CEZ should fund new reactor projects, says government report

20 January 2015

Government plans for the further development of nuclear power in the Czech Republic suggest that CEZ should be the main investor in the construction of new reactors.

The draft document, drawn up by the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Ministry of Finance, was made available on 16 January for public comment.

Czech utility CEZ cancelled the procurement process for construction of two new reactors at the existing Temelin nuclear power plant in April last year after the government said that, while it supports nuclear energy development in the country, it would not provide any guarantees to the project. CEZ, which is 70% state owned, had been seeking an agreement with the government to guarantee future electricity prices from the new Temelin units, which had been scheduled to begin operating in 2023 and 2024.

"We shall wait till the final document is approved; we can just state that the completion of a new nuclear unit requires stable market conditions," CEZ spokesperson Barbora Půlpánová said. "Today all investments in power plants, the revenues of which depend on sales of electricity in the free market, are threatened."

Other options proposed in the draft document are to have a consortium of private investors or to form a state-run nuclear reactor construction company.

Preparatory work for building one unit at Dukovany and one unit at Temelin should be started immediately, with a possible extension to two units at both nuclear plants, according to the document. It is essential to launch a unit at Dukovany by 2037, it said.

CEZ should continue working towards the construction of new units, including permit applications and signing contracts with suppliers, the document said. It may be possible to issue a construction licence by 2025, it added.

Czech news agency Ceske Noviny said an investment of between CZK250 billion ($10.4 billion) and CZK300 billion ($12.4 billion) would need to be made before the state could consider whether or not to provide guarantees for new nuclear power projects. Simultaneous preparation of the Dukovany and Temelin projects may cost the state between CZK4.3 billion ($179 million) and CZK32 billion ($1.3 billion), "depending on when it enters the project", it added.

The document may be viewed (in Czech) here.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News