The Czech Republic has announced plans to expand the construction of nuclear power units at its plants, increasing the number from just one to potentially four. This expansion underscores the country’s commitment to enhancing its nuclear power capacity, with the possibility of adding two units at Dukovany and another two at the Temelín plant.
The Czech government, aiming to achieve cost efficiencies, has revised its tender process to invite binding offers for the construction of these reactors, with the expectation that ordering multiple units could lead to substantial savings.
“The tendering process so far shows that supplying multiple reactors simultaneously could provide us with a price reduction of up to one-quarter for a single reactor. We have therefore decided to ask bidders to submit binding offers for the supply of up to four new nuclear reactors,” Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala said.
The government has also confirmed that the tender is now down to two bidders, French company EDF and South Korea’s KHNP. The United States’s Westinghouse has been excluded from the bid because it didn’t meet the conditions of the tender as it didn’t identify the entity responsible for the quality of the work.
The news of Westinghouse, which is slated to build reactors in Poland and Ukraine, being excluded from the bid was unexpected.
EDF and KHNP have until April 15 to submit their new proposals. These bids will then be evaluated by CEZ, the Czech Republic’s partly state-owned energy company, with a decision on the supplier and the number of reactors to be built expected by mid-2024.
The first of the planned units is slated for completion in 2036, with subsequent units to follow by 2050.
This expansion represents the largest investment in Czech history, with initial cost estimates for one unit at €6.5 billion, although current projections suggest a higher price due to inflation and changes in market conditions since the 2020 calculation.
The Czech Republic currently has a total of six nuclear reactors in two power plants generating about a third of the country’s electricity. The government reaffirmed its commitment to nuclear energy in a mid-2015 energy policy that seeks to significantly increase its nuclear power capacity.
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