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Longevity for Sustainability

Exceptional results in exceptional circumstances

The Krško nuclear power plant (NEK) has successfully completed its 32nd fuel cycle, which began after the outage on 5 May 2021. During this period, NEK delivered 8.35 billion kilowatt hours of electrical energy to the grid, thus exceeding the planned production and making a key contribution to the reliable supply of consumers and cleanliness of our living environment. The availability factor of the power plant was 100 percent, and the capability factor was 99.9 percent. For the third time in its operational life, the plant exceeded 500 days of continuous operation. At the same time, we considered all operating restrictions and conditions and environmental restrictions prescribed by the water and environmental protection permit; NEK’s carbon footprint is minimal. In 2021, NEK completed an extensive ten-year Safety Upgrade Program and the dry storage facility will be built this year. The one-month outage, which began on 1 October, is an extremely intensive work period after an 18-month fuel cycle.

The circumstances of recent years give NEK's achievements additional value. The first part of the fuel cycle still took place in the difficult conditions of the pandemic, but NEK nevertheless operated stably. The energy crisis highlighted the necessary self-sufficiency of the country in the field of electrical energy supplies and the importance of the sustainability of the price of electrical energy for all users. A very hot and dry summer made the situation in the field of electrical energy supply even worse. The NPP operated at full capacity throughout the summer and proved its resistance to weather conditions and significantly contributed to the reliability of the power system. Production in the first nine months of this year is less than one percent lower than planned.

High-quality outage work is a condition for the reliable operation of the power plant

After thorough preparations, a regular outage began on Saturday, 1 October 2022, with the disconnection of the power plant from the power grid. It is expected to be completed on 2 November. We are planning almost 45,000 outage activities.

When replacing 56 fuel elements with fresh ones, the main works will include preventive maintenance of technological equipment, inspection of the state of technological structures and checking of pressure boundaries in compliance with the associated programs, which cover all safety equipment. It is a process of checking and restoring equipment in order to ensure its reliable operation during the plant’s operation. Most of the equipment installed in a nuclear power plant can only be maintained when the plant is shut down and cooled down.

We – the NEK employees manage and supervise all outage work; external contractors from Slovenia and Croatia, as well as nuclear industry-specific contractors from the international environment also join us during the outage. This year again more than 1200 external workers will be working at NEK. The Slovenian Nuclear Safety Administration will control the quality of the outage work and authorised organisations will monitor them and provide their expert opinion after the outage.

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