Czechia hoping for big role in Europe’s ‘nuclear renaissance

Published: 07.06.2023 Related countries:  Sweden Sweden

While many countries have been moving away from nuclear energy, Czechia is planning for nuclear power to contribute about 60 percent of newly constructed energy sources.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade Jozef Síkela said he wants Czechia to become a European leader in nuclear energy. He promoted Czechia’s nuclear ambitions at a meeting of the Nuclear Alliance in Paris last week. The group brings together energy ministers from EU countries that use nuclear energy.

“The decarbonization process presents us with other challenges in which EU cooperation will play a decisive role. In order to withstand them and provide our citizens with enough energy at affordable prices, we should use all available low-carbon sources. This also applies to nuclear,” Síkela said on Twitter.

He also called for EU support for nuclear power. “At a meeting of European ministers from countries supporting nuclear development, we emphasized its potential, but also the need for the development of nuclear energy to have equal conditions to other low-carbon sources. This applies to financing, investment conditions, but also, for example, to education,” he said.

Nuclear power has a mixed reception in Europe<br/> This was the third meeting of the Nuclear Alliance. Aside from Czechia and France, the meeting also included Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, and Sweden. Italy attended the meeting as an observer and the UK as a “guest.” In the previous meeting two months ago, only 11 countries participated.

Not all EU countries support nuclear expansion. Germany shut down its last nuclear reactor on April 15 and had been phasing out nuclear power since 2011, although German firms still produce nuclear fuel for export purposes. Austria has banned nuclear power since 1978.

Czechia plans to build another reactor unit

Czechia is currently in the process of evaluating bids to build a fifth reactor unit at the Dukovany nuclear power plant. According to the current timeline, the unit should start producing power in 2036. The contract with the winning bidder should be signed next year.

Energy security expert Martin Jirušek from Masaryk University told news server Echo24 that expectations for the nuclear sector should be kept within reason. "One reactor in Dukovany will not solve anything and there is no renaissance to speak of," Jirušek said.

He added that as a medium-sized country, Czechia could become a power in the sense that some of its companies involved in the Dukovany expansion could achieve a strong position in the European and global markets.

Prepared by the team from the foreign office CzechTrade Scandinavia.
Using the source: Raymond Johnston,