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France, Russia, Japan eager to sell nuclear to Czechoslovakia

doubts have been hanging over the financial viability of the plan due to uncertain energy market in Europe. 

 Industry minister Kuba said he would favour aid to nuclear rather than renewable energy….

Czech govt mulls price floors to lure new nuclear * Industry minister hints at possible price guarantees * Says nuclear plants are strategic option * Czechs go against trend in Germany By Jan Korselt TEMELIN, Czech Republic, March 30 (Reuters) – The Czech government sees building new nuclear power plants as a strategic priority and is considering minimum electricity price guarantees to ensure new reactors are built, the country’s industry minister said on Friday.

In contrast to countries such as neighbouring Germany that are pulling
out of nuclear energy in light of the disaster at Japan’s Fukushima a
year ago, the Czech Republic aims to enlarge the existing Temelin site
in the south of the country.

The 70-percent state owned power producer CEZ, the biggest listed
central European company with market capitalisation of $23 billion,
has opened a tender to build two new units.

But doubts have been hanging over the financial viability of the plan
due to uncertain energy market in Europe.    Minister Martin Kuba, in
the clearest remarks so far on the subject, told Reuters the
government was willing to discuss setting minimum purchase prices for
power from the new units, estimated to cost more than $10
Three qualified bidders – Toshiba Corp unit Westinghouse, France’s
Areva and Russia’s Atomstroyexport – are due to submit their proposals
in July.

The possible reactors on offer are Westinghouse’s AP1000, already
being built in China, Areva’s EPR, which is being built in Finland,
France and China, and the Russian VVER reactor whose six older
versions CEZ already operates.

Kuba’s remarks come a day after German utilities E.ON and RWE pulled
out of a 15 billion pound ($24 billion) plan to build new nuclear
stations in Britain.

The pullout was a fresh blow to revival of the nuclear industry in
Europe, badly hurt by Fukushima and by current high uncertainty over
the future costs of permits to emit carbon dioxide.

Prices of permits, needed by high-polluting but otherwise low-cost
coal plants but not by atomic ones, have collapsed in the past years,
making nuclear power less attractive.

Long-term power prices, meanwhile, have also fallen, on concerns over
future energy demand in a weak European economy.

March 31, 2012 - Posted by | EUROPE, politics

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