A government statement said a new schedule calls for the site to be selected by 2030, five years later than originally planned. The repository is expected to be operational by 2065.
The statement said the four sites are Hrádek, in the south of the country; Horka, also in the south; Březový potok, in the southwest; and Janoch near the Temelín nuclear power station in the southwest.
The four locations were recommended in June as the most suitable of nine potential sites reviewed by the Czech Radioactive Waste Repository Authority (Surao).
Surao’s director Jan Prachař said the shortlist takes the Czech Republic to the same stage as Canada, Sweden and Switzerland among countries planning for the deep geological disposal of used nuclear fuel and nuclear waste.
The Czech Republic’s used nuclear fuel is currently stored at the Temelín and Dukovany nuclear stations, both operated by state majority-owned utility ČEZ.
An underground research centre at Bukov in the central Czech Republic serves as a test site for the long-term management of radioactive waste and as a test site for evaluating the behaviour of the rock environment at a depth corresponding to the expected depth of the repository, about 550 metres.