Slovenia to build second nuclear reactor

Environmentalists in Slovenia and neighboring Austria have repeatedly urged Slovenia to shut down the facility before its scheduled 2023 closure.

However, the construction of another reactor at Krsko power plant in eastern Slovenia was one of 34 future government projects on a list compiled by the Office for Development, which was obtained by The Associated Press on Tuesday.

The plant was built in the 1980s and is jointly owned by Slovenia and neighboring Croatia.

The new 1,000 MW capacity reactor would be added to the existing 2,000 MW reactor as part of efforts to reduce Slovenia's dependance of imported electricity, the document said. Works on the reactor is to begin in 2013 and the reactor should be operating by 2017, the AP reports.

The project is expected to cost Ђ 2 billion (US$2.5 billion) and will be financed by private investors, the document said.

Slovenia, the country of 2 million, has been importing about a quarter of its electricity supplies a year.

Slovene officials have been suggesting plans to build another reactor in Krsko for months, but the document is the first official confirmation of it. They argue that if properly maintained, nuclear facilities do not pose environmental or health hazards.

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