The ongoing debate whether or not to build new nuclear capacities in Czechia has become much more tangible following a new law and contracts with the energy company CEZ introduced by the Czech Government in the last few weeks. These actions are, however, very untransparent and avoiding any wider public discussion. The Czech government, together with the majority state owned utility CEZ, for years have been keen to build a new nuclear unit. In 2019, CEZ got a positive decision on the Environmental Impact Assessment for two new 1200 MW units at the existing nuclear power plant Dukovany. The current plan is to start the construction of one unit in 2029 and have the plant operating from 2037. The biggest obstacle so far have been the costs and lack of clarity of how the state would financially support such a huge investment. The government is hoping to overcome this Gordian knot within the next weeks and months in a surprising initiative during the coronavirus crisis. In a nutshell, the Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr. Havlíček and the Prime Minister, Mr. Babiš, introduced two concrete forms of state support which complement each other: firstly, the state will be purchasing electricity from the new unit for 30 years or more for a guaranteed price. Secondly, the state would grant a loan for CEZ for the construction, to ensure a much lower interest rate than a commercial loan. However, no quantification of the burden for the state budget and the consumers was published for either of the two support schemes.
Greenpeace 5th June 2020 read more »