First step toward construction of nuclear power plants in Serbia – Tender for preparation of preliminary study opened

Source: eKapija Wednesday, 19.06.2024. 15:37
Illustration (Photo: FooTToo/
The Ministry of Mining and Energy has opened the tender for the preparation of the preliminary technical study for the purpose of considering the peacetime use of nuclear energy in the Republic of Serbia, and the value of the job has been estimated at RSD 14.2 million.

– In the conditions of the growing needs for energy, planned in the next decades, supported by the accelerated electrification of the economy, with the increase of the share of renewable energy sources on the grid and the reduction of production from coal, nuclear energy needs to be considered as an equal option which could contribute to a stable supply of low-carbon electric energy, in addition to hydro energy and gas, which are considered transitional fuels – says the tendering documentation.

It is added that, in the coming months, the Memorandum of Understanding will be signed which sets the framework of interinstitutional cooperation and exchange of knowledge in the fields of peacetime application of nuclear energy, development of human resources, including all the relevant participants, radiation and nuclear security, nuclear safety, management of nuclear fuel etc. between the Ministry of Mining and Energy, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Science, Technological Development and Innovations, the Ministry of Environmental Protection, the Ministry of Health and all the relevant members of the science community and the academic community in the country.

Before adopting the decision on launching the nuclear program, it is necessary, as said, to carry out a detailed comparative optional analysis of the technologies available in the market.

The analysis will encompass both conventional nuclear power plants of the III+ generation and the more advanced technologies, such as small modular reactors (SMR), with the aim of choosing the best available technology adapted to the unique needs of our country.

– Advanced reactors of the 4th generation will not be included in the evaluation process, considering the criteria of the time needed for putting them on the market, the technological maturity and the maturity of the supply chain and the challenges in operations and maintenance that a country that is new to nuclear energy like Serbia is would face in handling this technology – the document says.

If Serbia chose to build a new nuclear facility, it would have to, as said, fit into a wider system, taking into consideration the projections of the Integrated National Energy and Climate Plan of the Republic of Serbia (INECP), the National Energy Development Strategy and other national strategic documents.

– Therefore, this study will include an all-encompassing estimate of the potential benefits and challenges from the perspective of the power grid in the construction of new nuclear power plants, considering that the Serbian electrical energy market could be connected with the single European electricity market in 2026 – it is said.

The deadline for applying for the tender is July 16, and more details (in Serbian) can be found HERE.

Let us remind that, recently, the minister of mining and energy of Serbia, Dubravka Djedovic Handanovic, announced that representatives of the French state energy company EDF, with whom she had talked, had expressed an interest in taking part in this procedure.

In April, the Government of Serbia signed the Memorandum of Understanding with EDF, whereby conditions were created for a strategic partnership in estimating the potential for the development of nuclear energy in Serbia.

The minister said that the INECP, which was in the procedure of being adopted by the government, considered the potential for the introduction of nuclear energy into the national mix of Serbia as a source of base energy, and that, during the summer, a public discussion about the amendments to the Law on Energy would be held.

Djedovic Handanovic pointed to the fact that the question of the use of nuclear energy should primarily be defined on the legislative level, so that Serbia would be able to start considering the development of a nuclear program, in line with the standards of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

– We will need much more energy in the future, above all, because of the expected economic growth and economic development, considering that nuclear energy is base energy and that it emits a lot less carbon-dioxide than fossil fuels – she explained and noted that it was one of the potential solutions on the road to the energy transition.

The representatives of EDF introduced Djedovic Handanovic to the business strategy, which entails the construction of a fleet of nuclear facilities throughout Europe, in a rounded European value chain, which is supposed to stimulate the strengthening of the competitiveness and resilience of energy systems throughout the continent, and pointed out that they saw Serbia as part of that process.

I. Z.

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