The Czech Minister of Industry and Trade, Jozef Síkela signed a joint statement with the British Minister for Energy Security and Climate Neutrality, Andrew Bowie on cooperation in the field of development and application of small and medium-sized nuclear reactors (SMR). The United Kingdom is the first country, with which the Czech Republic signed such a declaration.
“Small and medium-sized reactors mean innovation in the use of nuclear energy, which represents a new opportunity and a competitive advantage for the Czech Republic. The involvement of Czech companies in supply chains would entail the production with high added value,” said Minister Síkela. “It may represent a strategic investment and innovation activity on the part of both the state and the private sector. Small and medium-sized reactors along with renewable sources are a promising solution for the energy security of the Czech Republic after the end of the use of coal. Together with a strong partner such as the United Kingdom, we can speed up and make construction more efficient in joint projects. This cooperation is the first swallow of the emerging European framework for SMR partnership, prepared by the European Commission.”
“The UK has already demonstrated historic leadership on civil nuclear, as the world’s first civil nuclear nation, and now we are ready to unleash a nuclear renaissance across Europe,” added Minister Bowie. “Close cooperation on civil nuclear with the Czech Government, a close ally with whom we have historic ties, will be critical to this mission as we deliver our shared endeavour to drive rapid expansion of nuclear power, end reliance on Russian supplies and bolster energy security.”
In addition to the production of electricity, SMRs can also be used for heating purposes or the production of hydrogen. Due to their size and performance, they can be a suitable replacement for ageing coal-fired power plants. This is also confirmed by the concept for the development of small and medium-sized nuclear reactors, which was completed some time ago by the Ministry of Industry and Trade. Following the analyses published by the ČEPS, this concept indicates the potential of nuclear reactors with an output of up to 3 gigawatts (GW) in the 2030s. The opportunity is serial production (fleet approach), which will guarantee long-term contracts for companies in supply chains.
The Czech Republic and the United Kingdom intend to stimulate business and industrial cooperation leading to the possible implementation of joint projects in the field of nuclear energy and the acceleration of the deployment of SMR to ensure energy independence. At the same time, the practical cooperation of nuclear supervisors has already begun. Following the progress of the newly founded Great British Nuclear (GBN) company, which launched a competition to develop small and medium modular reactor technology, both countries will seek to set up a strategic dialogue for specific projects.