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HomeNuclearSerbia signals further interest in nuclear energy development following France state visit

Serbia signals further interest in nuclear energy development following France state visit

Serbia’s Minister of Mining and Energy Dubravka Đedović Handanović said on Thursday (11 April) during a guest appearance on Pink TV that the visit of President Aleksandar Vučić to Paris is historically important for the future of the country’s energy sector. 

“The visit of President Aleksandar Vučić to France was historical and strategic considering that we have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Electricité de France (EDF), which is the largest producer of electric energy in Europe and the second-largest in the world, regarding the assessment of potential for the development of a civilian nuclear programme in Serbia, along with support for the development of personnel and expertise,” said Minister Đedović Handanović.

“We need strategic thinking in energy; today we are laying the foundations to ensure sufficient electric energy due to the increasing consumption in the coming years, primarily base energy produced continuously, 24 hours a day and seven days a week, which cannot be provided by solar and wind farms,” the minister continued.

The minister said that Serbia must not be a hostage to decisions and legal solutions adopted 35 years ago and that it is necessary to consider their changes.

“Yesterday, in the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia, the issue of lifting the moratorium on the construction of nuclear power plants in our country was raised, and I am pleased that the MPs of the Serbian Progressive Party initiated it. We need base energy, especially if we want to move away from coal, decarbonise the energy sector, and reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Only coal, gas, and nuclear energy provide base energy; we are very rich in hydrology, and it is good that we are developing those capacities, but we cannot rely solely on them. Gas projects are increasingly difficult to finance worldwide, so nuclear energy is a credible option for ensuring electricity supply security,” the minister said.

She pointed out that neighbouring countries have built nuclear plants, and technology in this area has progressed rapidly, but Serbia currently lacks enough personnel.

“We have a ban on importing nuclear waste, so Serbia cannot become a storage for nuclear waste. Such allegations have nothing to do with ecology; it’s politics and collecting cheap political points. The topic of nuclear waste storage is only considered if you have a nuclear plant within which infrastructure is built for storage, in line with technologies surrounding the entire process,” said Minister Đedović Handanović when asked about allegations that Serbia will import nuclear waste and store it on its territory. “But allegations that France saw a benefit in storing its nuclear waste in Serbia are nonsensical.”

“No one can dispute that the Government and the President have a long-term approach to envisioning a future in which we should be developed, stable, independent, and energy secure. If you want good for your country, you have to prepare something today that will be completed in ten to twelve years for future generations. Those who do not like it seek excuses and spread lies and disinformation,” the minister further noted. 

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