Six companies have expressed interest in the expansion of the Czech Republic’s nuclear power programme, according to media reports on 2 November. These include Russia’s Rusatom Overseas (part of state nuclear corporation Rosatom); US-based Westinghouse (part of Japan’s Toshiba Corp); Electricite de France; ATMEA, the joint venture of France’s Areva and Japan’s Mitsubishi; Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power, and China General Nuclear Power Corporation.

The Czech nuclear action plan adopted by the government in June 2015 calls for the construction of two reactors, one each at Dukovany NPP and Temelín NPP, with another two to possibly follow. While most industry experts believe one or two new reactors might be possible. State-owned power utility ČEZ, which will lead the nuclear expansion project, had set up separate companies for the Dukovany and Temelín expansion by the start of October. 

The end of October was the deadline for the companies and group to send in technical details of the reactor they would probably be offering. Details were submitted earlier giving the financial and commercial conditions under which the companies could take part, such as taking a share in the separate companies that will plan and build the proposed new reactor or reactors at the current sites at Dukovany and Temelín.

Rusatom Overseas officials, taking part in a three-day conference in Prague, said they will offer their complete range of partnership options which include: just building and delivering new reactors; or the arrangement with Finland for the Hanhikivi 1 NPP, where the Russian company owns a third of the overall project; or the build-own-operate model which is being pursued in Turkey for the Akkuyu NPP.

The Czech Republic kept open plans to build new nuclear power capacity even after state-controlled utility CEZ cancelled an earlier tender to enlarge its Temelin NPP in 2014. However, any decision to proceed with construction is unlikely to come until a new government is in place following elections due in October 2017.