ČEZ is considering choosing a supplier of nuclear reactors in the near future, so that it can extend the Temelín power plant. The company wants to start the process even before the completion of a compulsory EIA environmental study.
ČEZ will save money. State will store uranium.
According to information available to E15, the company could call the key tender still this year. ČEZ neither denied nor confirmed this information.
“We will not call a tender for the supplier in the first quarter of this year, definitely not. But given the process, the EIA study and the tender can run parallel to one another. But we are still only considering the options. We are thinking about it but have not made any decision,” said spokesman Ladislav Kříž.
ČEZ wants to finish the construction of two new blocks for Temelín in 2013. According to original plans, the company was to have selected a supplier of technology by 2010. A tender for a project as challenging as a nuclear power plant lasts longer than a year. Competitors need at least half a year just to prepare the offer.
Companies competing for the CZK 300 billion tender include the Japanese firm Mitsubishi, the Russian Atomenergoprojekt, the American Westinghouse and the French Areva. The project for now has four versions, depending on the type of reactor. The least powerful version would mean blocks with an output of 1,056 megawatts, which is the same as the current output.
The most powerful version would mean two reactors with an output of 1,700 megmawatts. It would increase Temelín’s output by 3,400 megawatt, in other words, by more than 2.5 times the current output.
EIA study delaying Temelín construction
It seems that the EIA study on the construction’s environmental impact is more complicated than ČEZ anticipated. Although the Environment Ministry allowed this important document, without which ČEZ can’t start the project, to proceed past the first stage, it added more than 30 additional conditions that must be met and that could delay the construction. And that is most likely the reason why ČEZ wants to speed up the key tender for suppliers, which was initially to be called after EIA approval.
“It’s already clear that the current cabinet will not be approving the EIA study for Temelín,” said Edvard Sequens from the group Calla, an advisor to the environment minister. The ecologists demand, among other things, that along with the construction of the two new reactors, the study also evaluates the possible construction of a new power lines across the Bohemian-Moravian Highlands and the expansion of Temelín’s nuclear waste storage facility.
ČEZ spokesman Ladislav Kříž did not want to speculate about the possible delay of the project. He said only some of the versions of the project would call for the construction of new power lines. According to information available to E15, this would concern the project of the Japanese company Mitsubishi, which would involve building two reactors with an output of 1,700 megawatts.
Ecologists don’t mind the efforts of ČEZ to speed up this phase of the project. In fact, they would welcome if ČEZ selected a technical supplier before the evaluation of the EIA report. The German and Austrian environment ministries, as well as some Czech environmental groups even requested that this approach be taken. But ČEZ denies that the project is being sped up. “We would come under the influence of the selected company, which could then try to determine our economic conditions. We want to avoid that at all costs,” said Kříž.