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Czech nuclear electricity could meet 50% of demand by 2060

13 Feb 2012 18:50:51 | edem

The Czech Republic might consider cutting its expansion of nuclear energy to 50% of the overall energy mix instead of the initially proposed 80%, as part of the country's future energy concept, a spokeswoman for the Czech ministry of industry and trade confirmed on Friday.

One of the previous versions of the concept anticipated the construction of up to 18 nuclear reactors by 2060, which would mean that nuclear capacity could cover 80% of the domestic energy demand.

But the Czech Minister of Industry and Trade, Martin Cuba, did not consider this economically feasible, the spokeswoman said.

A more realistic plan would be to build two new units at the 2GW Temelín nuclear plant and to expand the 1.76GW Dukovany nuclear plant by 2035, according to Cuba. In this case, the nuclear share in the energy mix would reach approximately 50%.

Currently, 21% of Czech domestic energy production is met through nuclear power, according to data from the European Commission.

A decision on the Czech energy concept will be made in June, the spokeswoman said.

In October last year, state-owned incumbent ČEZ launched a tender for the construction of two 1GW Temelín units. The bidders were Russia's Atomstroyexport, in a consortium with Czech company Skoda and Russian firm Gidropress, along with France's Areva and Westinghouse from the US.

The first unit is expected to start commercial operation in 2022 or 2023 and the second will follow 18 months later ( see EDEM 31 October 2011). The winner of the tender will be announced in August 2013.

Currently, ČEZ is renewing 1.55GW of coal-fired power plant capacity, as well as building a 841MW combined-cycle gas turbine in Pocerady and a 660MW coal-fired plant in Ledvice.

In November, the Czech government's advisory council made final recommendations to keep nuclear electricity at the core of the country's energy policy to 2060 (see EDEM 29 November 2011). IP

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