Slovenia’s only nuclear power plant Krsko (NEK) is preparing to restart production later in the week after it was shut down in early October due to a leak in a pipeline, the company said on Tuesday.
“We plan to have the first kilowatt-hours of electrical energy generated by the end of the week,” NEK said on its website.
The plant, jointly owned with Croatia, was shut down after the leak occurred on the connection system of the primary circuit on Oct. 6.
The Slovenian Nuclear Safety Administration (SNSA) has confirmed that the plant implemented all necessary and expected measures, including the replacement of two pipelines that were exposed to similar impacts, thus meeting the prerequisites for safe operation, NEK said.
The start-up will take place when the organisations authorised by the SNSA issue a positive opinion after independent monitoring of activities, the plant said.
It said it has already begun to conclude contracts for the research that will provide the direct cause of the failure, as well as for thermo-hydraulic and mechanical analyses of both pipelines, aiming to complete all examinations within one year.
NEK, in eastern Slovenia close to the border with Croatia, produces more than 6 billion kilowatt hours of electricity annually which covers about 20% of the electrical energy demand in Slovenia and 16% in Croatia.
NEK was built in cooperation with U.S. company Westinghouse Electric Corporation and started operating in 1982. In 2016, Slovenia and Croatia agreed to prolong its lifespan by 20 years until 2043.
(Reporting by Daria Sito-Sucic; Editing by Sharon Singleton)