- Environmental Protection Management
- Coal Power Plant Energy By-Products
- Monitoring and assessment of environmental impacts
- Safety and Environmental Protection Policy
CEZ Group's business activities are governed by strict ethical standards - this includes acting responsibly toward local communities, society, and the environment.
Environmental Protection Management
In 1997, the CEZ, a. s. management announced, in a Board of Directors' declaration, its commitment to enforce within the company requirements specified in the EN ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems international standard. The decision was implemented as a change in the environmental protection management system, based on integration of requirements specified in the standard of the management system of the company and its power plants, through the major steps as follows:
- Adoption of the "CEZ Environmental Protection Policy“ at the company Board of Directors level, as well as related specific policies according to the company organizational hierarchy and local conditions ( there are specific environmental policies for, e.g., CEZ conventional energy division, coal power plants, hydro-power plants, and nuclear power plants), and publication of such documents ("policy", further on)
- Development of a policy implementation plan, based on recognition of operation, service, or product elements from the viewpoint of their potential environmental impacts, i.e. their environmental aspects
- Identification of measurable targets in the field of environmental protection management, together with target values, programs, and projects aiming to fulfill the objectives and the overall policy
- Implementation of changes, focusing on management of environmental aspects and realization of adopted programs
- Education and training of employees regarding issues of reduction of negative environmental effects in production processes
- Compliance verification of dealings, activities, and procedures with commitments determined within the policy and identification of potentials for improvements in the environmental protection management
Between 1998 and 2001, the CEZ, a. s. gradually integrated requirements specified in CSN EN ISO 14001, into all management systems of the conventional energy division, including all its coal and hydro-power plants, as well as in the management system of NPP Dukovany. Having performed certification audits verifying the system compliance with the standard, the CEZ's Nuclear Power Plant Dukovany in 2001 and CEZ's conventional energy division in 2002, received internationally recognized certificates of Environmental Management System (EMS). The certificates received are continuously revalidated during recertification audits. For CEZ, a.s., the EMS implementation and its follow-up certification do not represent an objective, but they are a means of prevention in, in order to minimize negative environmental effects.
Through such a transition towards active environmental protection, the CEZ, a.s. compounds good results of technical measures implemented since 1992 until the end of 1998.
Greenhouse Gas Emission Rights
End of Free-of-Charge Allocation The Czech Republic, along with another eight European Union Member States, received an exemption from the requirement to grant greenhouse gas emission rights exclusively at auction as of 2013. The Czech Republic's application of September 2011 for partial free-of-charge allocation of rights to generate electricity (the so-called "derogation") was approved in June 2012 by the Directorate-General for Climate Change (European Commission) and this was followed in December 2012 by approval from a competition perspective by the Directorate-General for Competition (European Commission). As of the Annual Report closing date, the applications of Poland and Bulgaria, where CEZ Group also operates, had been approved only by the Directorate-General for Climate Change (European Commission) and so derogation cannot yet be applied in these countries.
Under derogation, CEZ Group can obtain 76.1 million tons of emission rights in the years 2013-2020 in exchange for investments in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. These investments must at least equal the value of the emission rights granted through derogation. The value of the emission rights is determined on the basis of their market prices in the preceding year. In 2012, CEZ Group submitted to the Ministry of the Environment of the Czech Republic its "Report on Realization of Investments" for the period June 25, 2009 to September 30, 2012, in which independent financial and power industry auditors confirmed that the Group had invested over CZK 22 billion in clean, environmentally friendly technologies. According to the information in said report, in 2013 CEZ Group will receive a total of 18.8 million tons of rights to generate electricity in generation installations in the Czech Republic.
The basic strategy of CEZ is to produce electric energy and heat in an environmentally friendly way. This was why in 1992 we launched the program to desulphurinize and modernize our power stations.
Modernization of our power stations
2012 - year of continuation of the comprehensive renewal of selected coal-fired power plants in the Czech Republic with the aim of operating only highly efficient sources with the lowest possible emission factors. The upgrade of Tušimice Power Station was completed in June, the construction of a new, Czech coal-fired power source in Ledvice is continuing in accordance with an updated timeline, and the retrofit of Prunéřov II Power Station got underway following a protracted approvals process. We entered into a contract on the sale of Chvaletice Power Station, bringing us closer to fulfillment of a proposed settlement with the European Commission.
Comprehensive Renewal of Tušimice II Power Station
Phase Two of the comprehensive renewal was completed and warranty operation is ongoing on Units 21 and 22. Currently, the process of obtaining certificates of occupancy for the various buildings is ongoing, with completion planned for June 2013. In July 2012, a fire damaged the building housing vacuum belts used to remove moisture from industrial gypsum, causing a plant-wide outage that lasted three weeks, until mobile gypsum dewatering equipment was sourced and put into operation.
Comprehensive Renewal of Prunéřov II Power Station
All permits necessary under applicable legislation for construction of the project have been obtained.
The comprehensive renewal commenced on September 1, 2012. Currently, demolition work is nearly complete, installation of steel structures and boiler pressure vessels has begun, and foundations are being laid for the turbogenerator mounts and equipment shared by the generation units. Temporary measures are being taken to enable operation of the remaining Units 21 and 22. Decisions promulgated by regulatory authorities are being challenged in administrative court.
Construction of New 660 MW Source at Ledvice Power Station
Installation work continued in 2012, mainly on the boiler house, the machine house, and the flue-gas desulfurization installation.
Fossil power plants account for under 70% of the installed capacity of the CEZ Power Company (map of power plants). Brown coal is fired at most fossil power plants. The North Bohemian fossil power plants are situated in direct neighbourhood of brown coal mines.
Over the past seven years (1992-1998), the CEZ Power Company has implemented what probably is the biggest and fastest environmental programme in Europe. Within the framework of the programme, we have installed the total of 28 desulphurisation plants and 7 fluidised-bed boilers at out power plants. Moreover, ash precipitators have been reconstructed and power plant control systems have been modernised. The overall investment in modernisation and desulphurisation of fossil power plants amounted to CZK 46 billion. Thanks to the effort, the SO2 and ash emissions have been cut by 90% and those of NOX by 50%. Our power plants are thus currently fully comparable to similar sources anywhere in Europe.
The environmental program of CEZ includes the desulphurization of the total power capacity of 5,930 MW in 32 coal-firing units, the construction of seven fluidized-bed boilers at four power stations, improvement in the efficiency of ash precipitators and the implementation of measures designed to cut the production of nitrogen oxides and carbon monoxide. The amount of 2,020 MW is scheduled to be decommissioned.
The power station desulphurization program is the fastest in North Bohemia. In 1994, the desulphurization equipment at the Pocerady Power Station(2 x 200 MW) was launched, followed in 1995 by that in Prunerov(4 x 110 MW). In these stations, the wet limestone scrubbing technique was used, which is envisaged to be deployed in 90% of coal-firing units of CEZ. At two units in the Ledvice Power Station, the combined semi-dry limestone desulphurization technique has been deployed.
In the autumn of 1995, the first fluidized-bed boiler at the Tisova Power Station was launched into operation testing. With its output of 350 tons of steam per hour, the unit became the biggest system of its type in the Czech Republic. Other fluidized-bed boilers have been constructed in the Hodonin and Ledvice power stations and in the Porici Power Station.
Currently, desulphurization units and fluidized-bed boilers are being operated at power stations giving off rated power of 4,810 MW and 442 MW respectively, which amounts to 82% of the company program. In older power stations, 1,125 MW of capacity have been decommissioned. The desulphurization program will allow the SO2 emissions from the CEZ coal-firing power stations to fall by over 90%.
Concurrent with the desulphurization efforts, reconstruction work on fly-ash precipitators and boiler modifications designed to cut the emissions of fly-ash and NOx have been under way at all coal-firing power stations of CEZ. The upgraded electric fly-ash precipitators achieve 99.8% efficiency. The emissions of ash and NOx will have dropped by over 90% and 50% respectively compared to those in 1991.
Emissions of pollutants are kept under strickt supervision and monitoring by CEZ. In all power stations, automatic continuous emissions measurements are carried out and the competent authorities are kept constantly informed.
Act No. 309/1991 Sb. sets the emissions limits for solid air pollutants (fly-ash), sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides (NOx) and carbon monoxide. The date by which the new limits are to be met is 31st December 1998. By that date, CEZ will have been operating no power unit failing to meet the new emission limits.
During implementation of the desulphurization process, a method of fly-ash management more friendly to the environment was adopted in all power stations. Before this technology ash was pumped to be dumped in the sludge pools. This new advancement will allow the ash to be collected dry and reused,
for example in the landscaping projects in disused surface coal pits.
During the desulphurization process the by product, the so-called power industrial gypsum, is produced which is a valuable recycled material. Thanks to its high purity, guaranteed by the parameters of the desulphurization equipment, the material is suitable for applications in the construction industry. Since 1994, the Pocerady Power Station (a joint-venture with Knauff Pocerady) has been producing gypsum plaster boards using the power industrial gypsum produced by the desulphurization units. A similar company, this time in co-operation with Rigips, is being built near the Melnik Power Station.
Over the recent years, CEZ have studied extensively the potential of generating electricity from wind power, solar power, or by firing biological materials. The first wind power station of CEZ is power rated for 315 kW and was launched into operational testing in November 1993 in Krusne Hory (in Dlouha Louka near Osek). At this demonstration power station, tests and measurements were carried out throughout 1997, including the verification of the effect of turbulence for the power output, studying the effect of ice and atmospheric charges for the station operation, the environmental effects of the power station for its surroundings, and the optimization of the station operation and other similar tests.
In 1997, a wind power station farm was renovated in Mravenecnik, which is located in the Jesenik mountains (near the Dlouhe Strane Pumped-Storage Hydro Power Station) which includes three wind units of respective power ratings 220, 315 and 630 kW).
TThe discharged water is subject to like control. In the control tanks and the discharge pipe, the volume activities of the activation and fission products - gamma radiation sources, Strontium ( 89 Sr, 90 Sr), and tritium are assayed and the overall alpha and beta activities are measured. All the data obtained has been found to be over ten percent below the permitted limits.
The discharged water is subject to like control. In the control tanks and the discharge pipe, the volume activities of the activation and fission products - gamma radiation sources, Strontium ( 89 Sr, 90 Sr), tritium are assayed and the overall alpha and beta activities are measured. All the data obtained have been found to be tens of per cent below the permitted limits.
The summarized information about the nuclear safety of Czech nuclear facilities is contained in the detailed report on State Office for Nuclear Safety page, which was successfully discussed with IAEA.
Coal Power Plant Energy By-Products
The ash coming from the combustion processes taking place in CEZ's coal power plants is suitable, in particular, for utilization in landscaping after an extensive coal excavation, in re-cultivation, and structural layers of roads and other ground surface communications. Ash components (ash and slag) are utilized in construction material production, e.g. cement, concrete and mortar mixtures, and wall building materials. Processed ash is utilized as both structural and filling material of waste deposits, as equivalent substitution for natural clays. Power plant gypsum originating in combustion gas desulphuring is demanded for raw material production of cement, plaster and related products, as well as an equivalent substitution for natural raw materials.
A dry-state delivery of energy by-products and their components provide for direct use of such products at customers, and utilization of specific properties of such products for, in addition, recultivation of sludge sediment basins, as well as for shaping of landscape contours, in accordance with requirements applicable within a particular location. Additionally, the dry-state delivery technology includes central mixing plants for a mixture preparation according to various recipes, adapted for purposes of mixture utilization.
Changes in energy by-product management are reflecting into registration systems maintained according to the Waste Act and enable the CEZ, a.s. to reduce the quantity of waste to be disposed of, and deposit the waste instead, for a fee or a contractual price.
In 2000, nearly 28 % more energy by-products from CEZ coal power plants were utilized, in comparison to the data from 1993. By 1999, e.g., 50 mil. m2 of gypsum plasterboards was produced from CEZ combustion gas desulphurization gypsum, in the Czech Republic.
Land Clean-Up and Reclamation
In 2012, reclamation work continued at sites in the vicinity of CEZ Group conventional power plants (ash and other waste dumps, settling ponds, etc.). In 2012, over 8.2 million tons of certified power generation by-products (PGBPs) were utilized in land reclamation. These power generation by-products are primarily ash, products of the semi-dry flue gas desulfurization process, and synthetic gypsum from the wet limestone scrubbing process of flue gas purification. CEZ Group produced a total of over 9.9 million tons of PGBPs in the course of generating power and heat in 2012. Of the total amount of PGBPs, over 99% was used in the form of certified products (over 82% in land reclamation and landscape creation), while a negligible amount was disposed of as waste in accordance with the Waste Act.
Monitoring and assessment of environmental impacts
The CEZ, a.s., according to the Czech Republic environmental law, CEZ is required to monitor, to what extent it pollutes the environment, how it utilizes natural resources, and what are the possible environmental consequences of its operations. Additionally, the CEZ, a.s. is required to provide information concerning its environmental effects.
The CEZ’ss, a. s. environmental protection activites include a registration of atmosphere pollutions (emmissions), in monitoring stations. Monitoring stations are located in the field, giving CEZ the ability to assess objectively impacts of the coal power plants operation on atmosphere pollution level, i.e. area emission burden. Measuring stations are equipped with modern instruments mostly used for automated measurements of dust, sulfur oxide, and nitrogen oxide emissions. Measured values are received, in addition, in Emission Information System of Atmosphere Quality (ISKO) of the Czech Republic.
According to the Czech Republic law concerning environmental impact assessment, the CEZ, a. s. submits to relevant state administration environmental authorities, for their assessment. Specific documentation concerning an independent evaluation of environmental impacts of each considered construction project, operation, and technology including their changes and changes in utilization, are subjected to an assessment. The CEZ, a. s. activities, subjected to such an assessment, are open to comments and suggestions from the side of municipalities and the public.
Safety and environmental protection policy
Responsibility for safety and environmental protection policy
The ČEZ Board is fully aware and without reservations accepts responsibility by course of valid legislation and the international commitment of the Czech Republic to ensure and safety and protection of:
- production resources,
- individuals and the company,
- the environment,
- critical infrastructure.
To fulfil this responsibility, the ČEZ Board undertakes to create and develop appropriate conditions and adequate human and financial resources, effective management structures and control mechanisms.
We comprehend safety as an integral part of all activities related to the management system, technologies and human resources.
Safety and environmental protection policy
- We rank protection of life and health above all other interests.
- We uphold safety and environmental protection as an integral part of the management system.
- We fulfil laws and public contracts and take accepted practice into consideration.
- We continuously develop our approach to safety and protection of the environment.
- We regularly assess the risks, prevent them, eliminate them, or reduce them to an acceptable level.
- We ensure that the technology fulfils the safety, environmental, economic and technical requirements on a long-term basis.
- In the selection and evaluation of the suppliers, we consider their approach to safety and the environment.
- We openly communicate safety topics and the impacts of our activities on the company and the environment.
- We ensure adequate qualified and responsible employees.
- We manage key knowledge.
1. We rank protection of life and health above all other interests.
1.1. Every employee is personally responsible for safety.
1.2. Compliance with safety regulations is mandatory for all employees.
1.3. Ensuring the safety of the nuclear power plants has the highest priority.
1.4. We create a safe and healthy working environment and working conditions.
1.5. The executive staff shall lead by personal example in terms of correct behaviour in the application of the principles of corporate culture and safety.
1.6. In all activities we adopt such measures as to protect human health and the environment and not create unacceptable burdens for future generations.
2. We uphold safety and environmental protection as an integral part of the management system.
2.1. Safety and environmental protection is an integral part of the thinking, behaviour and working habits of the employees of contractors.
2.2. For the required level of safety and environmental protection, the essential financial, material and human resources have been secured.
2.3. The basic instrument of the management system is the cycle of planning, implementation, controlling and improvement.
2.4. We apply a phased and conservative approach.
2.5. We perform each organisational, procedural or technical change in a controlled manner with minimisation of negative impacts.
2.6. Activities and functions that impact safety, relevant roles, responsibilities and powers have been defined.
2.7. We all understand how to contribute to safety and environmental protection.
2.8. We have defined clear and measurable objectives, which we regularly review and communicate.
2.9. We use regulations and control documentation, which are comprehensible, up-to-date and easily available.
2.10. Plans for the recovery of significant safety activities and functions have been defined.
3. We fulfil laws and public contracts and take accepted practice into consideration.
3.1. We know the stakeholders and their justified requirements.
3.2. We actively monitor the legislation under preparation.
3.3. We ensure compliance with legal regulations and the requirements of state administration authorities and take the relevant requirements of the stakeholders into consideration.
3.4. We focus on internationally accepted practice.
3.5. Controlled conditions for compliance with the internal standards, regulations, licence conditions, etc. are created and applied.
3.6. We compare applied practice to the best verified techniques and valid technical standards.
3.7. We prove and document the quality of the fulfilment of the safety and environmental protection requirements.
3.8. We practice zero tolerance to alcohol and other habit-forming substances.
4. We continuously develop the safety and environmental protection standard.
4.1. We identify all the relevant resources for management and improvement of the safety and environmental protection standard.
4.2. We assess the safety standard in a demonstrable manner in three stages: self-assessment, independent assessment and assessment by the management or an external organisation.
4.3. We do internal and external safety benchmarking.
4.4. We continuously improve our knowledge and experience, which we use to review the performed activities and procedures and their improvement.
4.5. We have defined a uniform system for handling of safety discrepancies and events.
4.6. We have an established system for coping with safety incidents, their investigation and analysis focused on identification and elimination of causes.
4.7. We consistently plan, implement and control activities that impact safety and environmental protection; we verify the efficiency of adopted remedial measures.
4.8. We support team efforts to achieve good results.
4.9. We develop safety culture as a subconscious component of our behaviour and decision-making
4.10. We implement measures in the area of energy, raw material and material savings.
4.11. We prevent environmental pollution by minimisation of waste generation and prefer recycling.
5. We regularly assess the safety risks, prevent them, eliminate them, or reduce their impact to an acceptable level.
5.1. An effective risk management system has been established in which the risks are identified, evaluated and categorised.
5.2. When assessing the risks, we consider the probability of their occurrence and gravity of their impact.
5.3. We release the resources according to the significance of the risks.
5.4. We eliminate risks and where this is not possible, we reduce them to a reasonable possible level.
5.5. We review the risks periodically or in the event of changes.
5.6. We ensure protection against undesirable failure through independent technical and organisational measures.
5.7. We maintain the up-to-date lists of safety and environmental risks.
5.8. The employees are acquainted with the relevant safety and environmental risks, incidents and adopted measures.
5.9. In case of danger to life and health, environment or assets, we have an established effective system of emergency readiness, response and crisis management.
5.10. We set and implement programmes containing goals for increasing the level of environmental protection.
6. We ensure that the technology fulfils the safety, environmental, economic and technical requirements on a long-term basis.
6.1. We approach nuclear technology with the knowledge that it is unique and requires extraordinary attention.
6.2. We use safe and environmentally friendly technology.
6.3. At all stages of the life cycle of our technologies (design, project implementation and changes, commissioning, operation, maintenance, decommissioning), we adhere to the safety, quality and sustainability requirements.
6.4. We operate and maintain the technology in accordance with the design and operational documentation.
6.5. We apply proven processes and technologies and seek and utilise recognised practices in the field.
6.6. Technology reliability and configuration management, including continuous monitoring, is an integral part of risk management.
6.7. We monitor and promote scientific knowledge and research.
6.8. We maintain knowledge on project bases to enable us to make technical changes responsibly.
7. In the selection and evaluation of the suppliers, we consider their approach to safety and the environment.
7.1. We ensure that the safety and environmental protection policy requirements addressed to the employees and their involvement in the safety system are also fulfilled by the employees of supplier organisations.
7.2. Relationships with our suppliers and other business partners are based on mutual partnerships and respect for the high demands on safety, environmental protection and quality.
7.3. For the selection of contractors, safety criteria have been defined focused mainly on their competence, the ability to ensure systemic risk management and ensure quality delivery.
7.4. We acquaint the suppliers with the safety and environmental requirements and risks.
7.5. An integral part of the evaluation of co-operation with suppliers is evaluation of compliance with safety, environmental and quality requirements.
7.6. We create the conditions for fulfilment of the quality and safety requirements of deliveries.
7.7. We require that the suppliers should have a management system meeting the quality and safety requirements.
7.8. We require, check and evaluate the safe performance of supplier activities and the quality of the deliveries.
8. We openly communicate safety topics and the impacts of our activities on the company and the environment.
8.1. We maintain an environment of open communication as a basis for raising the level of corporate culture and appreciate the good examples in this area.
8.2. Managers hold discussions with the employees on important decisions and the reasons for them so that the employees can identify with them.
8.3. We are building an environment of respect and trust, where constructive criticism is understood as a tool to finding the right solutions.
8.4. We have set up a system for collecting, analysing and sharing safety-related information.
8.5. We evaluate the effectiveness of communication and monitoring the performance of tasks.
8.6. We inform employees about safety and environmental solutions to major disagreements and incidents.
8.7. When coping with incidents, we create an environment of trust, promoting cooperation between the stakeholders in order to determine all the circumstances, proper evaluation and identification of the causes (no blame policy).
8.8. Channels of communication with external stakeholders are established.
9. We ensure adequate qualified and motivated employees and suppliers.
9.1. We plan and provide a sufficient number of qualified employees and contractors as a condition for the safe performance of activities and risk prevention.
9.2. We provide long-term support of education, recruitment and selection of future employees.
9.3. Employees are professionally, emotionally and medically fit to perform their duties.
9.4. For each position, we have established qualification requirements and an established system of education and ensure their fulfilment.
9.5. For our employees, we strengthen awareness of personal responsibility.
9.6. A system of employee motivation has been established.
9.7. We provide training and staff development in safety and environmental protection.
9.8. Senior employees are systematically involved in raising the professional level of employees as well as compliance with safety criteria for the performance of their duties.
10. We manage key knowledge.
10.1. In a controlled manner, we identify, capture and share crucial knowledge and experience.
10.2. We apply succession programmes.
10.3. We have developed an efficient system for transmission of information for prevention of incidents or their recurrence.
10.4. We continuously identify and take all the safety relations into account.
10.5. We motivate the carriers of key knowledge and experience to share and transfer their know-how.
10.6. We support our employees' willingness to learn.