EDF, Westinghouse and KHNP agree to take part in Dukovany tender

17 August 2021

Elektrárna Dukovany II, part of Czech power utility CEZ in June sent letters to three companies interested in building a new unit at the Dukovany NPP inviting them to take part in a safety assessment. All three companies have now agreed to participate in the assessment, CEZ said on 13 August. The three companies were France’s EDF, US-based Westinghouse and Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power (KHNP). Russia’s Rosatom and the China’s CGN had previously been excluded from taking part in the tender for political reasons.

"Applicants for the construction of a new nuclear unit signed the Acknowledgment Letter. They thus accepted participation in the safety assessment,” Tomáš Pleskac, a member of the Board of Directors and director of the CEZ Group's New Energy and Distribution Division, said on Twitter. “We provided EDF, Westinghouse and KHNP with preliminary inquiry documentation. This gives potential bidders more time to prepare bids.”

In June, CEZ spokesman Ladislav Kriz said that all relevant information on security issues would be submitted to applicants by CEZ Group by the end of November this year. The government will then decide which candidates will be invited to the tender. The decision will be taken after the October elections to the Chamber of Deputies.

"It is mainly about clarifying the ownership structure, supply chain, ties of the entities concerned with the state, problems with project implementation, allegations and other problems in nuclear resources projects, transfer of technology and know-how and more," said Kriz

The possible participation of Rosatom and CGN in the tender had long been criticised by part of the parliamentary opposition, but also by some security experts. The Ministry of Industry and Trade announced its intention not to invite China to the tender at the end of March and Rosatom was then excluded in mid-April.

The safety guarantees for the construction will also be enshrined in legislation. In June, the Chamber of Deputies adopted an amendment stating that only technologies from suppliers from countries that had acceded to the international agreement on government procurement could build the unit. Russia and China are not among these countries. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Industry Karel Havlícek agreed with the amendment. After this, the opposition stopped blocking approval of the standard on measures for the Czech Republic's transition to low-carbon energy, which includes financing expansion of the Dukovany plant. The new unit is expected to be fully financed by the state. According to Havlícek, the price of the contract will only be determined on the basis of offers. Analysts put the figure at between CZK162 and 400 billion ($7.5-18.5bn).

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