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Extracts from the press briefing by Andrej Stritar, acting President of the European Commission's High Level Group on Nuclear Safety and Waste Management, on the Krško Nuclear Power Plant incident

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On 5 June 2008, Andrej Stritar, acting President of the European Commission's High Level Group on Nuclear Safety and Waste Management, held a press briefing on the Krško Nuclear Power Plant incident in Slovenia. After a coolant leak on 4 June 2008, the European Commission set off an EU wide alarm through the European Community Urgent Radiological Information Exchange (ECURIE). The power plant was safely shut down to the hot zero power mode after a small leak in the cooling circuit. The leak was immediately located and treated. According to the Slovenian Nuclear Safety Administration, no radioactive release into the environment occurred and none was expected. The event did not affect employees, the nearby population or the environment. Slovenian authorities immediately alerted the proper international institutions, including the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and ECURIE. The EU then notified (through ECURIE) the remaining EU Member States, issuing an EU-wide alert. Several news agencies around the world then reported on the incident. The plant was connected to the power grid in 1981 and went into commercial operation in 1983. It was built as a joint venture by Slovenia and Croatia which were at the time both part of Yugoslavia. The plant is a 2-loop Westinghouse pressurized water reactor, with a rated thermal capacity of 1,994 thermal megawatts (MWth) and 696 megawatts-electric (MWe). It runs on enriched uranium (up to 5 weight-percent 235U), fuel mass 48.7 t, with 121 fuel elements, demineralized water as the moderator, and 36 bundles of 20 control rods each made of silver, indium and cadmium alloys to regulate power. The operating company Nuklearna Elektrarna Krško (NEK) is co-owned by the Slovenian company Gen-Energija, a daughter company of the state-owned Elektro-Slovenija (ELES), and the Croatian state-owned company Hrvatska elektroprivreda (HEP). The power plant provides more than one-quarter of Slovenia's and roughly a fifth of Croatia's power.
SHOTLIST

Type: EbS   Reference: 57634   Date: 05/06/2008   Duration: 00:02:30
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