Why does the Czech Republic need a new nuclear power plant?
The State Energy Concept (SEC) approved by the Government assesses several scenarios of the potential development of consumption in the Czech Republic with the clear conclusion that the construction of new nuclear power blocks is necessary.
Coal-fired power plants represent today the decisive part of the Czech power system, with more than half of its electricity generation. Their replacement for low-emission sources will represent a fundamental transformation in the Czech Republic’s energy strategy.
The current brown-coal capacity of approx. 10,800 MWe will fall to approx. 6,400 MWe by 2035, and then to approx. 2,600 MWe by 2040. The utilization of coal sources will therefore decrease very significantly and their share in the generation of power by 2040 will fall from the current 53 % to between 11 to 21%, as stated in the State Energy Policy. The identified and quantified fast pace of phasing out coal sources is the main factor for the timely preparation of the construction of new nuclear units. Another reason is to maintain power production in the Dukovany site after termination of operation of the existing power plant. This will result in a gradual loss of approx. 2,000 MWe of installed power that will have to be compensated.
The state Energy Policy also takes into account the potential availability of other sources of electrical power (in particular renewable energy sources) and other energy policy instruments (in particular savings). Renewable energy sources play and will continue to play an important role in the energy transformation. All indicators of the use of renewable energy sources in the energy management of the Czech Republic are constantly growing. However, the Czech Republic naturally has limited potential for the development and use of renewable energy sources. It is given by natural conditions (climatic, geological and soil) and requirements of environmental protection (soil, waters, landscape character, flora and fauna).
Major benefits of new NPP construction
- Reducing dependence of the Czech Republic on imported gas and oil, helping to maintain the energy safety of the State and supplementing the optimal energy mix.
- Reliable future replacement of older sources, covering incleased electricity consumption in the Czech Republic and creating adequate output reserves.
- Production of electricity in nuclear power plants is the cheapest in terms of measurable production costs as compared with other sources. Although one electric power plant cannot impact the European electricity price, however, the intent is to have positive business results for the Czech enterprises.
- Constructing new nuclear projects in the verified locations of current NPPs Dukovany and Temelín is the best in terms of the economic, logistic, and technical aspects as well as impact on the environment, thanks to already sites and infrastructure as well as experience with the operation of nuclear power plants.
- The construction shall create job opportunities for Czech workers, business opportunities for domestic suppliers and investments in the development of the regions, and shall also make it possible to maintain the Czech Republic's high labour qualification standard in the related high-tech professions.
- Nuclear power plants as compared with coal or gas power plants do not emit greenhouse gases, dust or other harmful emissions. They do not contribute to global climatic change nor air pollution.
- Operational experience shows that the radiation burden is minimal and is comparable with the natural radiation background in any other place in the Czech Republic
- Adequate uranium resources and nuclear fuel production capacity exist worldwide from various suppliers and there is no risk of dependence on potentially risky countries.