The management of Slovenia’s sole nuclear power plant Krsko said that the plant will introduce dry storage of spent nuclear fuel, currently the safest way to store such fuel.
The project is worth around 100 million euros, and the storage has a lifespan of 100 years. NEK Board member Sasa Medakovic said that several legal procedures were necessary to introduce dry storage, and that the dry storage building has dimensions of 50 by 70 by 20 meters.
The reinforced concrete slab is 1.75 meters thick, including the perimeter walls that provide flood protection and enable anchoring of storage containers.
The project was prepared for almost eight years, and the storage facility has been verified with a hundred year guarantee. Spent fuel elements will now be stored in a more modern and safer way. Medakovic said that wet storage, a cheaper project, was also considered, but NEK opted for a safer and more modern option.
Disposal of spent nuclear fuel and low and intermediate level radioactive waste is the obligation of Slovenia and Croatia, which are inclined towards a joint solution, Medakovic said, adding that the solution is moving towards deep geological disposal. He added that locations for such disposal are not currently being considered.
The construction of the dry storage building was completed in January. The advantages of dry storage of spent fuel are greater safety compared to the existing method of disposal in a pool, long term cooling without the need for cooling systems (cooling with air flow), minimal required maintenance of the facility, and minimal impact on the environment.