Nuclear Politics

Europe / Czech Republic And Slovakia ‘Committed To Nuclear In Face Of Geopolitical Challenges’

By Kamen Kraev
14 November 2022

Reactors are stable and affordable, forum told
Czech Republic And Slovakia ‘Committed To Nuclear In Face Of Geopolitical Challenges’
Slovakia’s prime minister Eduard Heger (second left) and his Czech counterpart Petr Fiala (centre), with EU energy commissioner Kadri Simson (second right).
The Czech Republic and Slovakia are committed to the development of nuclear power as a way to secure energy independence and supply stability in the face of geopolitical challenges arising from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the prime ministers of the two countries said.

Czech prime minister Petr Fiala told the European Nuclear Energy Forum (Enef) in Prague: “I am convinced that investment in more nuclear energy is one of the most natural responses to the current situation.

“It is in our interest to develop nuclear power as soon as possible.”

He said the Czech Republic is “ready to become a leader” in nuclear energy for the region, because of its existing reactors, industrial capabilities, workforce expertise, and plans to build both conventional and modular nuclear power.

Because of its geography, the Czech Republic is not well suited for the expansion of wind and solar, Fiala said, adding that an energy mix combining renewables and nuclear is “the only scenario” for the country’s energy transition.

Countries Are ‘Role Models’ For Nuclear

Slovakia’s prime minister Eduard Heger said the Czech Republic and Slovakia are “role models” for the use of nuclear power because of their large shares of nuclear generation – more than a half in Slovakia and over one-third in the Czech Republic.

He said the experience of Prague and Bratislava has proven the stability and affordability of nuclear power and this is a message to be “spread” across Europe.

Czech state-controlled utility group ČEZ plans to deploy new nuclear power capacities in the 2030s, both large-scale at the existing Dukovany site and small modular reactors at the existing Temelín site. The company has six commercial reactor units at the two sites.

Slovakia has four commercial reactors, two at Mochovce and two and Bohunice. A third unit at Mochovce is close to going commercial with commissioning procedures under way after first criticality was achieved last month.

EU commissioner for energy Kadri Simson told the forum the European Union will need up to $462bn (€450bn) in investment just to keep the current level of its nuclear power generation capacity.

Nuclear power will have an important role to play in the EU’s climate targets of low-carbon electricity generation, Simson said.

Pen Use this content