Czech energy firm scraps nuclear plant expansion

Apr 10, 2014
The four cooling towers of Temelin Nuclear Power Plant are seen in the background of a grain field in the village of Temelin on July 24, 2011

Czech energy giant CEZ said Thursday it was scrapping the planned construction of two new reactors at its Temelin nuclear plant, citing "turbulent" conditions in the European energy sector.

"CEZ has cancelled the bidding process for the construction of two new units at Temelin. This decision has been announced to all parties," the firm said.

It blamed turbulence in the European sector where prices have been affected by new shale gas projects and a focus on .

The contract was estimated to be worth between eight and 12 billion euros ($11 billion to $17 billion).

CEZ chief executive Daniel Benes told reporters another factor was the government's decision on Wednesday to keep developing nuclear capacities but without state subsidies.

"Today, any investment in electricity sources whose revenue depends on power sales is in jeopardy," he said, adding however that CEZ was not done building nuclear sources at home.

"The danger that we won't be able to cover in the country within 20 years is still present."

The winner of the contract was originally due to be announced last year but CEZ pushed back the date due to questions over profitability amid uncertainty in Europe's energy industry.

The tender for two new units due to come online in 2025 pitted the MIR-1200 consortium, which included Russia's Atomstroyexport, against US industrial giant Westinghouse.

The Russian firm's participation had divided Czech officials after Moscow's annexation of Crimea.

The Czech ministers for defence and human rights said they were against CEZ awarding the contract to the Russian consortium, but the firm itself and the prime minister insisted that politics would play no part in the awarding of the tender.

French energy giant Areva also took part in the tender but was eliminated in 2012.

CEZ, which is 70-percent state-owned, also runs another in addition to Temelin. Together they cover a third of the country's power consumption.

The EU member exports about 20 percent of its power output.

Planned in the communist era and launched in 2000, Temelin is located near the border with Austria, which has repeatedly raised safety concerns regarding the plant.

Explore further: EU moves to rein in state support for renewable energy

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Czechs bet on nuclear power for their future

Oct 31, 2011

The Czech Republic is poised to build on its position as central Europe's nuclear hub, seeking greater energy security and shrugging off the concerns of environmentalists and other opponents.

Poland may delay launch of nuclear plants

Jun 18, 2013

Poland could delay building its first nuclear power plants as natural gas, including shale gas, becomes less costly, the prime minister of the central European heavyweight said Tuesday.

Recommended for you

Are electric cars greener? Depends on where you live

Nov 25, 2014

Long thought a thing of the future, electric cars are becoming mainstream. Sales in the United States of plug-in, electric vehicles nearly doubled last year. Credible forecasts see the number rising within ...

Building a better battery

Nov 25, 2014

Imagine an electric car with the range of a Tesla Model S - 265 miles - but at one-fifth the $70,000 price of the luxury sedan. Or a battery able to provide many times more energy than today's technology ...

User comments : 11

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

antialias_physorg
4 / 5 (4) Apr 10, 2014
CEZ chief executive Daniel Benes told reporters another factor was the government's decision on Wednesday to keep developing nuclear capacities but without state subsidies.


(Warning...sarcasm alert)

Awww, and here I was thinking that after 50 years of being a mainstream form of energy production nuclear didn't require subsidies anymore to be competitive?

But yeah: I hear all this clamoring that renewables shouldn't get any while nuclear...erm...still should?

Something doesn't add up.

Not. At. All.

(Follow the money)
Scottingham
not rated yet Apr 10, 2014
While this decision will ultimately just lead to more shale gas being used, I certainly understand where they're coming from. They were more than likely going to be genIII PWR type reactors...which suck. They are 70s tech competing against 21st century tech...of course it would lose out.

I'd say hold out on investing in nuclear until the traveling wave type (or similar) gets into mass production. By that time (likely 2025, prob later), all that cheap shale gas will be gone.
Pejico
Apr 10, 2014
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Eikka
3 / 5 (4) Apr 11, 2014
But yeah: I hear all this clamoring that renewables shouldn't get any while nuclear...erm...still should?


Again, the fact that you always ignore is that nuclear power subdsidies are less than 1/10th the amount that renewable power like wind and solar get when you account for their actual contrbution to the power grid.

The only way to make conventional power subsidies look bigger than renewable energy subsidies is to look at the cumulative amount paid since 50 years back when there wasn't any renewable power to be subsidized.

But that would be disingenuous, now wouldn't it?

So yes, if you subsidized renewables the same amount per kWh produced you subsidize other means, you'd have to cut the renewable subsidies by more than 95%.
antialias_physorg
4.2 / 5 (5) Apr 11, 2014
Again, the fact that you always ignore is that nuclear power subdsidies are less than 1/10th the amount that renewable power like wind and solar get when you account for their actual contrbution to the power grid.

Renewables are in their startup phase, and no, it's not 1/10th but LESS than what nuclear gets (you forgot to include the thousands of years we'll be paying for the waste disposal sites. That is money that MUST be included. You also forgot to include the constant losses of areas like Pripyat and Fukushima which can't even be expressed in money, as land is invaluable. There's only a finite amount of that to go around. Especially in places like Japan.

So renewables are already WAY more cheap per kWh than nuclear (fission) ever was or ever will be. (And that's not even counting the added safety, reduced possibility for political tension/dependency, environmental, job market, economical and health benefits)
Eikka
3.4 / 5 (5) Apr 11, 2014
Renewables are in their startup phase


They've been in their "startup phase" for 20 years now. Wind and solar power simply cannot function in the grid without the subsidies because of the way they operate. The others that can are recieving barely any subsidies because they don't need them.

,it's not 1/10th but LESS than what nuclear gets (you forgot to include the thousands of years (...) Pripyat and Fukushima which can't even be expressed in money, as land is invaluable.


That's a highly politicized issue and a red herring. You basically got nothing but handwaving and rhetoric there.

But sure. Let's take out nuclear power and look at everything else. The truth of the matter is that every other form of energy is getting a small fraction of the subsidies per kWh than wind and solar power.

Tell me, how much is Germany spending on energy subsidies overall? How much of that is for renewable power?
Eikka
2 / 5 (3) Apr 11, 2014
It's pretty hard to google for the infromation about Germany's or Czech energy subsidies, because there's just a billion blogs and news articles complaining that the renewable subsidies are too damn high!
Eikka
3.5 / 5 (4) Apr 11, 2014
(you forgot to include the thousands of years we'll be paying for the waste disposal sites. That is money that MUST be included.


Also this. No.

We're already paying for the waste disposal, and its' currently more expensive to keep up than if we just buried it somewhere or re-used the waste in some manner. The most sensible way to get rid of nuclear waste would be to make it pay for itself, which is what you refuse to consider.

The irony is that the anti-nuclear crowd is largely causing the costs that they argue against by blocking all attempts to deal with the issue in a constructive manner.

Or is that the strategy to begin with?
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (1) Apr 11, 2014
http://www.source...ubsidies

Federal coal subsidies are forms of financial assistance paid by federal taxpayers to the coal and power industry. Such subsidies include direct spending, tax breaks and exemptions, low-interest loans, loan guarantees, loan forgiveness, grants, lost government revenue such as discounted royalty fees to mine federal lands, and federally-subsidized external costs, such as health care expenses and environmental clean-up due to the negative effects of coal use. External costs of coal include the loss or degradation of valuable ecosystems and community health.

...
buried in a 2011 report from the International Energy Agency is the fact that fossil fuels currently receive subsidies via "at least 250 mechanisms."

In June 2010, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said $557 billion was spent to subsidize fossil fuels globally in 2008, compared to $43 billion in support of renewable energy
antialias_physorg
3 / 5 (2) Apr 11, 2014
So we're seeing that fossil fuels (WITHOUT nuclear) already get 13 times as much subsidies as renewables
(I.e. renewables get 7.6% of what the fossil fuels get as subsidies..if you add nuclear that will be even less)

BTW: renewables account for 16.7% of gloabl energy production.

So in conclusions: the 'established' forms of energy are getting a disproportionately larger amount (more than DOUBLE what would be 'fair' IF both energy types had started out at the same time). They are a HUGE waste of tax money.
hangman04
4 / 5 (1) Apr 11, 2014
Ofc they get more since in the last 50-100 years the lobbying was sure to make a grip on the legislative body. Not to mention coal extraction, which by its labor intensive nature it's a delicate subject altogether. Ofc the world would be a better place if we had for example, only electric arc furnaces powered by green energy but that is not the case.....

Anyway energy is a form of double dipping, at least in Europe for the population and not companies, where you pay on one hand excise taxes (which amount up to 50% of the actual transportation and production cost) and in addition to that we also pay astronomical subsidies to these companies....
Anda
not rated yet Apr 14, 2014
Hey Eikka, remember Chernobyl? Fukushima? I don't want any of these near me. U can keep'em all if you love them so much.

In Europe renewable is working but you sure are american, right? Let's burn it all to "defend our country, way of life and freedom" ... coal, methane, biofuel... anyway it's China's fault, right?

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.