Vendors react to Czech cancellation

22 April 2014

An announcement by Areva that it has withdrawn legal action against the Czech Republic completed a round of reactions from the three vendors that made bids to build two new reactors at Temelin.

Launched in August 2009, the effort by Czech state-controlled electricity utility CEZ to select a reactor design to build at Temelin was eventually shelved this month. This concluded five years of costly efforts by reactor vendors to prepare their bids, engage with CEZ and to build the necessary alliances with local suppliers and universities.

US-based and Japanese-owned Westinghouse said it was "deeply disappointed by the decision to cancel the Temelin tender in the very final stages of the process." It said the loss of local work would impact Czech industry's chances of taking part in nuclear build elsewhere.

The reason given by head of CEZ Daniel Beneš was that market conditions had evolved too much from those at the start of the tendering process. Revenues from electricity generation are not as secure as they were in 2009 and that threatens many power infrastructure projects he said. "Our plans will have to be adjusted to changes currently being prepared in Brussels [by the European Commission]. Apparently in the future close cooperation with the state will be necessary to secure further development of nuclear energy."

Rosatom said it "respected the actions by the customer" and would look forward to contributing to the Czech Republic's anticipated "comprehensive development plan for the nuclear industry."

Areva had become involved in a legal row with CEZ over its disqualification from the tender, due to an alleged failure to meet statutory requirements. Areva appealed against this, but has now announced that legal action would be withdrawn in light of the tender itself being cancelled. The company said "by withdrawing this appeal we would like our relationships with local partners to have a new start." Areva's words echoed those of CEZ in noting that "Although the initial tender... has been cancelled, the energy needs of the Czech Republic remain the same."

All three contenders submitted documentation supporting their respective bids in late June 2012. Areva put forward its EPR design, the AtomStroyExport consortium's bid was based on Gidropress' MIR-1200 third generation VVER model, while Westinghouse's bid was based on its AP1000. Each vendor submitted a commercial proposal, a technical proposal and a proposal for the supply of nuclear fuel.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News

Filed under: New build, Czech Republic