18 May (NucNet): The Czech government has postponed a decision on building new nuclear units, saying it needed more time to evaluate the impact on its budget and find out EU views on state aid for such a project, reports said today.
The Industry and Trade Ministry, which is in charge of energy policies, said it wanted the government to make a decision based on new information by the end of the year, half a year later than the current deadline, which itself had been pushed back.
“It is necessary to complete work on the impact on public budgets,” trade and industry minister Tomas Huener said in a statement after a meeting of the government’s nuclear energy committee.
The new units would replace existing ones expected to be shut down in the future.
Majority state-owned power firm CEZ has said it will not invest in new nuclear without some form of state support.
It has proposed a plan to split itself up instead, creating a fully state-owned nuclear and coal generation unit that would build the nuclear plants, and a partly private distribution and renewable energy company.
The government has been working with three options. A CEZ subsidiary could build new nuclear plants, with some form of state backing, or the government could buy a small CEZ unit to build the plants. The third option is the CEZ split.
The Czech Republic has six commercially operational Russia-designed reactor units: four VVER-440 units at the Dukovany site and two VVER-1000 units at Temelín.
A 2015 Czech state energy policy calls for one new unit at Dukovany and possibly three more either at Dukovany or Temelín.