Waste Management

Czech Republic / Government Should Consider In-Depth Review Of New Build Plans On Radwaste And Spent Fuel, Says IAEA

By David Dalton
1 November 2023

Prague considering up to four new nuclear reactors

Government Should Consider In-Depth Review Of New Build Plans On Radwaste And Spent Fuel, Says IAEA

The Czech Republic has established a solid basis for the safe management of radioactive waste and spent fuel, but should consider an in-depth review of the potential financial impact of its plans for an expanded nuclear power programme, an International Atomic Energy Agency review has concluded.

The review team said Prague should also consider undertaking a review of the potential impact of radioactive waste and spent fuel from additional nuclear power reactors.

It said the Czech Radioactive Waste Repository Authority (Surao), should consider improving plans and resources for engagement with potential host communities for a deep geological repository. This would ensure “sustained and effective engagement” beyond the site selection phase.

The Czech Republic operates six nuclear power reactors at two nuclear power stations in the country’s south: four units at Dukovany and two at Temelín.

The government has begun a tender for a new unit in Dukovany and is also evaluating the possible construction of one more unit at Dukovany and one or two new units in Temelín.

The company overseeing the project to build the new plants at Dukovany announced on Tuesday (31 October) it had received final bids from three companies: US-based Westinghouse, France’s EDF and South Korea’s Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (KHNP).

The Czech Republic is also preparing a policy for deploying small and medium-sized reactors to reduce carbon emissions in industrial sectors and district heating.

After storage in pools for seven to 10 years, spent fuel is kept in dry storage facilities at the nuclear station sites. There is a shallow land repository for low-level radioactive waste from both stations at the Dukovany site. The government plans to commission a deep geological repository for spent fuel and shortlisted four possible sites in 2020.

There is a repository for low and intermediate-level waste from medical and industrial use in a former limestone mine, Richard, near Litomerice in the north of the Czech Republic. Another repository for waste from health, industry and research sectors containing naturally occurring radionuclides can be found near Jachymov in the northwest of the country.

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