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Project JEK2 – National spatial planning

Considering the estimated timeline and the envisaged milestones of the project, the JEK2 project is currently in the spatial planning phase. On 20 May 2024, the investor GEN energija d.o.o. sent a draft proposal of the initiative for national spatial planning to the Ministry of the Environment, Climate and Energy ("MOPE") and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Spatial Planning ("MNVE") for the purpose of coordination.

1. National spatial planning

National spatial planning proceedings involve the siting of spatial developments of national importance (such as roads, railways, power plants, etc.) in cooperation and coordination with spatial planners and the public.[1] One of the national spatial planning proceedings is the proceeding, which is finalised with the adoption of a national spatial plan (“NSP“).[2]

2. NSP

The NSP defines the planned spatial development, the area, the spatial implementation conditions for the construction and implementation of other interventions in this area and the guidelines for the determination of the intended use of space in the municipal spatial implementation acts. The NSP may also define the area of the State’s pre-emption right.[3]

3. Proceeding for the adoption of the NSP

An initiative is the basic spatial planning document that starts the national spatial planning proceeding. A duly drafted initiative forms the basis for a decision on the continuation of the national spatial planning process.

The initiative must therefore be explained and justified in the spatial strategy and development documents of the relevant area. It must contain the information necessary for the decision on whether to proceed with the NSP procedure, as well as a draft plan of public participation and a draft timetable.[4] Based on the information provided in the initiative, a decision shall also be made on the obligation to carry out a comprehensive environmental impact assessment.

The ministry verifies the completeness and validity of the initiative. If the initiative is complete and justified, the Minister appoints a project team, and the initiative is published in the spatial information system. If it is not, the ministry informs the initiator to complete the initiative or to rejects it with appropriate reasoning.[5]

After the competent ministries have coordinated their comments on the draft NSP initiative, a public consultation follows, during which the spatial planners provide guidance, and the public gives suggestions and comments. This is followed by a period of analysis of the guidelines, consideration of the public’s suggestions and the adoption of a government decision on the preparation of the national spatial plan. Following the adoption of the decision on the preparation, the initiator or investor may carry out preparatory works and access the land within the area of the variants for surveying, ground investigations, property valuations, boundary adjustments and contractual land acquisition.[6]

Thereafter, an environmental report shall be prepared as part of a comprehensive environmental impact assessment and an options study, with the most appropriate option being used for the preparation of the draft NSP. The public shall have the opportunity to make suggestions and comments on the publicly published options study, the environmental report and the draft NSP for a period of at least 30 days from the date of public publication.[7]

The NSP is adopted by the government through a decree.[8] The adoption of the NSP decree for the project JEK2 is planned by 2027, followed by the final investment decision by 2028, the building permit process and then the planned construction starting in 2032.[9]

4. Conclusion

With the objective of presenting information on the JEK2 project to the interested public, an information office was opened in the premises of the Municipality of Krško in June, providing access to information on the JEK2 project, with a focus on information on the siting of the new nuclear power plant. It is also possible to view extracts of the draft material for the NSP initiative.[10] Bearing in mind that the JEK2 project is associated with several legal and regulatory challenges, the next contribution will focus on the basic principles of nuclear law.

[1]         https://www.gov.si/teme/drzavno-prostorsko-nacrtovanje/ (11. 6. 2024).

[2]         Article 82(2) of the Spatial Management Act (Official Gazette of the RS, No 199/21, as amended, “ZUrep-3”).

[3]         Article 83(1) of the ZUrep-3.

[4]         Article 91(2) of the ZUrep-3.

[5]         Article 91(3) of the ZUrep-3.

[6]         Article 91(5) of the ZUrep-3.

[7]          Article 95(2) of the ZUrep-3.

[8]         Article 97(2) of the ZUrep-3.

[9]         https://www.24ur.com/novice/slovenija/jek2.html (11. 6. 2024).

[10]         https://jek2.si/novice/odpira-se-informacijska-pisarna-jek2-v-prostorih-mestne-obcine-krsko/ (11. 6. 2024).