Czech utility receives bids for nuclear reactors

PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC - Power utility company CEZ a.s. has received initial bids in response to a tender it had issued for constructing five nuclear reactors in the Czech Republic and other European nations.

The initial qualifying documents have been submitted by nuclear engineering companies Atomstroyexport, Areva SA, and Westinghouse Electric Company LLC, owned by Toshiba Corporation. Mitsubishi Corporation and ATMEA, a joint venture between Areva and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Limited, have also submitted the required documents.

Atomstroyexport submitted the documents through a consortium that includes OKB Gidropress and SKODA JS a.s.

The consortium has offered to build a 1,200-megawatt (MW) Modernized International Reactor (MIR). The Czech Republic will supply about 70% of the project's equipment, services and work.

CEZ intends to select a company as the lead contractor for the project. According to CEZ Head of Construction Petr Zavodsky, the final decision will be made in early 2011 after two more bidding processes, and the contract will be signed by the end of 2011. A shortlist of companies will be decided by early 2010. The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report is expected to be ready by July 2011.

The nuclear power project includes the addition of reactors 3 and 4 at the existing Temelin nuclear power plant in southern Bohemia near the Czech-Austrian border, the addition of reactor 5 at the Dukovany nuclear power plant in southern Moravia, and the development of two new reactors at Jaslovske Bohunice in Slovakia. Total investment for the complete project has been estimated at about $28.14 billion (19.2 billion euros).

While the new reactors at Temelin are expected to be operational from 2020, the new reactor at Dukovany is expected to be operational by 2025.

Westinghouse was involved in the construction of the first two units of the Temelin nuclear power project. Under an earlier contract, the company will continue to supply the facility with nuclear fuel until 2010. While the plant was developed by a Russian company, Westinghouse supplied the project with the original fuel, instrumentation and controls.

Nuclear fuel manufacturer TVEL Corporation won a supply contract in 2006 and will replace Westinghouse as the nuclear fuel supplier when Westinghouse's contract ends.

Westinghouse has also submitted a bid to CEZ to complete the Temelin nuclear power project. CEZ had issued a tender for construction of two new reactors at Temelin in August 2009. The existing pressurized water reactors at Temelin have generation capacities of 1,000 MW each. The units were launched in 2000 and 2002, respectively.

In its submission, Westinghouse has outlined its ability to support the development of new nuclear power plants and the greater energy security that its Generation III+ nuclear reactor, the AP1000, can provide the nation.

The AP1000 reactor is expected to meet the demands of CEZ as well as Czech regulators. The simplified modular construction methods of the reactor and the ability to involve local participation in manufacture and construction are the additional benefits of the AP1000.


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