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Czechia presents action plan for development of nuclear energy

The Czech Ministry of Industry and Trade held the 7th meeting of the government’s advisory body, the Standing Committee for the Construction of New Nuclear Sources in the Czech Republic. The Committee recommended the Government an action plan for the development of small and medium-sized reactors in the country.

“Czech and European energy is facing major challenges, both as a result of the effects of Russian aggression and as part of the decarbonisation process,” said the Minister of Industry and Trade and the chairman of the committee, Jozef Síkela. “It is, therefore, necessary to ensure sufficient energy supplies for industry and citizens. The direction of the energy industry until 2050 is determined by the State Energy Concept, the update of which we are preparing. Nuclear energy and renewable energy will play a crucial role.”

“The priority is the preparation of a new source in Dukovany and the construction of additional units in both existing nuclear sites,” he added. “In the future, however, we also count on the use of smaller and medium-sized reactors, which is why we today discussed the action plan that we prepared at our ministry. I will submit the action plan to the government as one of the inputs to updating the energy concept.”

Based on the results of previous analyses of the expected production adequacy, it appears that even the construction of up to 3-4 large blocks may not be enough for the needs of the Czech Republic and it will be appropriate to supplement the electricity and heating system with small and medium-sized reactors in the future. Therefore, one of the points of the committee’s discussion was the presentation of the draft concept and the assumptions for their development in the Czech Republic.

“For the Czech Republic, there is no other way to ensure energy security but a significant development of nuclear energy as a basic, controllable and stable source of the electricity system. And many other member countries of the European Union are counting on nuclear energy in the future. Nuclear energy remains a basic resource for France, neighbouring Poland, the Netherlands, Romania and other states,” said Minister Síkela.

The tender for the supplier of a new block in Dukovany was launched in March 2022, when the government gave its consent to the incorporation of state security requirements and consent to start the tender and the bidding documentation was sent to the bidders EdF, Korean Hydro & Nuclear Power and Westinghouse.

By the end of November 2022, all contacted bidders have submitted their initial bids and the investor’s teams have evaluated them. Based on further negotiations, bidders will submit updated offers in autumn 2023. These will already be final and by February 2024 at the latest, the investor will recommend the choice of a preferred supplier to the state.

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