PRAGUE – Westinghouse Electric Co. and France’s Framatome have been selected to deliver fuel supplies for the Czech Republic's Temelin nuclear plant, easing the country’s dependence on Russia.
State-controlled power company CEZ said Tuesday that Pennsylvania-based Westinghouse and Framatome will deliver the nuclear fuel for about 15 years, starting in 2024. The deal is worth billions Czech crowns (1$ = 22.515 Czech crowns), it said.
Russia’s TVEL, the plant's current supplier and part of Russian energy giant Rosatom, had also bid to supply the fuel.
CEZ said it selected the U.S. and French nuclear power companies so that it could reliably ensure a continuous supply of fuel cells for Temelin's reactors, while "minimizing the risks of a possible supply outage.”
CEZ operates two 1,000-megawatt reactors at the Temelin plant. Westinghouse had provided fuel supplies to Temelin for 10 years till 2010.
The Czech Republic already relies on six nuclear reactors to generate more than a third of its total electricity. Besides the two in Temelin, CEZ operates another four 510-megawatt units at the Dukovany power plant.
Dukovany have been also using the nuclear fuel from TVEL.
Unlike its western neighbors Austria and Germany, the Czech Republic is doubling down on nuclear power and also renewable energy sources after deciding to phase out coal as a fuel for energy generation by 2033 in order to reduce carbon emissions.
CEZ launched a tender last month to build a new reactor at the Dukovany nuclear plant as the country aims to increase nuclear power generation.
Russia’s Rosatom and China’s CNG were excluded from the tender on security grounds.