ČEZ and Czech Republic sign agreement on Dukovany-5 nuclear project

29 Jul 2020

The Czech government has signed agreements with the state-owned power utility ČEZ for the development of a new 1.2 GW unit at the Dukovany nuclear power plant. The agreement encompasses the overall general framework of the €6bn project and its initial phase; it will include a tender and ČEZ will have a preferred list of suppliers (by 2022) and will sign a contract with one supplier by 2024. Construction should start in 2029, and commissioning is expected in 2036. Rosatom, China General Nuclear Power (CGNPC), EDF, KHNP, Westinghouse, and a joint venture between Orano (formerly known as Areva) and Mitsubishi are likely to participate in the construction tender.

Earlier in July 2020, the government approved plans to give an interest-free loan for the project and a model to buy power from the new nuclear reactor at a fixed tariff. Consumers would make up the gap if that price is higher than wholesale market prices. The government will have to seek approval for the European Commission to ensure its nuclear program meets EU state aid rules.

In March 2020, ČEZ applied to State Office for Nuclear Safety to build two 1.2 GW new reactors at the Dukovany nuclear power plant. ČEZ already operates four VVER-440 reactors at the Dukovany nuclear power plant (2,040 MW) and two VVER-1000 reactors at the Temelín plant (2,160 MW). Replacing the older reactors with new units is viewed as crucial for the country’s energy security, as the four Dukovany reactors are expected to be shut down permanently between 2035 and 2037.

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