PR:It is high time to wake up from dreams of nuclear reactors. The point is energy security and our wallets

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=> CZECH version of this press release

Joint press release by Calla and Friends of the Earth Czech Republic (Hnutí DUHA) dated January 31, 2018
http://hnutiduha.cz/aktualne http://calla.cz/index.php?lang=eng&path=e_energy

It is high time to wake up from dreams of nuclear reactors. The point is energy security and our wallets

Today at Dukovany NPP, the deputies of the Economic Committee of the Chamber of Deputies are discussing at their first meeting how to build and pay new nuclear blocks in the Czech Republic. According to Calla and Friends of the Earth Czech Republic (Hnutí DUHA), the question is fundamentally different: how can we cover our energy needs in 20 years without expensive and risky atomic reactors? A bet that restricts new sources only to the expansion of Dukovany or Temelin NPPs is risky due to enormous financial pressure and geopolitical risks.

The Czech Republic's energy security requires a new energy policy with an emphasis on the still untapped potential of energy efficiency and the necessary continuation of the development of renewable energy sources. The fulfillment of a number of obligations of today's rapidly obsolete State Energy Policy has been delayed for years, as recent evaluations of environmental organizations have shown [1].

The fundamental deficiency of plans for building new reactors is the high investment costs. The plans cause nuclear power to be economically inviable on the market and will require strong state interference with the impacts on wallets of electricity consumers or taxpayers. Government materials (such as the National Action Plan for the Development of Nuclear Energy in the Czech Republic) purposefully underestimate the investment costs of the planned Czech reactors, when they indicate a value of 5,230 € / kW (excluding the cost of credit). The reality points to a comparison with other current projects in Western Europe; Hinkley Point C in UK (reactor EPR from the Framatom company, formerly Areva): 6,395 € / kW; Flamanville in France (also reactor EPR from Framatom, formerly Areva): 6,560 € / kW [2] or Vogtle 3.4 in the U.S. (reactor AP1000 from the Westinghouse company): 6,950 € / kW [3].

For all the projects under construction, the estimated construction cost is usually multiplied by several times. That is why we can predict far more overwhelming economic impacts than not only government documents, but also politicians predict today - the politicians who are trying to burden the Czech economy for the next hundred years. An overview of price trends for all third-generation reactor projects is presented in Professor Stephen Thomas's last study [4].

In addition to direct investments, it is necessary to draw attention to billions of Czech crowns hidden in the budget of the Czech Power Transmission Network (ČEPS) for the strengthening of transmission networks and to the budget of the Ministry of Transport for transport communications to allow the import of reactor vessels or steam generators from abroad to the power plant in the Czech Republic. Besides, operators of nuclear power plants in the Czech Republic receive an indirect subsidy by law with a very limited liability for a possible nuclear accident. This is only 8 billion crowns in our country, which would not cover even a fraction of the potential damage [5].

A separate chapter consists of money for liquidation of the radioactive power plant after the end of operation and for the construction and operation of a deep geological repository of spent nuclear fuel and other high-level waste. Financial levy that CEZ sends to the nuclear account today is not enough to cover future planned costs in excess of CZK 110 billion [6]. And it is very uncertain whether the money deposited by the operator on the reserve account for liquidation of the power plant will cover the real future requirements.

Edvard Sequens, Energy Consultant of Calla – Association for Preservation of the Environment, said: "Just betting on the Nuclear Energy Development Card is literally pretty expensive for us. Our politicians still seem to be looking in the rearview mirror and wanting to address the challenges of the twenty-first century by the tools used in the past. We need a courageous, modern energy policy that will not make us an isolated open-air energy museum in the centre of Europe."

Karel Polanecký, Energy Expert of Friends of the Earth Czech Republic (Hnutí DUHA), said: "Nuclear projects are going nowhere in the world. We can not think that the French, the Americans, the Russians, or the Chinese are clumsy persons, to whom the nifty Czechs are going to wipe their eyes and will be the only ones to build the reactor at the estimated cost and in time. The risk of a large extension or failure to complete a project is so high that we simply need to develop other resources. Looking at the pace of developing renewable resources everywhere outside the Visegrad Four countries, the solution is obvious."

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Comments:

  1. Joint Press Release of Calla, Greenpeace Czech Republic, Friends of the Earth Czech Republic (Hnutí DUHA) and Green Circle of 9th January 2018 http://calla.cz/index.php?path=hl_stranka/tiskovky/2018&php=tz180109.php
  2. Infolist the Czech nuclear optimism and the British reality http://hnutiduha.cz/publikace/cesky-jaderny-optimismus-britska-realita
  3. Currency conversion of the current investment estimate of $ 19 billion by the project's investor: https://www.southerncompany.com/newsroom/2017/aug-2017/georgia-power-vogtle-recommendation.html
  4. Stephen Thomas: Weaknesses of applicants for the construction of new reactors in the Czech Republic http://temelin.cz/images/PDF/thomas_reaktory2017.pdf
  5. Damage due to a nuclear power plant accident can reach enormous proportions. After Fukushima the cost is estimated at 4.3 trillion Czech crowns, after Chernobyl at 4.6 trillion crowns, the French State Institute for Nuclear Safety (IRSN) estimated potential damage after an accident of one of the power plants at CZK 10.9 trillion. The European Environment Agency (EEA) reports that the lower estimate of the consequences of a major nuclear accident is estimated at 2 trillion Czech crowns.
  6. Study by Faculty of Electrical Engineering · Czech Technical University in Prague ČVUT FEL called “Update of the Economic Model and Calculation of Nuclear Account Fees for the LLW/ILW and HLW/SF Management“, Prof. Jaroslav Knápek et al., October 2017.
  7. For protection against automatic email address robots searching for addresses to send spam to them this email address has been made unreadable for them. To get a correct mail address you have to displace "AT" by the @-symbol and "DOT" by the dot-character (".").
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