IAEA Positively Concluded The ARTEMIS Mission To Slovakia

An International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) team of experts said that Slovakia is committed to the safe and effective management of radioactive waste and spent fuel.

The team also commended Slovakia for its decommissioning activities while noting opportunities to enhance preparations for geological disposal.

The Integrated Review Service for Radioactive Waste and Spent Fuel Management, Decommissioning and Remediation (ARTEMIS) team concluded a ten-day mission to Slovakia on 22 February. The mission was carried out at the request of the Government and hosted by the Slovak National Nuclear Fund.

The international team comprised six experts from Germany, Lithuania, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, as well as two IAEA staff members.

ARTEMIS missions provide independent expert advice from teams of international specialists convened by the IAEA. They cover all aspects and topics related to the management of radioactive waste and spent fuel, decommissioning as well as remediation. Reviews are based on the IAEA Safety Standards, technical guidance and international good practices.

The mission also aimed to support the country in meeting European Union (EU) obligations that require an independent review of national frameworks and programmes for managing radioactive waste and spent fuel.

Read more on IAEA Press Release.

As the IAEA reminds us, radioactive waste and spent fuel in Slovakia are originated primarily from four pressurized nuclear reactors in nuclear power plants (NPPs) — two at Mochovce and two at Bohunice.

The two plants together generate more than 52% of the country’s electricity.

Slovakia has also started the commissioning of a third reactor unit at Mochovce. Once operational, the operator Slovenské elektráne said also that the generation from Mochovce-3 will cover about 13% of Slovakia’s total electricity consumption, increasing the share of nuclear energy in the total electricity mix from 52% to 65%, putting the country second behind only France. Furthermore, the annual production of the reactor will save 2.6 million tonnes of CO2 emissions annually.

In Slovakia, radioactive waste and spent fuel are managed by JAVYS. Spent fuel is stored for a few years in reactor pools at the NPP sites before being transported to an interim spent fuel storage facility in Bohunice.

Slovakia also manages spent fuel generated from the past operation of three nuclear power reactors as well as radioactive waste from current decommissioning at the Bohunice site.

Very-low-level radioactive waste and low-level radioactive waste are being disposed of at a near-surface disposal facility (national radioactive waste repository) at Mochovce.

Slovakia plans to develop a geological disposal facility for spent fuel and radioactive waste not suitable for disposal at the near-surface disposal facility.