Thursday, March 3, 2011

What future for nuclear energy in Eastern Europe?

Delays seen for new reactor projects in the Czech Republic and Romania

delayedThe $25 billion five-reactor new build by state-owned Czech utility CEZ has been pushed back by another five years, according to English language media reports in Prague.

In Bucharest, Romania, wire service reports indicate that the start of work on a $5.5 billion two- reactor project could be delayed past 2017, but that first the government must find new investors willing to take on funding a 49-percent share of the project.

Temelin delayed by another five years

Last October, the Czech government said in an official announcement that detailed bid documents with technical specifications for up to five new reactors at two sites would not be released as planned in December 2010. On February 21, 2011, the government said that the release of technical bid documents would be postponed to the end of this year.

Lower electricity demand in the Czech Republic--and Germany's decision to keep its 17 nuclear reactors operating instead of closing them down--are the key reasons for a delay to as late as 2025 for completion at Temelin and one other site.

Romania suffers setbacks at Cernavoda

The start of construction of two planned new reactors (Cernavoda-3 & -4) at Romania's Black Sea site of Cernavoda could be delayed by at least six years. The reason is because three major European firms, slated to invest in building them, pulled out after Czech utility CEZ sold its nine percent stake in the project in December. Germany's RWE, Spain's Iberrdrola, and French GDF Suez all withdrew from the project in January 2011.

The three firms said in a joint statement that economic and market uncertainties "related to the current economic crisis are not reconcilable with the capital requirements of a new nuclear project."

Read the full story of the slide backward in eastern Europe’s nuclear renaissance exclusively at ANS Nuclear Cafe online now.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

New nuclear is being delayed or canceled due to low electricity demand. This often repeated justificaton implys that there is no problem with existing coal power continuing to operate.
But wind and solar however keep on receiving massive subsidies to replace fossil plants.
- When are the politicians going to understand that we can and should use nuclear to REPLACE fossil plants, not just to increase power production?