New Build

Czech Republic / Three Companies Submit Bids To Build New Nuclear At Dukovany

By David Dalton
30 November 2022

Final bids due next year and contract with winning technology provider could be finalised in 2024
Three Companies Submit Bids To Build New Nuclear At Dukovany
The Czech Republic is planning at least one new nuclear plant at the Dukovany site. Courtesy ČEZ.
France’s EDF, South Korea’s Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (KHNP) and US-based group Westinghouse Electric have made initial bids to build a new reactor unit at the Czech Republic’s Dukovany nuclear power station, Czech utility ČEZ said today.

ČEZ said Elektrárna Dukovany II, the wholly owned subsidiary set up to implement the new-build project, will now analyse the bids and negotiate with the three bidders. The bidders will then submit final bids by the end of September 2023.

Majority state-owned ČEZ, which launched the Dukovany expansion tender in March, said it expects the contracts to be finalised in 2024.

The initial bids are the basis for clarifying technical and commercial parameters, but not for the actual selection or exclusion of contractors, ČEZ said. 

EDF’s reactor technology is the EPR, KHNP’s the APR-1400 and Westinghouse’s the AP1000. All three reactor types have seen commercial operation or are under construction in different countries.

Two EPRs and four AP1000s are commercially operational in China, while the APR-1400 is operated commercially in South Korea and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). 

Additionally, EPR new build projects are near completion at Olkiluoto in Finland and Flamanville in France, while construction is under way of two EPR units at Hinkley Point C in England. Two APR-1400s are in the commissioning stage and two are operating commercially at Barakah in the UAE.

ČEZ said there has been progress on preparation for the project. In 2019, the environment ministry approved an environmental impact assessment. Last year, Elektrárna Dukovany II received a siting permit from the State Office for Nuclear Safety and a generating facility authorisation from the ministry of industry and trade. The zoning procedure has begun, with the company applying to the building authority in June 2021.

China And Russia Excluded From Bidding

State-owned companies from China and Russia were excluded from bidding on security grounds, in contrast to Hungary which has chosen Russia’s Rosatom for its nuclear project. Poland recently chose Westinghouse for the construction of the country’s first nuclear power station near its Baltic Sea coastline.

According to ČEZ, support for the development of nuclear energy in the Czech Republic has increased by 7% over the past year to 72%, the highest since 1993. The high support is mainly due to the current energy crisis, the company said.

ČEZ plans to build three more nuclear units – on top of the one now planned – at its Dukovany and Temelín nuclear sites, as the country diversifies away from coal.

The company said recently that preparations were underway for the construction of two large-scale nuclear unitsat Temelín in addition to one new unit at Dukovany. However, it filed for permission to build up to two units.

ČEZ is also planning to build small modular reactor plants. It has already signed agreements to explore various SMR technology options with reactor developers NuScale, GE Hitachi, Rolls-Royce and Holtec.

The Czech Republic has six commercially operational reactor units: four Russian supplied VVER units at Dukovany and two larger 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.

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