The town of Horka in Moravia has protested against the Industry Ministry’s decision to conduct geological tests for a potential nuclear waste storage site in the locality. It has also criticized the fact that the initial list of seven localities for potential tests had been cut down to two –Horka and Kravi Hora, who alone had not filed lawsuits against the government over the matter. The mayor of Horka Vladimir Boška said on Monday that if this was the main criterion in the selection process the town was also ready to file a lawsuit as well. The mayors of the other towns have also criticized the selection procedure as discriminatory and intransparent. Minister Mládek said on Friday the ministry would not enforce the decision and the nuclear waste site would only be built with consent from nearby localities.
Nuclear power means nuclear waste and the Czech Republic, like many other European countries, is faced with the headache of where to store the waste long term. A shortlist of seven locations for geological tests for suitable deep storage resulted in howls of protest from most of the citizens and mayors living near the sites. And that has forced a rethink from the ministry and state body piloting the selection process.
Industry and Trade Minister Jan Mládek said on Friday that geological tests for a potential nuclear waste storage site would take place near the towns of Horka and Kraví Hora in Moravia. Five other localities which were initially also considered have been ruled out due to strong opposition from the locals. Mr. Mládek said the ministry would not enforce the decision and the nuclear waste site would only be built with consent from nearby localities. Shortly after the announcement the mayors of Horka and Kraví Hora said they were taken aback by the decision. The mayor of Horka said the town would make its opposition to the plan clear to the authorities.
The Czech energy giant CEZ has launched an international investment arbitration case against Bulgaria, company spokesperson Barbora Půlpánová said on Tuesday. CEZ is seeking hundreds of millions of euros from the Bulgarian state. Ms. Půlpánová said that CEZ had decided on the step following a number of interventions on the part of Bulgarian institutions that had harmed the firm’s business activities in the country. The antitrust authority in Sofia fined CEZ over EUR 600,000 for abusing its dominant position on the local market.
A Czech energy company has been given crucial clearance from the Swedish government to take over a massive swathe of coal mines and plants in what was former East Germany. It’s a key step in a deal which looks like propelling Emergetický a Průmyslový Holding (EPH) into the big league of European energy companies and will give it more power generation assets than long time dominant domestic player ČEZ. But Swedish environment groups are saying they will fight on.
Czech electricity producer ČEZ has began proceedings to reclaim billions of crowns lost after the prolonged closure of three out of four of its nuclear reactors at the Dukovany plant following faulty safety checks on pipes. Czech Radio reported that proceedings have begun against engineering company Škoda JS to reclaim around 3.5 billion crowns. Škoda JS recruited a sub-contracted to carry out X-ray checks on pipes at the plant which were later found to be flawed. Much of the reactor was closed in late 2015 and into 2016 as a result. Škoda JS has denied being guilty.
The police have launched criminal proceedings against five people in connection with the Ševětín photovoltaic power plant, charging them with fraud. The Prague High State Attorney’s Office published the news on its website. If found guilty, the suspects could face between five to 10 years behind bars; the power plant belongs to partly state-owned energy giant ČEZ.
The Czech government has appointed its nuclear energy coordinator whose main task over the next four years will be to oversee and coordinate moves aimed at constructing at least two new nuclear reactors in the country. The man appointed for the four year term is Jan Štuller, who until now headed the nuclear safety department at the State Office for Nuclear Safety and previously worked for the International Energy Authority. The country’s nuclear energy development plan calls for at least one reactor to be built at Dukovany by 2037 to take over from ageing reactors currently operating at the site.
Members of the lower house of parliament on Friday approved a new atomic law. The new law replaces legislation dating back to 1997 and updates Czech rules with the latest EU directives. The Czech government says the new rules should simplify some of the procures for building new nuclear reactors. The new law still has to be approved by the Upper House, the Senate, and the head of state.