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 for the Czech Republic. Preparation of the construction of new nuclear power sources (NNPS) is fulfilment of the SEC requirements and another document approved by the Government – The National Action Plan on Nuclear Energy (NAP NE). The NAP NE recommends the immediate start of preparations for the construction of one nuclear block at Temelín and one block at Dukovany and also protecting the project against possible risks in that the necessary permits shall be secured for construction of a maximum of two blocks at both locations.
Major benefits of the construction of new nuclear power plants
- Construction shall result in the reduction of the dependence of the Czech Republic on imported gas and oil, help maintain the energy safety of the State and supplement the optimal energy mix.
- It guarantees the reliable future replacement of older sources, covering of the increasing electricity consumption in the Czech Republic and creation of adequate output reserves.
- Production of electricity in a 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.
- The realisation of the construction projects in the verified locations of Dukovany and Temelín is the best in terms of the economic, logistics, technical aspects as well as impact on the environment because already existing free land and infrastructure as well as experience with the operation of nuclear power plants shall be used.
- 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 CO2, other greenhouse gases, dust and other harmful emissions and neither 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.
The updated SEC and NAP NE, just like the energy policy of the EU, place clear emphasis on energy safety with nuclear energy as one of its pillars. An important element of the energy concept remains the focus on the surplus nature of the electricity industry of the Czech Republic, which ensures its significant resistance even in cases of large-scale accumulation of failures in production facilities.
Despite the comprehensive renovation and construction of new coal and gas power plants in the Czech Republic and neighbouring countries, it is already clear that in the long term, there will be a shortage of electricity generating capacity. According to current forecasts, the Czech Republic may have a deficit in electricity generation after 2030.
Projection of installed output of brown coal power generation plants in the Czech Republic (Source: VUPEK-ECONOMY, spol. s r. o.):
Development and structure of electricity consumption in the Czech Republic (Source: State energy concept of the Czech Republic):
The latest analysis, however, shows that acquisition of electricity abroad in the coming years will be extremely doubtful, because even in Europe the aggregate demand is growing and many European countries now face the problem of replacing end-of-life and closed plants. The State Energy Concept (SEC) approved by the Government clearly declares, that the Czech Republic remains self-sufficient in electricity power generation so that it need not be dependent on imports, it is necessary for the sake of continuity of production, energy safety and self-sufficiency, including the reliable and efficient supply of electricity, to start preparing well in advance for the construction of new production plants since the preparation of investments and subsequent realisation of the construction of the nuclear power plant is very time intensive (in total it takes nearly two decades) and complicated in terms of legislation.
Although CEZ suspended a tender for construction of ETE3,4 because of the absence of state commitment guaranteeing return on investment, the plan however continues with pre-project preparations (e.g. the fulfilment of the EIA conditions, siting permission). Preparation for construction in Dukovany and Temelín is the de facto fulfilment of the assignment of the Government of the Czech Republic formulated through the requirements of the SEC and NAP NE.
After considering all the aspects of technical, economic, social, environmental impacts and sustainable development strategy for the Czech, the nuclear power plants as compared with other available sources of electrical energy of similar performance come out as the best solution.