Czech suppliers team up with reactor vendors

21 March 2012

As the deadline for bids to construct two more units at the Czech Republic's Temelin nuclear power plant approaches, local engineering and construction companies continue to sign cooperation agreements with the three shortlisted reactor vendors.

In November 2011, Czech utility CEZ formally invited Areva, a Škoda JS/AtomStroyExport/OKB Gidropress consortium and Westinghouse to place their bids by 2 July for the contract to build the new Temelin units. Areva is putting forward its EPR design, while the AtomStroyExport (ASE) consortium's bid is based on the MIR-1200 third generation VVER model and Westinghouse is proposing its AP1000. CEZ is to announce the winner in late 2013.

On 20 March, Rusatom Overseas - a subsidiary established by Russian state atomic energy corporation Rosatom to promote Russian nuclear technologies in the global market - signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with ten Czech and Slovak companies for future collaboration. Should the ASE consortium win the tender to build the Temelin units, these Czech and Slovak companies could become subcontractors for a significant part of the work. In addition, they could participate in the construction of other Russian-designed plants around the world.

Among the companies signing the MoU with Rosatom were ETD Transformátory, I&C Energo, Kabelovna Kabex, MSA, Sandvik Chomutov Precision Tubes spol, Slovenské Energetické Strojárne, TES, VÚJE Česká republika, VWS MEMSEP and ZPA Pečky. These companies have been given a list of some 4000 products and services that Rosatom would like to procure for nuclear power plant projects. In October 2011, Rosatom signed an MoU with 15 other Czech firms, including steel company Vitkovice, construction company Hochtief and engineering firm Modrany Power.

Leoš Tomíček, executive vice president of Rusatom Overseas, said, "We offer Czech and Slovak industry long-term business opportunities abroad." He noted that Rosatom plans to spend more than $300 billion up to 2030 purchasing equipment and services for nuclear power plant projects worldwide.

Rosatom's fuel fabrication subsidiary TVEL and Czech engineering company Alta Invest recently established a new centre for nuclear fuel technology in the Czech Republic. The joint venture, Alvel, will focus on supporting existing and prospective customers within the European Union. The centre will initially focus on the localisation of fuel services for the Czech Republic's nuclear power plants, but will later expand to promote Russian high-tech goods to the European market, including Western-designed reactors.

Earlier this month, Areva signed a series of cooperation agreements with key Czech companies in support of ongoing and potential EPR projects. Those agreements were with ABB, Abegu, Arako, Baest Machines and Structures, Excon Steel, I&C Energo, Kralovopolska RIA, Mandik, Metra Blansko, Modrany Power, Schneider Electric CZ, Sigma Group, Vitkovice Machinery group and ZVVZ enven Engineering.

Westinghouse has also signed a series of agreements with Czech companies. In late January, the company signed an MoU with Metrostav under which the Czech company would assist Westinghouse in developing and submitting its bid to CEZ. The MoU covers key aspects of the construction and project management scope of the project.

In December 2011, Westinghouse signed an MoU with Vitkovice for the manufacture of key components for potential new AP1000 units in Czech Republic. That agreement followed an MoU in August 2011 with Czech engineering-supply company I&C Energo to cooperate in instrumentation and control systems for potential new AP1000 units in the country. That agreement also covered the associated testing and start-up services.

The Temelin site is already home to two Russian-designed VVER-1000 reactors, in operation since 2000 and 2003 respectively. Four earlier VVER models have also been in operation at Dukovany since the mid-1980s. Original plans for two further VVER units to be built at Temelin were put on hold by the Czech government in 1990. The tender process for the new Temelin units was launched in August 2009.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News