WHILE some countries have resolved to abandon nuclear energy, Slovakia is planning to develop it further. Economy Minister Tomáš Malatinský told an international conference, Secure Energy Supply (SES) 2012, which took place in late September in Bratislava, that Slovakia would focus on the development of nuclear energy and sources of renewable energy over the coming years.
“We are counting on an increase in the share of [electricity coming from] nuclear energy and renewable sources,” Malatinský said, as quoted by the SITA newswire. “We will support these two commodities in the near future.”
According to Malatinský, nuclear power stations will form the base for providing Slovakia’s electricity supplies.
“Renewable sources can be considered to be supplementary sources, which reduce dependence on imports of primary fuels,” said Malatinský.
In 2011 the installed capacity of all Slovakia’s power stations amounted to 8,152 MW, of which thermal power stations accounted for over 33 percent, followed by hydropower stations with more than 30 percent and nuclear power stations with almost 24 percent. Renewable sources made up almost 13 percent. By contrast, the ranking in terms of electricity actually generated was led by nuclear power stations, with almost 55 percent, followed by thermal power stations with over 20 percent and hydropower stations with over 14 percent. Renewable resources made up more almost 11 percent of power produced.
Slovakia currently operates two nuclear power stations: in Jaslovské Bohunice and in Mochovce. Both stations have two reactors each, but their operator Slovenské Elektrárne is now completing another two reactors at Mochovce.
There is also a plan to build a brand new nuclear power station in Jaslovské Bohunice, on almost the same site as two former reactors which were closed in 2006 and 2008.
Štefan Šabík, director general of Jadrová Energetická Spoločnosť Slovenska (JESS), a company launched to build the nuclear power station by the decommissioning company JAVYS and the Czech energy company ČEZ, presented parts of a feasibility study for the possible plant. According to the study, the plant could have an installed capacity of up to 2,400 MW and be put into trial operation no earlier than 2025.
“For the time being the feasibility study is the subject of another evaluation and analyses, whose results will be the elaboration of a business plan by JESS and the setting of other proceedings,” Šabík said at the conference.
According to the original plans, the new nuclear power station in Jaslovské Bohunice should have been built by 2020, with the start of construction planned for 2014. Costs were projected to be between €4 billion and €6 billion, and the power plant should have not been financed using public funds.
Meanwhile, Slovenské Elektrárne is continuing its completion of the third and fourth units of the Mochovce nuclear power. These should be gradually phased in during late 2013 and mid 2014, about one year later than originally planned. The price tag for completion of the project is about €2.8 billion.