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Slovakia considers building another 1.2 GW nuclear power unit, PM Fico says

FILE PHOTO: European Union leaders summit in Brussels

The Slovak government is considering building another nuclear power unit with capacity of up to 1.2 gigawatts (GW), and could reach a decision at a meeting on Wednesday, Prime Minister Robert Fico said on Monday.

The decision would be a basis for concrete steps to prepare the project, he said.

Slovakia has long been a supporter of nuclear and hydro energy. Utility Slovenske Elektrarne, which is 33% state-owned, last year completed the 472-megawatt Unit 3 at the Mochovce plant and is now completing another at the same site, a project that has its roots in the communist era.

“We have an agreement that Slovakia – the state – has interest in building, under state ownership, one massive nuclear unit with output of up to 1,200 megawatts,” Fico told a broadcast news conference.

Slovakia, through Slovenske Elektrarne, currently operates two nuclear units with 505 MW capacity each at Jaslovske Bohunice in addition to the Mochovce plant.

The country has taken a more pro-Russian stance under Fico than under a previous government, but Economy Minister Denisa Sakova said the supplier of the new unit would be picked in a tender, with Russia’s Rosatom not allowed to compete.

“From the political point of view we cannot imagine that the technology would come from the Russian Federation,” she said.

“We expect that top companies active in nuclear energy will be interested,” she added, saying French, U.S. or Korean companies could be among interested parties.

She said the government aimed to complete the tender in the current election cycle ending in 2027.

Source: Reuters