaining nuclear safety. It will also provide human resources for the existing and new nuclear programs.
Finally, I would like to recall that Slovenia is committed to retaining nuclear power in its energy mix also in the future. The Slovenian Nuclear Safety Administration has already approved the extension of the operating life of the Krško Nuclear Power Plant for another 20 years, until 2043. This is also one of the reasons why we have decided to host a Regional Workshop on IAEA Safety Standards in Ageing Management and Safe Long Term Operation of Nuclear Power Plants, which has actually started with its work in Ljubljana just today. Needless to say, the engagement of the Agency in this event is highly appreciated.
With this, my Delegation takes note of the document GOV/2017/2.