The Krško NPP in Slovenia has been shut down for repair and maintenance after a leak was detected in the site's containment building, according to nuclear utility Nuklearna Elektrarna Krško (NEK). "An increased leak in the primary system within the containment building was detected," officials said in a statement.

The leak had no repercussions on employees or surrounding residents and the environment. "The shutdown is needed to determine the exact source of the leak and the measures needed to fix it," NEK said.

Construction of the 696 MWe Westinghouse pressurised water reactor – first western NPP in eastern Europe – began in 1975 and it began commercial operation in 1983. The plant provides about 20% percent of Slovenia's electricity and about 15% of the electricity in Croatia, which co-owns the plant. Although the plant was scheduled to close in 2023, the two countries agreed to extend its lifetime by 30 years. Construction of an additional reactor at the site is now under consideration.

NEK said following closure of the plant, when it was in hot shutdown, expert teams entered the containment building to investigate the leak. The inspection revealed that to find the exact leakage location while ensuring safe working conditions, cold shutdown was necessary. Once that was achieved teams were able to determine the exact location of the leak. “The analysis of the cause and the preparation of an action plan to eliminate the deviation will follow,” said NEK. “All of this will take more time, presumably a few weeks; however, it is currently too early to assess the re-operation of the power plant.”

Image: Krško nuclear power plant (courtesy of NEK)

Date: Thursday, 12 October 2023
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