• English
  • العربية
  • 中文
  • Français
  • Русский
  • Español

You are here

IAEA Mission Says Slovakia Committed to the Safe Management of Radioactive Waste and Spent Fuel, Encourages Action on Geological Disposal

Bratislava, Slovakia


An International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) team of experts said that Slovakia is committed to the safe and effective management of radioactive waste and spent fuel. The team commended Slovakia for its decommissioning activities while noting opportunities to enhance preparations for geological disposal.

The Integrated Review Service for Radioactive Waste and Spent Fuel Management, Decommissioning and Remediation (ARTEMIS) team concluded a ten-day mission to Slovakia on 22 February. The mission was carried out at the request of the Government and hosted by the Slovak National Nuclear Fund.

The team comprised six experts from Germany, Lithuania, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, as well as two IAEA staff members. They held meetings with representatives from the Slovak Government, the regulatory bodies, the operator of the country’s nuclear power plants (NPPs), the Slovak Nuclear and Decommissioning Company (JAVYS) and the National Nuclear Fund. An observer from the European Commission also attended the mission.

ARTEMIS missions provide independent expert advice from teams of international specialists convened by the IAEA. They cover all aspects and topics related to the management of radioactive waste and spent fuel, decommissioning as well as remediation. Reviews are based on the IAEA Safety Standards, technical guidance and international good practices.

The mission also aimed to support the country in meeting European Union (EU) obligations that require an independent review of national frameworks and programmes for managing radioactive waste and spent fuel.

The ARTEMIS team considered the findings from a September 2022 Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IRRS) mission that assessed the country’s overall nuclear regulatory framework. Together, the two missions comprehensively evaluate Slovakia’s legal and governmental framework, regulatory infrastructure and arrangements for nuclear safety, radiation protection, transport safety, decommissioning, as well as radioactive waste and spent fuel management.

Radioactive waste and spent fuel in Slovakia originate primarily from four pressurized nuclear reactors in nuclear power plants (NPPs) — two at Mochovce and two at Jaslovské Bohunice — that together generate more than half of the country’s electricity. Slovakia has also started commissioning of a third reactor unit at Mochovce. Both NPPs are located in western Slovakia; Mochovce is about 100 kilometers east, and the Bohunice site around 50 kilometers northeast from the capital Bratislava. The use of radiation sources in agriculture, industry, medicine and research applications generates limited quantities of radioactive waste.

In Slovakia, radioactive waste and spent fuel are managed by, JAVYS. Spent fuel is stored for a few years in reactor pools at the NPP sites before being transported to an interim spent fuel storage facility in Bohunice. Slovakia also manages spent fuel generated from the past operation of three nuclear power reactors as well as radioactive waste from current decommissioning at the Bohunice site. Very-low-level radioactive waste and low-level radioactive waste are being disposed of at a near-surface disposal facility (national radioactive waste repository) at Mochovce. Slovakia plans to develop a geological disposal facility for spent fuel and radioactive waste not suitable for disposal at the near-surface disposal facility.

The ARTEMIS team found that Slovakia has a strong commitment to ensuring the safe implementation of radioactive waste and spent fuel management activities in the country. In their report, the team highlighted the country’s progress in decommissioning the V1 Bohunice NPP, scheduled for completion by 2027. The application of an immediate dismantling strategy combined with the treatment of all materials arising from the decommissioning waste was considered outstanding and recognized as a good practice. The team commended Slovakia on the work to ensure that radioactive wastes are managed in a timely manner and on the country’s significant efforts to minimize the waste volumes through effective segregation and conditioning.

The team also identified recommendations and suggestions to maintain and further improve the safe and responsible management of radioactive waste in Slovakia. The recommendations and suggestions included, for example, actions for:

  • The Government to decide on undertaking further work on geological disposal.
  • The Government to proactively involve interested parties, including the public, in selecting the location of the geological disposal facility.
  • The National Nuclear Fund to establish procedures for the timely and regular updating of the national programme for radioactive waste and spent fuel management.

“Slovakia has established a good basis for the safe and responsible management of radioactive waste and spent fuel as well as for decommissioning,” said ARTEMIS team leader Thiagan Pather from the National Nuclear Regulator in South Africa.

“Slovakia has devoted significant effort to the preparations for this mission and presented many details about their activities in waste management,” said Anna Clark, Head of the Waste and Environmental Safety Section in the IAEA Division of Radiation, Transport and Waste Safety. “The provision of such information is essential for open and fruitful discussions. We are convinced that the findings of the ARTEMIS mission will help Slovakia to further enhance the safe and effective management of its radioactive waste and spent fuel.”

“We are pleased that there has been a good practice identified as a potential driver for further improvements in area of decommissioning. Moreover, the fruitful discussions with the experts and counterparts during the whole mission represent significant contribution to the high level of the mission’s outputs,” said Ladislav Éhn, chairman of the Board of Governors of the National Nuclear Fund.

The final mission report will be provided to the Government in two months.


ARTEMIS is an integrated expert review service for radioactive waste and spent fuel management, decommissioning and remediation programmes. This service is intended for facility operators and organizations responsible for radioactive waste management, as well as for regulators, national policy makers and other decision makers.

The IAEA Safety Standards provide a robust framework of fundamental principles, requirements, and guidance to ensure safety. They reflect an international consensus and serve as a global reference for protecting people and the environment from the harmful effects of ionizing radiation. IAEA documents such as Nuclear Energy Series publications are also included in the review basis. They include practical examples to be used by owners and operators of utilities, implementing organizations, academia, and government officials in Member States, among others.

Last update: 02 May 2023

Stay in touch