The Czech Government has changed its tender for new nuclear to binding offers for up to four reactors, rather than one, inviting bids from France’s Électricité de France (EDF) and South Korea’s Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (KHNP). Westinghouse is not included in the new round because “it did not meet the necessary conditions”.

Bids from the three companies were submitted in October to ČEZ subsidiary Elektrárna Dukovany II (EDU II) for a binding offer for a new fifth unit at the Dukovany nuclear power plant, in addition to non-binding offers for three more reactors. A report on the process was submitted to the Czech Government early in 2024, with the intention of finalising contracts within a year, commencing construction in 2029 and trial operation in 2036.

KHNP proposed its APR1000 reactor, Westinghouse its AP1000 and EDF its EPR1200.

Petr Fiala’s Government discussed the matter on Wednesday, and the plan was amended with the relative cost of building one reactor as opposed to multiple being a key point of consideration. President Petr Pavel was also in attendance.

Prime Minister Fiala said: “During the tender, the non-binding offers showed that the construction of several blocks, i.e. up to four blocks in one package, even if it were to be carried out gradually, is economically significantly more advantageous than the construction of only one block. It is also significantly more advantageous than we expected, by up to 25% compared with the construction of only one block.”

Referring to the failed Westinghouse bid, the Czech Government said it was “very sorry” but the company had failed to comply with key tender requirements. This is not the first time the Czechs have had an issue with Westinghouse. In 2010 the country’s Temelín VVER-1000 stopped using Westinghouse-generated fuel and switched to the Russian supplier TVEL, officially for economic reasons but allegedly also due to technical incompatibilities with the Westinghouse fuel.

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