The Slovak Republic became an independent state in 1993 and soon after applied for membership in the European Union. During the negotiations the government announced its decision to close the two reactors of the Bohunice V1 NPP at its nuclear power plant at Jaslovské Bohunice, a small village in the west of the country.
The power plant has four Soviet-designed reactors of the VVER type. Experts from the Western European Nuclear Regulatory Association identified safety concerns regarding units 1 and 2, which were closed in 2006 and 2008, respectively.
To support the Slovak Republic in the decommissioning process, the European Commission together with eight European governments established the Bohunice International Decommissioning Support Fund (BIDSF) at the EBRD in 2001.
On 16 November 2001 the EBRD entered into a framework agreement with the Slovak Republic, which provides the legal basis for the operations of the fund at Bohunice.
As of mid-2018 more than €650 million have been contributed largely by the European Commission as well as Austria, Denmark, France, Ireland, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom to the fund. The decommissioning is progressing well and is expected to be completed by the end of 2025.
The BIDSF finances and co-finances selected projects for two main purposes:
to support the decommissioning of units 1 and 2 of the plant in a safe, secure and cost-effective manner.
- to introduce new measures in the Slovak energy sector to help minimise the impact of the closure of units 1 and 2 through improving the efficiency of energy supply and use.
The BIDSF supports JAVYS, the organisation responsible for the decommissioning of Bohunice, by funding and co-funding a wide range of projects:
Support in the development of a decommissioning strategy and subsequently detailed decommissioning plans as well as other relevant documentation, including environmental impact assessments, to receive a decommissioning licence. BIDSF also financed a database required for the planning of the complex decommissioning process. JAVYS currently carries decommissioning activities out under a licence obtained in 2015.
Establish reliable physical protection systems to separate the closed units 1 and 2 from the rest of the nuclear power plant which remains in operation.
Provide the necessary infrastructure to safely handle, transport and disposal of nuclear waste produced in the decommissioning process, such as an extension to the low level radioactive waste repository in the National Radwaste Repository at Mochovce and an interim storage facility for radioactive waste at the Bohunice site.
Finance decontamination and dismantling works. Dismantling of equipment in the non-active part of the plant, such as the turbine hall and auxiliary buildings, is well advanced. The “Dismantling and Demolition of the four Bohunice V1 NPP Cooling Towers” started in August 2016. Dismantling in the controlled areas started in 2016. The contract for the dismantling of large primary cooling circuit components was signed in September 2017 and is scheduled to be completed in December 2022.
- Compensate the heating and steam supply for the nuclear power plant as well as the nearby cities of Trnava, Hlohovec and Jaslovské Bohunice, by reconstructing the auxiliary boiler station at the Bohunice site.
Energy sector projects
Projects financed and co-financed from the BIDSF in this area were designed to help coping with the consequences of the shut-down of units 1 and 2 of the Bohunice nuclear power plant. BIDSF funding assisted in:
Defining priority energy sector projects. A systematic least-cost analysis of the state of the energy sector after the closure of units 1 and 2 facilitated the strategic decision-making process in the sector. It helped the Slovak government to assess the viability of potential projects on the basis of environmental and energy efficiency considerations.
Increasing energy efficiency in public buildings and in providing incentives for loan-financed demand and supply-side energy efficiency measures in the country. These projects helped demonstrating the potential of energy savings in dealing with the loss of generating capacity.
- Ensuring safe and reliable electricity supply after the closure of the Bohunice units 1 and 2. The closure required large scale modifications in Slovakia’s electricity transmission network. BIDSF co-finances the replacement of transformation sub-stations and transmission lines.
Since 2015 BIDSF does not finance any new projects in the energy sector.