A development of small modular reactors (SMRs) at the Czech Republic’s Temelín nuclear power plant would be known as the South Bohemia Nuclear Park, according to a memorandum to set up the park signed by the utility ČEZ, the South Bohemian government, and the UJV Rez research organisation.
While the Czech government supports ČEZ’s plans to construct new large reactors at the Dukovany and Temelin plants, a parallel plan to develop SMRs is also under way. An area of the Temelín nuclear power plant is to be developed as the South Bohemian Nuclear Park, referencing the name of the self-governing region. The agreement towards its founding was signed last week.
Martin Kuba, the Governor of the South Bohemian Region, called new nuclear technology “a huge opportunity”. He said, “I see the future in small modular reactors. Of course, the safety of our inhabitants is key for us, but at the same time I want South Bohemia to be a leader in this.”
ČEZ noted that it “has already signed memoranda of cooperation in the field of small modular reactors with NuScale, GE-Hitachi, Rolls-Royce, EDF, Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power, and Holtec.” ČEZ said that any SMR deployment would not interfere with its plans for large reactors, but said that an investor for SMR build “had not been decided.”
UJV Rez said its involvement would be “a logical step” after more than ten years of analysis of small and advanced reactors, “including practical issues of engineering preparation for licensing and finding locations for prototypes of promising global suppliers of these technologies.” Rez is 52% owned by ČEZ, 17% by engineering firm Škoda, 28% by the Slovakian utility Slovenské electrárne, and 2% by the village of Husinec where it is located close to Prague.
ČEZ generates 55.9 TWh of electricity per year, 55% of which comes from nuclear. Around 6% comes from other low-carbon sources, such as wind and solar, leaving 39% from fossil fuels. ČEZ noted that it sees small nuclear reactors as potential replacements for coal units.
Source: World Nuclear News