Czech energy giant ČEZ has begun the construction of a pipeline running
from the Temelín nuclear power plant to the South Bohemian city of České
Budějovice. The CZK 1.4 billion project is expected to cover 30 percent of
the city’s heating needs once it is finished in 2021. The Czech
engineering and construction company Tenza has been put in charge of the
project, which aims to build two 26km long underground pipelines connecting
the power plant with the city.
It is hoped that thanks to the pipeline the local heating plant will be able to decrease the amount of coal it burns annually by 80,000 tons, lowering the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere.
Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has confirmed that the government may put off a decision on how to fund new nuclear reactors for the power utility ČEZ by extending the lifespan of the Dukovany power plant by ten years. The news has brought a cautious response from ČEZ and criticism from the opposition benches.
The management of the Temelin nuclear power plant on Monday reported a
human error in servicing when lightly radioactive water was released into
the wrong reservoir. The water remained in a closed circuit and the
incident did not endanger safety or affect power production, Temelin said
in a statement.
A report was sent to the State Institute for Nuclear Safety and, in line with a bilateral agreement, to the Austrian authorities in Melk.
The annual general meeting of state-controlled power producer ČEZ proved to be a contentious one, lasting a record 14 hours and into the wee hours of Saturday. In the end, it saw the ouster of three ČEZ supervisory board members, including its chairman, in a political power play. The AGM also agreed on a dividend pay-out which fell short of demands by some influential minority shareholders.
ČEZ says it sees no obstacle in the Temelín nuclear power plant operating
for 60 years. The state-controlled power company said a technical and
economic investigation found no fundamental safety or technical reason why
the first reactor could not operate until 2060 and the second unit until
2062. The plant in South Bohemia, around 45 kilometres from the Austrian
border, is the biggest single electricity producer in the Czech Republic.
The head of the Czech nuclear regulator, Dana Drábová, warned earlier this year that while there might not be technical problems with a 60-year operating life span for Temelín, stricter EU rules pushed by non-nuclear member states might make this impossible.