Czech Republic Energy

Czechia mulls nuclear reactors, coal phase-out

| 2024-03-17 2 min read

Czechia mulls nuclear reactors, coal phase-out

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala’s incumbent administration will decide to build at least two new nuclear power units in Czechia, Industry and Trade Minister Jozef Sikela said in an interview with left-wing daily Pravo

The offers Czechia has received indicate that it would be prudent to construct two or four blocks, according to Sikela. “I am firmly convinced of this, and everything is pointing towards this government contracting at least two more reactors.”

Initially, a tender was issued for the construction of one block in Dukovany, south Czechia. This received bids with non-binding options for additional reactors from French state-owned Electricite de France (EDF), Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Company Limited (KHNP), and US firm Westinghouse. 

Then in January the Fiala government invited EDF and KHNP to submit binding bids for the construction of up to four new reactors in Dukovany and Temelin, south-west Czechia. Westinghouse is not participating in the second tender. The deadline for bids is mid-April 2024, with the contracts to be signed at the end of the year, and the first reactor commissioned in 2036.

Fiala cabinet to end coal by 2033 

Sikela meanwhile told viewers of a debate on Czech television that a law passed in mid-2025 should lay out an ordered transition away from coal by 2033. The minister was reacting to an announcement by Sev.en Energy group’s billionaire owner Pavel Tykac that he is considering closing the power plants in Pocerada, north Czechia and Chvaletice, central Czechia, as well as his two lignite (a cheap, highly pollutant coal) mines next spring, citing their “uncompetitiveness”.

Sikela said Czechia must now prepare a legislative proposal for the passing out of coal. Sev.en Energy group employs around 3,000 people at the lignite mines and the Pocerada and Chvaletice power plants, delivering almost 15% of Czechia’s domestic electricity consumption.

Czechia could even cope with the ceasing of operation of Sev.en’s power plants Sikela said. “We are able to handle it, although performance reserve is missing. If a block at a nuclear power plant had to be shut down for maintenance, for example, a lot of electricity would have to be imported,” according to Sikela.