Czech Nuclear Energy Strategy
Standing Committee on New Nuclear Build
In 2017, the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic approved the statute of the Standing Committee on Nuclear Energy, which was replaced by the Standing Committee on New Nuclear Build in February 2019. The Prime Minister of the Czech Republic was elected its chairman and the members are ministers, deputies, the Chairperson of the State Office for Nuclear Safety, the Chairman of the ČEZ Board of Directors, members of opposition parties and others. The Standing Committee on New Nuclear Build focuses on:
- inter-ministerial coordination of state administration and self-government bodies in the implementation and possible updating of the National Action Plan for the Development of Nuclear Energy in the Czech Republic,
- coordination of state administration and self-government bodies during the preparation and construction of nuclear power plants,
- determination of the business-supplier model of the construction of a new nuclear power plant, including creation of assumptions for its financing,
- land use planning and permitting processes related to nuclear facilities,
- development of legislation in the area of the construction and operation of nuclear power plants,
- coordination of international cooperation in the field of the nuclear energy sector,
- assessment and analysis of the issue of ensuring the safety interests of the state in the field of nuclear energy.
National Action Plan for the Development of Nuclear Energy in the Czech Republic
The National Action Plan for the Development of Nuclear Energy in the Czech Republic follows the updated State Energy Policy and within the limits of its strategic task, transforms any of its sub-targets into particular implementation steps. The implementation steps and the role of the state are described in the following fields:
- regulation in the field of nuclear safety,
- ensuring the long-term sustainable infrastructure needed for construction,
- long-term safe operation of nuclear installations and their decommissioning,
- disposal of nuclear waste of all categories, from both nuclear energy and nuclear research, medicine and industry,
- research in the field of nuclear energy or education and training.
With regard to ensuring energy security, but also with regard to the overall social benefit, the National Action Plan, in accordance with the State Energy Policy, considers it desirable to immediately begin preparations for the construction of new nuclear power plants in Dukovany and Temelín.
In particular for reasons of maintaining power generation at the Dukovany site, the nuclear unit construction and start-up by 2037 is of crucial importance in order to ensure continuity of the nuclear power plant operation and human resources at the site by 2037, when termination of the gradual decommissioning of the existing power plant is conservatively foreseen by the National Action Plan. As far as the Dukovany site is concerned, the National Action Plan recommends preparing the design in the variant of two units leading to the construction of one unit with the possibility of extension to two units at this site.
State Energy Policy of the Czech Republic
The main reason for the approval of the State Energy Policy of the Czech Republic for the next 25 years was the need to clearly state the priorities and strategic intentions of the state in the field of energy, thus providing investors, citizens and the government with stability.
The State Energy Policy builds on the natural comparative advantages of the Czech Republic, which are determined by the possibilities of using individual types of energy sources within the limited natural potential and economic characteristics of the state. The main mission of the State Energy Policy is to ensure a reliable, safe and environmentally friendly supply of energy for the needs of the Czech population and economy at competitive and affordable prices under standard conditions. At the same time, its aim is to ensure uninterrupted energy supplies in crisis situations to the extent necessary for the functioning of the most important components of the state and the survival of the population. Finally, it also aims to ensure a stable and predictable business environment, efficient government, and sufficient and secure energy infrastructure.
In this respect, the State Energy Policy sets strategic priorities to contribute to the achievement of the top objectives. These priorities also include a balanced mix of primary energy sources and electricity generation sources based on their broad portfolio, efficient use of all available domestic energy sources, maintaining the surplus power balance of the energy system with sufficient reserves, and maintaining available strategic reserves of domestic forms of energy.
The State Energy Policy examines in detail 6 different scenarios, energy mixes, how the Czech Republic’s consumption could be covered in the future: Gas, Green, Optimized, Safe, Conventional, Decarbonisation. The first two scenarios, Gas and Green, were excluded due to failure to meet the strategic objective - national energy security. In both scenarios, the Czech Republic would be dependent on foreign energy supply. In all other scenarios, the development of nuclear energy is envisaged, with the Optimized Scenario, according to which the Czech Republic needs a total of 3 new nuclear reactors, being evaluated as the most appropriate scenario.
Within the State Energy Policy of the Czech Republic, the intentions of new nuclear power plants are analysed and considered as part of the fulfilment of this strategic priority, together with the renewal of the old electricity generation sources, while respecting the requirements for efficiency and environmental protection. Assurance of self-sufficiency in power generation shall be in particular based on advanced conventional technologies with a high efficiency of energy conversion and an increasing portion of renewable resources.
According to the State Energy Policy, the target value of a portion of power generation from primary sources in total gross power generation as of 2040 is at least 80%, considering the following power generation structure (in relation to the gross national consumption):
- nuclear fuel 46 up to 58%,
- renewable and secondary resources 18 up to 25%,
- natural gas 5 up to 15%,
- brown coal and black coal 11 up to 21%.
In this context, the new nuclear sources represent one of the parts of the multi-source energy mix in which they will represent efficient, stable, above-standard reliable and environmentally friendly power generating plants. However, they do not represent the direct exclusive alternative to other energy sources or other measures of the energy policy. These are and will be developed in respective contexts of the State Energy Policy of the Czech Republic.
The State Energy Policy of the Czech Republic therefore considers strengthening the role of nuclear power in the generation of power through the construction of new units depending on the prediction of the production and consumption balance and the extension of the operation of current units. Nuclear power plants will gradually replace the coal-burning plants, which have been the existing primary linchpin of power generation so far, however fuel supply is not ensured for the future and in addition, it does not identify with the environmental objectives of the European Union.