Nuclear regulatory authority
The Slovenian Nuclear Safety Administration was established in 1988 and it is a body within the Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning. It is responsible for nuclear safety and radiation safety in industry and science, as well as for environmental radiation protection, physical protection of nuclear materials and facilities, nuclear non-proliferation and protection of nuclear materials, radiation monitoring and liability for nuclear. The Slovenian Radiation Protection Administration within the Ministry of Health is the competent authority for radiation protection of patients, medical surveillance of exposed workers, radiological surveillance of workplaces, dosimetry and dose registers, and education in the area of radiation protection. Physical protection of nuclear materials and nuclear facilities is the responsibility of the Ministry of the Interior. The Administration for Civil Protection and Disaster Relief of the Ministry of Defence is accountable for emergency preparedness and planning. The Agency for Radioactive Waste Management (established in 1991) deals with site selection and planning of the repository for low and intermediate level radwaste, and it provides public service of radioactive waste management for small producers.
In May 2011, Slovenia became the 30th member of the NEA and its Data Bank. In September 2011, Slovenia hosted the IRRS mission, which recognized the SNSA achievements and it did not find major non-conformances, however the SNSA took the recommendations and suggestions very seriously and prepared the action plan to address them. In November, another IAEA mission was hosted in Slovenia, i.e. INSARR, which reviewed the research reactor with a special emphasis to its periodic safety review programme. In 2014, there was the IRRS follow-up mission, which acknowledged progress made since the 2011 mission (link to the IRRS follow-up mission report). The INSARR follow-up mission was conducted in November 2015 (link to the report). In May 2017, the Krško NPP hosted its fourth OSART mission (link to the OSART 2017 report). In October 2018, there was the OSART Follow-Up mission, which concluded that 70% of the recommendations and suggestions were completed. Slovenia invited the IRRS/ARTEMIS mission to take place in 2021. The EU stress tests were a major exercise in the second half of 2011 and the first half of 2012 for all EU countries. Slovenia and its sole NPP Krško successfully passed this test and this fact was clearly recognized in the final report. At the end of 2012 the post-Fukushima action plan was prepared, which is mainly based on the ambitious Safety Upgrade Program of the Krško NPP. The action plan is about 90% completed and it is to be finalized in the forthcoming years. The Resolution on Nuclear and Radiation Safety in the Republic of Slovenia for the period 2013-2023 was adopted in the Parliament in June 2013 as a high-level national policy paper.
Slovenia is the smallest country with a nuclear power plant operating on its territory. Its nuclear facilities include one nuclear power plant in operation (PWR, Westinghouse 696 MWnet), one research reactor in operation (TRIGA Mark II 250 kW) and a central interim storage for radwaste (not for NPP waste). In addition, there are radiation facilities and practices including one repository of hydro-metallurgical tailings, one repository of mine tailings, both located at the former uranium mine Žirovski vrh, and around 300 organizations engaged in radiation practices with about 2000 radiation sources in use.
Radioactive waste and spent fuel management
The Resolution on the National Programme for the Management of Radioactive Waste and Spent Fuel (for the period 2016-2025) was prepared and adopted by the Parliament in 2016 (link to the English translation). The programme covers all short and long-term aspects of radioactive waste and spent fuel management.
The low and intermediate level waste from the NPP Krško is stored on the site. All the other radioactive waste generated in the country is handed over to the Agency for Radwaste Management and stored in the interim storage close to the capital Ljubljana.
The spent fuel dry storage is going to be constructed on-site of the Krško NPP, as one of the post-Fukushima action plan items. There are plans to transfer spent fuel into the dry storage by 2021 and the final solution for the spent fuel will be sought later. As a small country, Slovenia is very much interested in regional or global solutions of high-level waste disposal.
Based on the bilateral agreement between Slovenia and Croatia about the ownership of the Krško NPP both parties shall in equal shares assure funds for the preparation of the plant decommissioning and for the disposal of radioactive waste and spent fuel. In 1994, such fund was established in Slovenia and it is financed by the levy from each kWh produced in the Slovenian half of NPP Krško. Similar fund was established also in Croatia for their share of electricity from the same NPP.
A site for the low and intermediate level radioactive waste repository was approved by the government in December 2009. The site, named Vrbina, is situated in the municipality of Krško in the vicinity of the Krško NPP. The Agency for Radioactive Waste Management is the future operator of this repository. The public hearing and consultation about environmental impact assessment is planned in 2019. The construction is expected to start in 2020 and the repository should start trial operation in 2023.
Main legal instruments
The main piece of legislation is the Act on Ionising Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety (ZVISJV-1), which entered into force in January 2018. This Act was completely refurbished to align it with the provisions of the EU Directive on protection against ionizing radiation (2013/59/Euratom). The secondary legislation was also part of this exercise and the newly issued documents can be found in the SNSA webpage (link). In the area of third party liability Slovenia is a party to the Paris Convention and Brussels Supplementary Convention, thus with the Act on Liability for Nuclear Damage, adopted in 2011 by the Parliament, the legislation was brought fully in line with the provisions of the aforementioned international legal instruments.
There are also other legal instruments, which are available on the SNSA website at:
LINKS TO SLOVENIAN OPERATORS (listed under 'Nuclear Activities' above):
LINK to the OSART 2017 report:
Last updated in January 2019