The Czech Republic is to press ahead with building another reactor at the Dukovany nuclear power plant in the south of the country after the Office for Nuclear Safety (SUJB) yesterday issued a permit for the plan.
The successful end of SUJB’s year-long evaluation clears the way for the issuing of tenders by Elektrárna Dukovany II, a subsidiary of state-owned utility CEZ Group.
The permit allows construction of two pressurised water reactors with a maximum output of 1.2GW, however Petr Zavodsky, the director of the Dukovany II Power Plant, told Czech television that it was presently looking at building one reactor, with the possibility of beginning another after taking into account "possible further energy and climate goals in the future".
The Czech Republic currently has six reactors generating about a third of its electricity: four at the Dukovany site and two at Temelin in the southwest. The Czech government wants to substantially increase the country’s nuclear capacity by 2040.
Last year, the government approved how the new nuclear unit will be financed, its estimated price is about €6bn.
Czech television reports that some politicians in the country have urged against the involvement of Russian or Chinese companies in the scheme.
In February last year, GCR reported that China General Nuclear, France’s EDF, Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power, Rosatom of Russia and the US-based, but Canadian-owned, Westinghouse Electric Company were in the running for the reactor (see further reading).
However, Karel Havlicek, the trade and industry minister, has since said it was "unimaginable" that China would be the main supplier for the plant.
World Nuclear News reports that CEZ aims to hold a tender for the reactor supplier, negotiate a contract and receive the required licences by 2024, with the aim of bringing the reactor online by 2036. The government has agreed to provide guarantees for any political or legislative risks the project may face.
Image: The Dukovany site has four Russian VVER reactors generating 2GW (Public Domain)
- Article edited on 19th March to clarify the plant’s maximum output, thank you for your comments