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Czech Republic / Dukovany Tender Could Include Option For More Temelín Reactors

By David Dalton
4 October 2021

Prague wants to build new nuclear plants to replace polluting coal facilities
Dukovany Tender Could Include Option For More Temelín Reactors
The tender for new units at the Dukovany site (pictured) could include the option of new reactors at Temelín. Courtesy ČEZ.
The tender for new reactors at the Dukovany plant in the Czech Republic will include a non-binding option for more units at the Temelín plant, the Czech minister of trade and industry, Karel Havlicek, said in an interview with the Právo newspaper.

Mr Havlicek said the government could issue a tender to build another reactor at the Dukovany nuclear power station after the mid-October elections.

He added that if his populist ANO party wins the election “We will also start preparing for Temelín” He said including the possibility of new units at Temelín in the tender Is “a greater motivation for suppliers, and thus we are pushing even harder on the price”.

Czech state power company ČEZ has said it is planning to build one Generation III+ reactor at the Dukovany site, with a maximum installed capacity of 1,200 MW. However, the company filed for permission to build up to two new units. In 2014, ČEZ cancelled the tender for construction of two new Temelín units after it failed to get state guarantees for the project.

The Czech Republic’s state energy policy published in 2015 said nuclear energy will constitute 46-58% of total electricity production in the long term – up from around 37% today – to replace the share of coal that is expected to decline continuously. Under the SEP, the government announced the construction of new nuclear units with a total capacity of up to 2,500 MW by 2030-35.

Radio Prague International reported recently that three companies will be involved in the forthcoming tender. They are EDF of France, Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (KHNP) of South Korea and Westinghouse of the US.

CNG of China and Russia’s state nuclear corporation Rosatom were excluded from the process.

In April, the Czech government postponed the Dukovany tender until after the elections and said it would not invite Chinese companies to participate in a security assessment of potential bidders. Mr Havlicek said Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom would also be excluded from the tender.

Czech security services have warned for years about the risks they say are posed by Russia and China. Opposition politicians have backed those views.

Russia’s participation in the tender process had also been thrown into doubt due to evidence suggesting Russian military intelligence were behind a 2014 munitions storage site explosion on Czech territory.

The Czech Republic has six commercially operational reactor units. In addition to the four units at Dukovany, there are two Russian VVER-1000 units at Temelín. According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, in 2019 the six units provided about 35% of the country’s electricity production.

In a report last month on the Czech Republic’s energy policies, the International Energy Agency called for a robust tendering process for planned new reactors at Dukovany.

The Paris-based agency said the tendering process for new-build must have “clear technological and economic selection criteria” while ensuring the essential security interests of the state.

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