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ČEZ: ‘We will speed up everything that we can’

Czech utility ČEZ expects to announce the tender process for a new reactor at Dukovany in February, CEO Daniel Beneš said in an interview with public broadcaster Český rozhlas. The company is ready to accelerate and expand its nuclear plans to potentially build four new reactors in light of the EU Taxonomy.

The Czech Republic already uses nuclear power for 34% of its electricity, generating this from four reactors at the Dukovany nuclear power plant and two at Temelín. The company plans to expand Dukovany with a new reactor by 2036 and prospective vendors EDF, Westinghouse and Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power submitted security questionnaires in June last year.

The submissions are “hundreds of pages”, said Beneš. “They went to great lengths in answering questions that were aimed at understanding a number of things that are important to us in terms of security … according to the latest information I have, the outcome from the state administration should be at the end of January.”

Beneš said that a timetable for the tender could therefore be confirmed “sometime in early February” and the actual process would begin quickly. Český rozhlas asked Benes if the 2036 start-up date for the new unit “remained realistic” – Beneš replied: “Yes, for the time being, yes.” Beneš was bullish about the prospect of continuing to expand nuclear energy after the new Dukovany unit. “The site at Temelín has always been intended for four large units,” he noted. “There is room for [new build], so it is on offer.”

Setting up an entirely new nuclear power plant would be “a big problem in terms of permitting”, said Beneš. “So if we are going to build more units somewhere after the Dukovany unit, it will be two units at Temelín. That means Temelín 3 and 4, and then we can talk about Dukovany Unit 6.”

“The Temelín units have a valid environmental assessment, which means that we are already ahead there,” said Beneš. “And if the EU is coming in and saying that they will be sustainable in terms of taxonomy, if they have construction permits, then it seems to me logical that we should speed up all the preparatory work on these projects so that we can get as far as possible.”

“Whether it is in the new units at Temelín or Dukovany unit 6. We will speed up everything that we can,” said Beneš. Recent representative public polling in the Czech Republic showed support for the use of nuclear power at 65%, while 93% of people want the country to remain self-sufficient in electricity generation.

Source: World Nuclear News