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Slovenia Advances Nuclear Energy Plans Amidst Calls for Referendum

Slovenia's National Assembly has passed a resolution to expand nuclear energy, including a new reactor, amidst plans for a public referendum on the project

Slovenia’s National Assembly has overwhelmingly endorsed a resolution to expand nuclear energy, including the development of a new reactor, Krško 2, amid concerns about future energy security. The resolution, aimed at complementing renewable sources and addressing the impending closure of the Šoštanj coal-fired plant by 2043, has rallied significant bipartisan support. A consultative referendum scheduled for late November will ask Slovenian voters to decide on the execution of the Krško 2 project, which is projected to cost between €9.3 billion and €15.4 billion.

The resolution highlights nuclear energy as a strategic resource crucial for achieving Slovenia’s low-carbon transition goals. It supports not only the Krško 2 project but also explores the potential for small modular reactors and emphasizes the need for nuclear research and development along with specialized training programs.

Opposition from the Left party and some environmentalists, including President Nataša Pirc Musar, has sparked a heated debate. Critics argue that the public has not been adequately informed about the project’s implications, especially regarding nuclear waste management and escalating costs.

Despite these concerns, representatives from Slovenia’s corporate sector have expressed willingness to co-finance Krško 2, keen to mitigate energy dependence. The state-owned Gen Energija, which holds Slovenia’s share in the existing Krško plant, currently stands as the sole investor in the new project, with Croatia’s HEP also considering participation.

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