Five international companies are lining up in the race to add a fifth nuclear reactor to the Czech Republic’s Dukovany nuclear power plant.
Karel Havlicek, the Czech trade and industry minister, said last week that an agreement on the project had been reached between the government and the state-controlled energy utility CEZ.
Havlicek said: ""We are determined that the new reactor will go ahead. This is a done deal and cannot be changed by a millimetre."
The timetable for the work, set out by Czech prime minister Andrej Babis in November, is to select a contractor for the project by the end of 2022 and green light construction by 2029.
The plant is expected to become operational in 2036.
The five nuclear engineering groups in the running for Dukovany are China General Nuclear, France’s EDF, Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power, Rosatom of Russia and the US-based, but Canadian-owned, Westinghouse Electric Company.
A sixth bidder, the Atmea consortium of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and EDF, has reportedly pulled out of the contract.
The present nuclear plant’s four Russian VVER pressurised water reactors produce a little over 2GW of electricity, accounting for about a fifth of the country’s electricity demand. The existing reactors are due to be decommissioned around 2046.
Image: The Dukovany nuclear power plant is located near Brno in the south of the Czech Republic (Public Domain)