Site licence issued for new Dukovany units

11 March 2021

Czech company Elektrárna Dukovany II (EDU II), part of the CEZ Group, on 8 March obtained a permit from the State Office for Nuclear Safety (SÚJB) to site a new nuclear power plant in Dukovany, CEZ spokesman Ladislav Kriz said. The preparation and processing of documentation for the licensing procedure took five years and included over 200 professional studies and analyses, CEZ noted. Three dozen experts from EDU II, CEZ and other institutions, including the Research Institute of Water Management, Masaryk University and ÚJV Rež, processed the documentation, which comprised more than 1600 pages.

SÚJB stated on its website that a team of inspectors of the Office, specialists of the State Institute of Radiation Protection and other experts had cooperated in the assessment of the application. The administrative proceedings lasted almost 12 months. It evaluated the tender safety report and other relevant documents which are required under the Atomic Act. "The evaluation did not reveal any facts that would prevent the issuance of the permit," said SÚJB chairwoman Dana Drábová.

CEZ said the documentation describes, among other things, whether the site is suitable for the location of a new nuclear power plant. It covers the environment, including water supply; describes and evaluates the project concept and quality assurance issues; and also deals with the preliminary impact of the operation on the population and the wider environment, and eventual decommissioning of the plant.

"This is one of the most important milestones. We have paid a lot of attention and effort to the preparation of the documentation and the administrative procedure itself. In addition, we are totally transparent in publishing the entire Tender Safety Report and other materials,” said CEZ CEO Daniel Beneš.

The licence relates to the siting of of two nuclear units, each with a pressurized water reactor with a maximum electrical output of up to 1200 MWe. However, EDU II CEO Petr Závodský explained:

"The current construction plan is for one unit of up to 1200 MWe, although, the permit applies to two nuclear facilities.” 

EDU II, which was established in 2015 to manage the preparation for construction of the new units, obtained an environmental impact assessment report for the project in 2019. In July 2020 contracts were signed between EDU II, CEZ and the government, represented by the Ministry of Industry and Trade, which agreed a financing model for the new nuclear unit which is expected to cost approximately CZK162 billion ($7.4bn). The government has agreed to provide guarantees for any political or legislative risks the project may face. A framework agreement was also signed under which CEZ is to hold a tender for the reactor supplier, negotiate a contract and receive all the required licences by 2024, for operation in 2036.

Five companies have expressed interested in building new nuclear power units - China General Nuclear, EDF, Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power, Rosatom and Westinghouse. However, politicians are divided over whether China and Russia should be allowed to take part in the tender. In January it was agreed that China should be excluded but the debate continues over Russia.

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