Czech Politicians Show Support for Nuclear Energy

Representatives of the main political parties running in the forthcoming Czech parliamentary elections agreed the country needs nuclear energy in its future energy mix.

Tomáš Ehler, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade for Nuclear Power, stated the construction of a single new nuclear unit at Dukovany will not be sufficient to meet the Czech commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, even if the share of renewables in the energy mix continues to grow after the decommissioning of the country’s coal-fired power stations.

It will be necessary to build at least one more nuclear unit at Dukovany and two further units at Temelín, he said. However, the question is whether the government, which is the majority owner of ČEZ, will be able to assert its will and persuade the company’s board of directors to approve the preparation for these additional new nuclear units.

Tomáš Pleskač, a member of ČEZ’s board of directors, said in the long-run ČEZ plans to commission only one new nuclear unit at Dukovany and to commission 6000 MW in solar plants to replace the output from the decommissioned coal-fired stations.

The company will analyse the possible deployment of small modular reactors (SMRs) and, after they become commercially available in the late 2030s, it envisages the construction of SMRs with a combined capacity of about 1000 MW.

Representatives of research institutes, the academic community and the Czech Technology Agency have already expressed their readiness to participate fully in the project to develop new nuclear capacities in the Czech Republic.

Representatives of EDF, Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power and Westinghouse presented the projects they intend to tender, i.e. the EPR 1200, APR-1000 and AP1000, respectively.

The companies are currently working on answering the questions they received in the security forms sent to them by ČEZ as part of the tender process. The deadline for their responses is the end of November and all three of them expect the call for tender to be published soon.

Representatives of the most important political parties running in the forthcoming parliamentary elections – to be held on 8 and 9 October – discussed the prospects for nuclear power in the Czech Republic.

All of them said the country needs nuclear power in its future energy mix in order to meet its commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and move towards carbon neutrality.

 

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