The real support for the electric power system of Serbia, when thermal power plants start to withdraw from it, would be the construction of a nuclear power plant, and the fourth generation of that technology uses nuclear waste as fuel, said Secretary General of the World Energy Council in Serbia Miodrag Mesarovic.

– Coal will probably be in Serbia only until the middle of this century, and in the meantime we have to replace it with something – said Mesarović.

He also assessed that there may have been too much enthusiasm about renewable sources, until the crisis came.

– First in Texas, where people froze because there was not enough energy, and we see what chaos it was in October, because someone was late to get gas waiting for the bureaucracy to allow North Stream 2 to work, and much of the energy products from gas. Then the price jumped immediately and I think it will be a permanent disorder. Renewable sources are not able to meet the needs, and the only stable source is nuclear energy – Mesarovic believes.

He emphasized that in history, there were only three accidents at the nuclear power plants of the oldest generation, and that was due to human error, and not due to technology.

– Taught by accidents, science has continued to develop this technology and now modular power plants are being developed that are able to provide long-term energy security. I mention safety, because in one kilogram of uranium you have about 500,000 times more energy than in a kilogram of coal. When you fill the reactor once, then you add a new batch of fuel every five years, and I guess those five years are enough to ensure a secure supply of a new batch of fuel – said Mesarović.

He stated that there are 450 nuclear power plants in the world, which used to produce about 17% of energy, and now it has dropped to 10%, due to the construction of power plants on renewable sources.

– Our needs for energy have been met for now, and greater needs will appear in about ten years when these oldest thermal power plants come out of operation – said Mesarović.

He also emphasized that, if we became minority owners of the new Paks nuclear power plant in Hungary, it would not only bring Serbia security of energy supply, but would also give a chance to our engineers to finally get concrete insights into that technology and specialize in it.

He estimates that 10-15% of the energy from that nuclear power plant would be enough for Serbia to replace one of the larger blocks of thermal power plants.

Mesarovic added that the citizens would thus gradually get rid of the fear of nuclear power plants, because, as he says, it does not matter whether such a power plant is in the center of Belgrade or 60 kilometers from our border.

He also estimated that those 200-300 megawatts, as much as we would get from the new Hungarian power plant that is being built, would be just the beginning, and that the real support for the energy system would be the construction of a nuclear power plant in Serbia.

– The new generation of nuclear power plants is such that what is considered nuclear waste is used as fuel and does not create hazardous waste – said Mesarović, and noted that new, modular reactors also work on that principle.

Mesarovic said that the advantage of modular nuclear power plants, whose power is 100-200 megawatts per module, is that the modules can be added in accordance with the growing needs for electricity and do not require a long construction process.

– Namely, they are already fully formed in the factory. These large ones are being built on the location, welded, and these are being built and tested in the factory, and then they come to the location completely ready – Mesarović explained.

He also believes that not all thermal power plants should be replaced by nuclear power plants, but that different energy sources should be combined, including renewable ones.

– So that the combination that would include all available types of energy would be right, so that we would be sure to provide electricity at a time when everything will be transferred to it – concluded Mesarović.

E2 portal (eKapija)

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