Today, the Government decided on an investor model for the construction of the Dukovany II nuclear power plant. It also assigned follow-up tasks. The new source will be financed by the ČEZ Group through its subsidiary, the state will, among other things, guarantee the stability of the legislative environment. The composition of the expert team of the Government Commissioner for Nuclear Energy and also the budget for the tasks of the Standing Committee for the Construction of New Nuclear Resources in the Czech Republic, including the above-mentioned team for the period 2019-2022, were also decided. The decision, which gradually fulfils the State Energy Policy, is very important in connection with the development of nuclear energy in the Czech Republic. It has a major impact on meeting climate protection commitments. Dukovany now has a priority, however, Temelín will not be forgotten either.
According to the Government Resolution, Elektrárna Dukovany II will be the investor of the construction, which is a 100% subsidiary of ČEZ. A contract will be concluded between the state and the ČEZ Group that will enable the company to obtain credit for the construction of new nuclear sources under the same conditions as if the state borrowed the money. The state will also guarantee the stability of the legislative and regulatory environment and possible compensation in the case of changes. The state will not provide any guarantee on the return of the project such as the Contract for Difference as was agreed in the UK at Hinkley Point. The chosen investor model is a basis for negotiations with the European Commission.
It will now be necessary to analyse the optimisation of the performance of new nuclear sources, including the development of electro-energetics in neighbouring countries, and to analyse the associated risks. In the preparatory phase, it will be absolutely necessary to have sufficient number of experts and financial resources, as well as a qualified advisory team to deal with legal and financially-economic issues in connection with the preparation of the contractual arrangement or negotiations with the investor and the European Commission. It will be necessary to discuss the chosen model with the EC in relation to the rules of the European Union’s internal market. It will also be necessary to propose a process to ensure the construction of a new nuclear source. So that the state can supervise its security interests at any time during construction. The relevant ministries are also obliged to continue with the preparation of the transport of oversized and heavy components and with the output of power.
As part of the resolution, the Government also approved the budget for the tasks of the Standing Committee for the Construction of New Nuclear Resources in the Czech Republic, including an expert team of the Government Commissioner for 2019-2022. The vast majority of expenditures will serve, as in the similar projects in the UK, Hungary, Finland and other European countries, to conclude the necessary contracts with closely specialised entities partially mentioned above. In particular, it will be law firms, consulting and audit companies with proven references from nuclear power plant projects in Europe in recent years. It is also significant that the Standing Committee for the Construction of New Nuclear Resources in the Czech Republic has been chaired by the Prime Minister since this year. It consists of representatives of all political parties and movements represented in the Chamber of Deputies. Indeed, political consensus is essential to build new resources.
The expert team of the Government Commissioner for Nuclear Energy, Jaroslav Míl, will have five members. It will consist of renowned experts in the field of nuclear energy and construction. Specifically, they will be Jan Vacík, Vojtěch Michalec, Jaromír Novák, Vladivoj Řezník and Jana Siegerová.
Security Interests of the State
The Government also took note of the conclusions of the standing working group, which dealt with the State’s security interests in the nuclear field. The ministers perceive the construction of new nuclear sources as a precondition for ensuring secure supplies of electricity and energy self-sufficiency in the Czech Republic. The construction is an integral part of the basic security interests of states, where nuclear power plants are among the critical infrastructures in accordance with current legislation. As part of the preparation and implementation of the project to build new nuclear sources, the selected investor model will ensure the basic security interests of the state.
The Czech Republic needs a new nuclear power plant to ensure sufficient electricity production, i.e. to maintain energy self-sufficiency. The existing resources are approaching the end of their lifespan. Dukovany is an older power plant than the domestic second nuclear power plant Temelín. Therefore, it must be given priority. The existing Dukovany blocks should be replaced by new ones in about 20 to 30 years. Regarding the project of new nuclear sources in Temelín, the Government decided, on the basis of an expert recommendation of the Standing Committee for the Construction of New Nuclear Resources in the Czech Republic, to maintain it so that it can be activated at any time.
By approving the investor model, the Government fulfils the task of the National Action Plan for the Development of Nuclear Energy in the Czech Republic. At the same time, it is environmentally friendly, because new nuclear power plants will be a low-emission, stable source of electricity and heat. The construction contributes to the fulfilment of the State Energy Policy, which envisages increasing the share of nuclear energy in electricity production from the current 30% to 46% up to 58%. This is a result of a gradual reduction in coal combustion, with regard to ecology and depletion of mineral resources.