31. 3. 2022

Space for Small Modular Reactors to Be Created at Temelín

CEZ has set aside a special space at the Temelín Nuclear Power Plant site where the first small modular reactor in the Czech Republic could be built in the future. CEZ has already informed the US companies NuScale and GE Hitachi to this effect this week and today informed representatives of the South Bohemian Region and representatives of another US company, Holtec International. CEZ has signed a cooperation agreement with these companies and also with other companies developing small modular reactors, in which many power engineers have high hopes for the future. The allocated space does not limit the potential construction of two more standard nuclear units.

Temelín in south Bohemia is a proven nuclear site, which is its major advantage. It offers a stable geological bedrock, an abundance of experienced operating personnel and the presence of security personnel. This is also why a pilot project for a small modular reactor in cooperation with multinational companies and local authorities could be set up here.

"This activity does not interfere in any way with our plan to build two standard units at the Temelín site. Options for them are also part of the tender for the construction of a new nuclear unit at Dukovany, which we launched two weeks ago," explains Daniel Beneš, Chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO of CEZ.

"From the viewpoint of nuclear power, Temelín is a suitable site, and I know from my experience that it is necessary to focus on the future. Small modular reactors are the future of energy, and that is why I am actively entering these negotiations on behalf of the South Bohemian Region and support a joint approach," added Martin Kuba, Governor of the South Bohemian Region.

CEZ Group has already signed memoranda of cooperation with respect to small modular reactors with NuScale, GE Hitachi, Rolls Royce, EdF, KHNP and Holtec. CEZ Group is also developing small modular reactors through its subsidiary, the Nuclear Research Institute of ÚJV Řež. For example, the HeFASTo project and the Energywell project are at an advanced stage of research.

CEZ representatives also met this week in Prague with the remaining US companies that develop small modular reactors, NuScale and GE Hitachi. All were participating in a US nuclear trade mission led by the US Department of Energy.

Small modular reactors are small building units (modules) that are manufactured in a factory and then transported to a selected site where they are assembled. Because of their variable power output, they are expected to be able to supplement and back up renewable energy sources, particularly wind and photovoltaic power plants, in a convenient manner. According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, a power plant with a capacity of up to 300 MWe is considered to be a small modular reactor. Companies developing modular reactors have announced that they intend to launch their first projects by the end of the decade.