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2024 to be a ‘breakthrough year’ for Czechia’s nuclear energy development, minister says

Czechia’s Minister of Industry and Trade Jozef Síkela and France’s Minister for Energy Transition Agnès Pannier-Runacher held a meeting on Tuesday (9 January) “primarily focused” on energy transition and, in particular, the role of nuclear energy in decarbonisation.

“This year will be a breakthrough for nuclear energy in the Czech Republic. We will be selecting the supplier for a new nuclear reactor in Dukovany and deciding on the number of new reactors. To successfully achieve these goals, we need the fairest conditions for supporting nuclear energy within the European Union. I believe that we can rely on support from France in this regard,” said Minister Síkela.

“The relationship with the Czech Republic is strategic for France. Our countries are significant players in the European nuclear industry, as well as in energy and industry. At the European level, we closely collaborate with Minister Síkela to defend this energy source’s central role in a low-carbon energy mix within the Nuclear Alliance,” said Minister Pannier-Runacher. “Our goal is to continue this work so that the next European Commission treats nuclear energy and renewable energy as genuinely equal means to achieve our climate goals.”

“European energy faces enormous challenges, including the consequences of Russian aggression against Ukraine and the necessity to achieve the required energy transformation. This is accompanied by the expected increase in electricity consumption due to the electrification of new sectors of the economy. In my opinion, nuclear energy, together with renewable sources, can play a crucial role in addressing all these challenges,” said Minister Síkela.

“Therefore, the Czech Republic, along with France, is an active member of the so-called Nuclear Alliance, encompassing more than half of the EU member states. We agree that meeting our European goals must rely on all available low-emission sources, and conditions for the development of nuclear energy must be ensured at the same level as other low-carbon sources,” emphasised Minister Síkela.

The ministerial meeting concluded with an agreement to further develop suitable financial instruments for new nuclear energy projects. The Czech minister also supported the European Commission’s proposal to create an Industrial Alliance, stating that it could facilitate and expedite the development and deployment of small modular reactors in the European market.

“Today, we signed a cooperation agreement between the French National Research Agency and the Technological Agency of the Czech Republic. Thanks to this, entities from both countries will be able to apply for funding for projects contributing to the development of nuclear energy,” said Minister Síkela.

The agreement was signed between representatives of the Czech Technological Agency and the French National Research Agency, offering funding for joint projects in nuclear energy.

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