Czech Country Energy Policy draft caused wave of hystery

An interview with Czech trade and industry vice-minister Mr. Martin Pecina in Tyden (The Week) magazine provoked hystery amongst anti-nuclear activists and Austrian politics. Mr. Pecina described in interview main principles of the Green energy development scenario, which has been suggested to Ministry of Environment and a Government for consideration. This scenario assumes, beside other measures, construction of two new nuclear units in the future. Those units could be sited in the Temelin NPP area, where 4 units were originally planned. Temelin NPP has now 2 improved VVER-1000 units with Westinghouse digital I&C and fuel systems. Temelin auxiliary infrastructure has enough capacity to support 2 more units.
Upon publication of the interview, the symptoms of panic appeared in high Austrian political spheres, when environment and foreign ministers asked Austrian ambassador in Prague to hand acute protest of Austrian governement against newly planned nuclear units to the Czech foreign minister, Mr. Cyril Svoboda. Mr. Svoboda expressed his surprise on reaction of the Austrian side and assured, that Czech republic has no plans for construction of new units at the moment. Several Czech politicians of local importance, together with representatives of anti-nuclear pushing groups, expressed their disappointment about hypothetic expansion of the Temelin NPP capacity and claimed for finantial compensation for alleged damages to the plant surroundings.
The Country energy policy is a long-term planning document, aimed to set goals to be achieved in 2030 and to identify appropriate instruments. It is quite clear, that most of Czech coal-fired stations need to be replaced in next 10-15 years with another plants, with respect to economic, environmental, social and relability aspects. Total energy consumption is assumed to remain constant or even fall during that period.

Radek Svoboda

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