The Czech government on July 8 gave preliminary approval for Elektrárna Dukovany II, a subsidiary of utility ČEZ, to build at least one new nuclear power unit in the country, along with as many as three more at existing nuclear power plants at Dukovany and Temelín.
The government in its resolution published Monday said it would provide the utility with loan guarantees to help secure financing for any new reactors. ČEZ is 70% owned by the Czech government.
Reports said construction of any new units is years away, though equipment and technology suppliers could be chosen within the next five years. Expectations are that at least one 1,200-MW reactor would be built at Dukovany by 2035 to replace four existing units that are scheduled to be shut down between 2035 and 2037. New capacity at Temelín would be built at a later date.
The new nuclear units are needed to help the Czech Republic meet emissions reduction targets and goals for energy security. “Ministers perceive the construction of new nuclear sources as a precondition for ensuring secure supplies of electricity and energy self-sufficiency in the Czech Republic,” the paper notes. “Construction is an integral part of the basic security interests of states, where nuclear power plants are among the critical infrastructures in accordance with current legislation. As part of the preparation and implementation of the project for new nuclear sources, the selected investor model will provide for the basic security interests of the state.”
The resolution also said: “It is of course environmentally friendly [policy] because new nuclear power plants will be a low-emission, stable source of electricity and heat. The construction contributes to the fulfillment of the State Energy Policy, which envisages increasing the share of nuclear energy in electricity production from the current 30% to 46% and then to 58%. There will be a gradual reduction in coal combustion, with regard to ecological protection and the depletion of mineral resources.”