ČEZ headquarters in Prague – illustrative photo.
Prague – Energetická společnost ČEZ has chosen two more locations for the construction of small modular reactors. They are to be established in Dětmarovice in the Karvina region and in Tušimice in the Chomutovsk region. In both places, they should replace the current coal-fired power plants in the second half of the next decade. The company is also examining other locations for the location of the reactor. ČTK was informed about this by the company's spokesperson Ladislav Kříž. The company wants to build the first small modular reactor in Temelín, it should be ready in 2032.
“Small modular reactors are not a replacement for large nuclear blocks, but an addition to the energy mix of the Czech Republic as a suitable replacement for coal-fired power plants and large thermal plants,” said Tomáš Pleskač, member of the board of directors and director of the new energy division of ČEZ. The state counts on modular reactors as an important part of its transition to emission-free energy.
As the first location for the construction of these reactors, an area in the wider area of the Temelín nuclear power plant had already been selected. CEZ has now tentatively identified two other power plant locations in Detmarovice and Tušimice as suitable locations. The company now wants to further investigate and monitor these to make it definitively clear that they are suitable for the location of a nuclear source. The exploration work, which began in the first half of February, is primarily focused on ruling out the existence of active tectonic faults, assessing the hydrogeology of the area, and analyzing the subsoil. The company wants to complete this phase this fall. According to ČEZ, the exploration work will last three to five years, after which it will be possible to start the permitting process.
In addition to the first three sites for the construction of small modular reactors, ČEZ is also investigating other locations where it could build these reactors. However, preparations are not that far along with them. The company is analyzing, for example, the territory of the Prunéřov, Ledvice, Mělník and Dukovany power plants. With the exception of Dukovan, these are current coal sites. The site of the Poříčí power plant is also being considered, but according to ČEZ, the analysis has already recommended not to develop the project further. The reason is the almost certain presence of an active fault near the site, which excludes the location of nuclear technology.
ČEZ has in recent months concluded memoranda of cooperation in the field of small modular reactors with the companies NuScale, GE Hitachi, Rolls Royce, EdF, Westinghouse , KHNP and Holtec.
According to nuclear energy experts, small modular reactors differ from large nuclear blocks primarily in lower power and also faster and simpler construction. On the contrary, operation could be similar. According to experts, their use is suitable as a replacement for current coal-fired power plants. The price of the buildings is not yet clear, it will depend on a number of conditions.