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Nuclear newbuild – concrete projects or white elephants?

Nuclear Power in the European Union, Heinrich Boll Stiftung, 26 April 2021 by Mycle Schneider   ”………………Nuclear Newbuild – Concrete Projects or White Elephants?

There are more or less credible “plans” for new nuclear plants, most of them in Eastern Europe.

The Czech government in 2020 signed a framework agreement with the national utility ČEZ to organize an international tender in order to have a decision by 2024 and start construction of two units at the Dukovany site in 2029. The potential role of Russian Rosatom is controversial. The Czech government has failed in earlier attempts to launch a new-build program. The outcome of this initiative is uncertain. In March 2021, Vaclav Bartuška, Special Envoy for Energy Security, recalled sarcastically that, as Government Envoy for Temelín [the other operating Czech nuclear plant site], he wrote in his final report to the government, he did “not believe in a nuclear project in a country that is unable to build a motorway network and high-speed train to Berlin or Munich”.[1] Reportedly, he nevertheless thinks the Dukovany project will go ahead.

In Hungary, after some 15 years of preparation, an application for a construction license for two new Russian designed reactors at the Paks site was submitted in June 2020. The project has raised significant controversy over the procedure under which the Russian contractor was chosen. In March 2021 a study published in the Journal of the Association of Hungarian Geophysicists questioned the earthquake safety of the site. At the same time, the Paks II project company has signed a contract with an engineering company to assess until the end of 2022 the conditions under which a construction license could be obtained. Some sources have suggested construction could already start in 2022. Considering the long history of delays of the project, a short-term construction start seems unlikely.

Poland has been contemplating the introduction of nuclear power since the 1970s and has started building two units in 1984, which were abandoned in 1990. No financing plan has yet been established, no technology, no sites chosen for “6–9 Gigawatt” of nuclear power by 2040. As earlier Polish plans, this one is not credible at this point………..

May 22, 2021 - Posted by | business and costs, EUROPE, politics

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