Monday, September 19, 2005

Economics Minister Denies Slovenia Plans New Nuclear Power Plant

Slovenia Business Week

Economics Minister Andrej Vizjak denied rumours on Wednesday, 14 September that Slovenia was planning a second bloc of the Nuclear Power Plant Krsko (NEK) or a new nuclear power facility. However, if it should to come to that, the activities will be conducted transparently and publicly, Vizjak told STA in Tallinn. According to Vizjak, who accompanied PM Janez Jansa on a three-day tour of the Baltic states, these speculations have been invented by some of the opponents of the energy solutions which have now turned out to be quite rational.

Martin Novsak, the director of Eles Gen (the manager of the Slovenian half of NEK) confirmed Vizjak's statement. However, he pointed out for STA, the use of nuclear energy is on the rise in Slovenia and the country depends on imports.

Their statements come after the government of Austria's Caritnhia province responded harshly to a report in online edition of daily Delo about the possibility of Slovenia planning another nuclear power plant.

The alleged plans have also been condemned by a number of Austrian parliamentary parties, the Austrian press agency APA reported. The Austrian parliament committee for environment is to discuss the issue at an extraordinary session.

Carinthian Governor General Joerg Haider told the press in Klagenfurt that a new nuclear power plant would be in contradiction with the obligations Slovenia accepted as a EU member. Moreover, it would also go against the joint energy project launched by Slovenia and the Austrian provinces of Styria and Carinthia.

Moreover, Slovenia has agreed to stop the production of nuclear power in 20 years, Haider added. The Carinthian government already passed a resolution on the issue of the alleged second nuclear power plant, according to APA.

In May, the Slovenian committee of the World Energy Council concluded Slovenia should increase investments in energy infrastructure. As NEK director Stane Rozman said then, nuclear energy is needed in Europe.

According to Rozman, Slovenia's priorities should be building a second bloc at NEK, extending its life-span, which ends in 2023, building a nuclear waste repository, and planning a new nuclear power plant.

Source: Slovene Press Agency STA


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