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Czechs plan small nuclear reactor in 2032 to boost energy supply


Czechs plan small nuclear reactor in 2032 to boost energy supply

by AFP Staff Writers

Prague (AFP) Feb 27, 2023

The Czech state-run power group CEZ said Monday it was planning to launch its first small modular nuclear reactor (SMR) in a decade and another two by 2040.

SMRs are being considered by several European countries including Finland and Sweden, which are seeking to raise energy output amid growing global demand for electricity.

Global energy prices have soared as Russia cut its energy exports in response to sanctions following the invasion of Ukraine.

Compared with conventional nuclear reactors, the SMRs are relatively simple to build, as their systems and components can be factory-assembled and transported as a unit to a location for installation.

They are also more affordable than large power reactors and bear low risk of a serious accident.

“The first one will be launched around 2032 and the other two in the second half of the 2030s,” CEZ spokesman Ladislav Kriz told AFP.

The first SMR will be built at Temelin, one of CEZ’s two nuclear plants that cover about one third of the Czech Republic’s total power production.

CEZ plans to build the next two at its current coal-fired power plants in a bid to switch from fossil fuels to greener technologies.

The company said it was looking at other locations for future SMRs, including its other nuclear plant at Dukovany and several coal-fired plants.

“Small modular reactors are not meant to replace large nuclear units,” CEZ board member Tomas Pleskac said in a statement.

“They are a supplement to the Czech energy mix as a convenient substitute for coal-fired power plants and large heating plants.”

CEZ also plans to launch a new large nuclear reactor at Dukovany by 2036.

Late last year, it said it had received bids to build the reactor from US-Canadian firm Westinghouse, France’s EDF and South Korea’s KHNP.

CEZ expects to sign a deal to build the reactor worth several billion euros (dollars) with the selected bidder next year.





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