USA and Czech Republic sign joint declaration

09 December 2010

The USA and the Czech Republic have signed a joint declaration on civil nuclear power that will strengthen commercial relations between the two countries and help to develop new nuclear energy opportunities, the US Department of Commerce (DoC) has announced. The declaration was signed by US commerce secretary Gary Locke and Czech minister of industry and trade Martin Kocourek as well as US energy secretary Steven Chu. The agreement expresses both nations' commitment to commercial cooperation on existing and future nuclear projects as well as encouraging cooperation in science and research, including training and human resource development. The DoC estimates that US exports to the Czech Republic over the next five years could potentially be worth $12.5 billion. The Czech Republic has six operating nuclear units, and US reactor vendor Westinghouse is heading one of three consortia involved in discussions with Czech utility CEZ prior to bidding for a tender to build two new units at the Temelin plant, already home to two Russian-designed VVERs. Bids are expected to be lodged early in 2011.