Czechia's new nuclear unit not to be ready before 2038 - Drabova |

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Czechia's new nuclear unit not to be ready before 2038 - Drabova

Czechia's new nuclear unit not to be ready before 2038 - Drabova

New unit at Dukovany nuclear power plant will not be ready for launch sooner than in 2038-2040, which is three to five years later than planned, provided the law does not change, Dana Drabova, the chairwoman of the Czech State Office for Nuclear Safety (SUJB), said in a CTK interview.

Industry and Trade Minister Karel Havlicek keeps saying it can be done by 2035, which is feasible if the new unit becomes a priority with actual steps, Drabova said. 

In 2035, Dukovany's units are supposed to stop operating, however, the power plant's operator, CEZ energy group, is considering extending their lifespan. A final decision about the new unit will be made around 2025, Drabova said.

Government envoy for nuclear energy Jaroslav Mil has said that a tender for the unit could be launched at the end of 2020, or in 2021, and that it should take up to three years. It will be good, if it goes this way, Drabova said.

Prime Minister Andrej Babis said earlier this year that smaller nuclear sources would be an optimum solution.

This week, CEZ and US company NuScale said that they would develop small modular reactors together. This kind of sources may be on the market around 2040, Drabova said.

It is more realistic that there will be one more regular unit and small reactors will be added later, she said.

SUJB's annual budget amounts to some Kc400m, and the office has over 200 employees, Drabova said. Nuclear safety accounts for roughly a third of the office's workload.

The office's activities have not changed much over the years, said Drabova who has been its chairwoman for 20 years.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the state radiation hygiene centre, the predecessor of today's National Radiation Protection Institute (SURO) set up by SUJB.

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