ČEZ requests EIA for new Dukovany units

21 July 2016

Czech utility ČEZ has requested the Ministry of Environment carry out an environmental impact assessment (EIA) for the potential construction of two new reactors at the Dukovany nuclear power plant.

Dukovany plant - 460 (CEZ)
The Dukovany plant site (Image: ČEZ)

The company said today it has submitted the required documents to the ministry to launch the EIA process.

The purpose of the assessment, ČEZ said, is to "identify, describe and comprehensively assess foreseeable impacts of the planned projects on the environment and public health in the relevant context". It added, "Based on our experience, the EIA may be expected to take several years to be completed."

All four existing reactors at Dukovany are expected to remain in operation until at least 2035, ČEZ said, and then to be gradually retired. It said, in accordance with the National Action Plan for the Development of Nuclear Energy approved by the government last June, one or two new units could be built at Dukovany to replace the existing ones.

The plan foresees nuclear energy to be a major source of power that will allow the Czech Republic to be self-sufficient in terms of power generation and ensure reliability of power supplies to end users.

The plan says, "It is desirable from the perspective of the state to immediately initiate the preparation for siting and construction of one nuclear reactor at the Temelin site and one reactor at the Dukovany site as well as to protect potential risks by obtaining the required licences for the possible construction of two reactors at both sites." It added, "In particular, to maintain the continuation of production at the Dukovany site, the construction of a unit at the Dukovany site and its commissioning by 2037 are crucial in order to ensure the continuity of the operation of a nuclear facility and human resources at the site until 2037 when the shutdown of the existing nuclear power plant is expected."

ČEZ said, "By preparing in a timely manner for two potential new units in Dukovany, we will be able to ensure uninterrupted power generation from key nuclear sources in a location where the long-term environmental impact of the safe and reliable operation of the existing four units of the Dukovany nuclear power plant can be verified."

Pavel Cyrani, director of ČEZ's sales division and a member of the company's board of directors, said: "From the economic and environmental viewpoint, we still consider nuclear energy as one of the best energy sources for the Czech Republic, and the EIA is one of the steps in collecting source documentation for subsequent decisions on the construction itself. This way we have fulfilled some tasks defined in the National Action Plan for the Development of Nuclear Energy approved by the Czech government."

He added, "The European energy sector has been going through a period of changes and uncertainty, and we need to be prepared for all possible directions of the future development."

In July 2008, CEZ requested that the Ministry of the Environment conduct an EIA of two additional reactors at Temelin. It submitted the documents needed by the ministry to conduct that assessment in June 2010. In January 2013, the ministry concluded the construction of two more units at Temelin would not have a significant environmental impact.

The tender process for two new Temelin units was launched in August 2009 and attracted bids from three candidates - Areva; Westinghouse; and a consortium between Škoda JS, AtomStroyExport and OKB Gidropress. However, ČEZ informed Areva in October 2012 that its bid had been disqualified. In April 2014, ČEZ - which is 70% state owned - announced that it had cancelled the tender process.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News