17 Jun (NucNet): Croatia is moving in the right direction in strengthening regulatory processes and improving the management of radiation safety, but legislative and structural changes are needed in order for the government to completely fulfil its regulatory responsibilities, an International Atomic Energy Agency Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IRRS) team said.
The team, which today ended a 10-day mission to review Croatia’s regulatory framework for radiation safety, said Croatia needs to review and strengthen the governmental, legal and regulatory framework to make it consistent with IAEA safety standards.
The country’s regulator, the State Office for Radiological and Nuclear Safety (Sorns), needs more human and financial resources, and staff qualifications need to be strengthened, the team said.
Croatia does not have any commercial nuclear plants, but jointly operates the Krško nuclear power station in Slovenia.
Last month, Croatia asked for the IAEA’s support in establishing a storage facility for radioactive waste, disused radioactive sources and spent nuclear fuel in the next five to eight years, including the training of staff.
IAEA director-general Yukiya Amano discussed the plans with Croatia’s minister of economy Ivan Vrdoljak during a two-day visit to the country.
The Croatian share of nuclear waste from Krško, as well as other radioactive waste produced from medical applications and research facilities, will be stored at the facility.
Krško has one 688-megawatt pressurised water reactor unit, provided by Westinghouse, which began commercial operation in January 1983.
The operating company Nuklearna elektrarna Krško (NEK) is co-owned by Slovenian state-owned company Gen-Energija and the Croatian state-owned company Hrvatska elektroprivreda. According to the IAEA, Krško provides more than one-quarter of Slovenia’s and 15 percent of Croatia’s electricity.