Czech power utility CEZ has selected ŠKODA JS to supply containers for used nuclear fuel assemblies for the Temelín NPP following a public tender. The Pilsen manufacturer will build on a current contract from 2015. The first delivery will take place in 2029. A tender is held at approximately 10-year intervals, the first being in 2006 and the second time in 2015.

Bohdan Zronek, member of the ČEZ Board of Directors and Director of the Nuclear Energy Division the selection is based on technical development, price and current fuel supply. “We monitor the competition to obtain good offers and meet licensing requirements with regard to fuel supply,” he noted.

The new containers will make it possible to store fuel from new suppliers – in the past Russia’s TVEL has been the main supplier of nuclear fuel to Czech NPPs. Last year, CEZ selected US Westinghouse and France’s Framatome for future fuel supplies. CEZ should receive the first fuel from new suppliers in 2024/25. The ability to store fuel assemblies from different manufacturers was one of the parameters of the tender, Zronek explained.

According to the tender, ŠKODA JS will gradually supply 60 containers for the Temelín NPP. The first delivery will take place in 2029. Until then, ŠKODA JS will produce containers for Temelín under with the current 2015 contract which envisages the delivery of 58 containers. Currently ŠKODA JS has delivered 20 and another six are expected this year, according to Temelín NPP Director Jan Krumlov. From 2029, ŠKODA JS will supply Temelín from two to six containers a year. “These will be the same containers as the existing ones, dual-purpose containers. It will be possible to both transport and store the fuel used in them. They will differ only in technical details,” said ŠKODA JS CEO František Krček. Before using the new containers, ŠKODA JS must obtain approval from the State Office for Nuclear Safety.

CEZ stores used fuel assemblies on the premises of both its Temelín and Dukovany NPPs. Each plant has its own warehouse. They have two warehouses in Dukovany, with a total capacity of 193 containers. The existing Temelín warehouse with a capacity of 152 storage containers has been in operation since 2010 and currently houses 63 containers with used fuel assemblies. The containers are monitored by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

The weight of a Temelín container is 115 tonnes when full and 100 tonnes empty. Each container can hold 19 assemblies. A container can be transported from the plant to the used fuel storage if its surface temperature does not exceed 85° C.