Aug 02, 2023

Czech Republic Expanding Nuclear Power Program

The Czech Republic is looking to expand its use of nuclear power, with utility CEZ launching another tender looking for companies to bid on construction of new reactors and generators at the country’s two existing nuclear power stations.

The tenders come as a new research reactor, designed as a teaching tool for nuclear engineering students, has entered service in the country.

The VR-2 research reactor was built in about a year, and comes online just less than a decade after the project was launched in 2014 by the Faculty of Nuclear Sciences and Physical Engineering (FNSPE) at the Czech Technical University (CTU) in Prague.

CTU said the VR-2 reactor is located “in the same reactor hall as the VR-1,” a lightwater, zero-power research reactor using enriched uranium that has operated since 1990.

CEZ in May of this year launched a tender to add two generators to the Temelin Nuclear Power Station, a 2,056-MW facility with two VVER-1000 units designed by Russia’s Gidropress.

The units came online in 2000 and 2002. CEZ said its wants construction of the new generators at Temelin, representing an investment of about $160 million, to take place between 2028 and 2030.

CEZ in March 2022 announced a tender seeking companies to bid on a one-unit expansion of the Dukovany nuclear power plant.

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The utility late last year said three groups—France’s EDF, South Korea’s KHNP, and Westinghouse Electric—made the initial bids to construct a new reactor at Dukovany, and it expects the bidding process will conclude by September of this year.

Officials said companies from China and Russia were excluded from the bidding due to security concerns.

The Czech Republic receives about 36% of its electricity supply from the reactors at Temelin and Dukovany, according to government data.

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