Permits to operate commercial nuclear plants in the Czech Republic are issued for 10 years and are subject to reviews during which the operator must demonstrate it can continue safe operation of the facility for the next 10-year period.
Temelín-1 began commercial operation in June 2002 and is one of the newest nuclear power plants in Europe. An identical unit, Temelín-2, began commercial operation in April 2003. ČEZ has said it is planning to operate both units for 60 years.
ČEZ said issuance of the licence was not a formality. A team of experts has been working on the renewal since the end of 2018. Documentation for the regulator ran to about 163,000 pages.
“Dozens of ČEZ experts worked on both the documentation and physical inspections, and the result is a very detailed overview, which is important for nuclear supervision, but also for us and our plans,” said Temelín director Jan Kruml.
ČEZ said Temelín-2 is now undergoing the same licence renewal process.
The Czech Republic has six commercially operational reactor units. In addition to the two units at Temelín, there are four at Dukovany. All six are Russian VVER plants.
According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, in 2019 the six units provided about 35% of the country’s electricity production.
In July the Czech government signed agreements with ČEZ for a planned expansion of the Dukovany nuclear power station.
A ČEZ spokesperson told NucNet recently that one Generation III+ reactor is planned for the site, with a maximum installed capacity of 1,200 MW. In March, ČEZ filed for permission with the State Office for Nuclear Safety to build up to two new nuclear power plants at Dukovany.