Documentation on two new reactors at Temelin has been submitted by Czech utility CEZ to the Ministry of the Environment as part of its environmental impact assessment (EIA).
|The existing Temelin units (Image: CEZ)
The Temelin plant was originally intended to house four Russian-designed reactors, but plans were scaled back to the current two units following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989. This means that certain infrastructure is already in place for the two new units, CEZ said. The two existing VVER-1000 reactors started up in 2000 and 2002.
In July 2008, CEZ requested that the Ministry of the Environment conduct an EIA of two additional reactors at the Temelin nuclear power plant. The company has now submitted the documents needed by the ministry to conduct that assessment. In a statement, CEZ said: "Preparation of the EIA documentation consisting over 500 pages, 2000 pages of appendices and expert studies took 15 months. Two hundred experts from prestigious institutes ... were involved in elaboration of the documentation."
"When processing the documentation we considered the presented information on intent, specifically processed working papers, knowledge and professional experience of our employees," said Jan Horak of the SCES Group, which processed the documentation on behalf of CEZ. He added, "At the same time, we used background documents from the monitoring and evaluation of Temelin NPP environmental impacts program. This program has been in progress since 2000 and monitors an impact of the power plant operation on various environmental sections."
The next stage in the EIA process will involve sending copies of the documentation submitted by CEZ to the regional autonomies involved, including the South Bohemian Region and relevant municipalities. The Czech public will also have access to the documents. As the Temelin plant is close to the Czech Republic's borders with Germany and Austria, the documentation has also been translated into German.
The Czech Republic has one of the most extensive and longest approval processes for new nuclear power plants in Europe, according to CEZ. Whereas approval for the new reactor at the Flamanville site in France took less than two years, including the EIA process, the approval process for the new Temelin units is expected to take at least five years, with the EIA process accounting for almost half of that time, the company said.
Alongside the EIA process, the tender to select a contractor for building the two new Temelin units continues.
CEZ has launched a public tender in August 2009 for the contractor. The company said that the exact type of reactors and their capacity would be determined during the tender process, but the units would be Generation III pressurized water reactors (PWRs). It is currently at the stage of the preparation of tender documents.
In February, CEZ announced that all the reactor suppliers who had applied to participate in the tender had met the qualification conditions and advanced to the next stage. These were Russia's AtomStroyExport (ASE), in a consortium with Czech company Skoda JS and Russia's Gidropress, as well as France's Areva and US-based Westinghouse, a unit of Japan's Toshiba.
Bids are expected to be filed in the spring of 2011 and a decision on the winning bid will be made about one year later.
Researched and written
by World Nuclear News