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Czech Republic (08.02.2023)

• In the Czech Republic, six pressurised water reactors generate more than a third of the country’s total electricity.

• According to the State Energy Policy (SEP), the role of nuclear power is to be enhanced to become the most important form of electricity generation in the medium term.

• It is planned to expand nuclear power to meet the country's CO2 targets; in addition to another conventional nuclear power plant unit, SMRs are also planned.


Status quo of electricity generation

Energy mix of the Czech Republic in 2020
Strommix Tschechien

In the former Czechoslovakia, construction of the first nuclear power plant (NPP) began in 1958 – which, however, is located in what is now Slovakia. In Czechia, construction of a VVER-440 first began in 1978 at the Dukovany site, where four of these pressurised water reactors are operated today. Two VVER-1000 units of the 320 type are operated at Temelín, the country's second site. The operator of all six units is ČEZ, which is 70% state-owned.

The six units contribute a total of about 7% to the country's net electricity generation. Renewables account for about 13%, fossil fuels for just under 50%. In 2020, a total of 56.5 TWh of electricity was produced in the Czech Republic, with significantly more of it exported than imported.

Political and legal framework conditions

Energy policy in the Czech Republic is determined by the State Energy Policy (SEP), the latest version of which, however, dates back to 2015. The primary objectives are to reduce energy consumption, to improve the energy efficiency in industry, and to expand nuclear energy as the main form of electricity generation in the medium term in order to achieve the EU's climate targets. The most recent target was a share of 46 to 58% in 2040. Renewable energies have so far played a subordinate role in the Czech government's plans.

Under the new Atomic Energy Act, new operating licences are granted for an unlimited period of time, but nuclear safety of the nuclear facility must be demonstrated by comprehensive periodic safety reviews (PSRs).

The new geopolitical circumstances are not taken into account in the last SEP, which should be relevant especially with regard to the high share and importance of natural gas. Prime Minister Petr Fiala made the following statement in mid-November 2022: “I am convinced that investment in more nuclear energy is one of the most natural responses to the current situation. [...] It is in our interest to develop nuclear power as soon as possible."

Current plans and projects

NPPs units in the Czech Republic
Standorte Tschechien

In order to increase total electricity generation capacity and the nuclear share in the country’s energy mix, the aim is to extend the operating lives of existing plants on the one hand, and to build new plants on the other.

For example, ČEZ announced in June 2020 that it would invest around $2.3 billion over the next 27 years to extend the operating lifetime of the four reactors at Dukovany by another 20 years to a total of 60 years. The work would focus on reactor management and control systems, cabling, and safety systems.

Two new reactors could be built at the Temelín site and two at the Dukovany site, where currently one new reactor is planned. The French EDF, the South Korean Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (KHNP) and the US company Westinghouse Electric have applied for the tender. A contract is expected to be concluded in 2024.

SMRs. SMRs also play an important role in the Czech expansion plans. A contract for the construction of a first SMR at the site of the Temelín NPP by 2032 was signed between ČEZ and the South Bohemian Governor in September 2022. Letters of intent for the construction of SMRs were signed by the Czech Republic with Rolls-Royce (UK) and Holtec (USA), among others, and there is also an agreement to cooperate with the Canadian utility Ontario Power Generation (OPG) in the field of nuclear energy, especially SMRs.

According to the Czech Minister of Industry and Trade, SMRs could also be retrofitted at existing coal-fired power plant sites to replace coal-fired generation and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. SMRs at coal sites could be integrated into existing infrastructures, such as electricity grids and central district heating systems, or coupled with hydrogen production. The Czech government has started work on an SMR roadmap, which is scheduled to be completed in April 2023.

Research reactors

In Řež in Central Bohemia, two research reactors have been in operation since 1957 and 1982, respectively: a 10 MWt LVR-15 and a 5 kWt LR-0. The Czech Technical University in Prague (CTU) operates a third research reactor, a 5 kWt VR-1 Sparrow.



Country profile “Czech Republic” of the World Nuclear Association

Data and statistics “Czech Republic” of the IEA

Power Reactor Information System (PRIS) of the IAEA

Research Reactor Database (RRDB) of the IAEA

State Energy Policy of the Czech Republic