A number of companies are in the running for lucrative contracts to build new nuclear units in the Czech Republic. Now the head of the State Office for Nuclear Safety says that a South Korean firm looks best placed to get the job. Dana Drábová says KHNP currently has the best references in regards to finishing construction on time and on budget.
The management of the Temelin nuclear power plant on Monday reported a
human error in servicing when lightly radioactive water was released into
the wrong reservoir. The water remained in a closed circuit and the
incident did not endanger safety or affect power production, Temelin said
in a statement.
A report was sent to the State Institute for Nuclear Safety and, in line with a bilateral agreement, to the Austrian authorities in Melk.
A decision on the means of financing new nuclear reactors in the Czech
Republic should be made by the end of the year, Trade and Industry Minister
Marta Nováková told journalists on Friday.
At present three options are on the table: creating a new subsidiary of ČEZ with Dukovany and Temelin assets, opening the door to a foreign investor, and splitting ČEZ to transfer its nuclear plants to a state-owned company.
Minister Nováková said that either way, ČEZ would be expected to play a significant role, since the country’s top nuclear experts were there.
Czech utility ČEZ's second quarter revenues and profit dropped
sharply despite increased electricity production due to higher wholesale
electricity and emissions prices after forward selling production at lower
levels. ČEZ said however that the hit from its hedging operations should
dissipate in the second half of the year.
The Prague-listed company’s revenues dropped to 40.9 billion crowns in the second quarter, compared with 48.1 billion in the same period in 2017. Net profit for the quarter dropped to 0.5 billion crowns taking half-year net profit to 7.7 billion crowns, down 54% compared year on year.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) wants a decision on financing majority
state-owned utility ČEZ’s nuclear power plant expansion by year’s end,
he told Reuters in an interview.
The Prague-listed company has refused to invest in new plants without some form of state support. Instead, it proposes spinning off its renewables and energy services, leaving coal and nuclear sources in state hands.
Babiš says ČEZ is big enough to build new nuclear units without being split up and wants a subsidiary to be the main vehicle to build new reactors. ČEZ operates plants in Dukovany and Temelín that together covered 38 per cent of Czech energy needs last year. Its Dukovany reactors start to expire around 2035.
Bulgaria's anti-monopoly regulator has blocked two multimillion deals
with Czech businesses, saying the buyers might achieve dominance on the
market through a concentration of ownership.
One was the sale of Czech energy giant CEZ‘s Bulgarian assets to the Bulgarian company, Inercom, the other was the sale of one of Bulgaria's two largest media conglomerates, Nova Broadcasting Group, to the PPF group of Czech businessman Petr Kellner.The regulator said the deals could result in market dominance that might harm customers.
The ruling can be appealed before the Supreme Administrative Court within two weeks.
The annual general meeting of state-controlled power producer ČEZ proved to be a contentious one, lasting a record 14 hours and into the wee hours of Saturday. In the end, it saw the ouster of three ČEZ supervisory board members, including its chairman, in a political power play. The AGM also agreed on a dividend pay-out which fell short of demands by some influential minority shareholders.
Czech and Slovak government ministers are due in Bratislava Monday to
debate current problems and perspectives for nuclear energy.
The annual two-day European Nuclear Energy Forum alternates between Czech and Slovak capitals and was created by the two nuclear states as a forum for the industry against the backdrop of increasing pressure to close reactors.
This year’s two main themes are safeguarding European nuclear know-how and the prospects for small modular nuclear reactors. Czech industry minister Tomáš Hüner is due to attend.