Czech bans Russia, China participation in nuclear plant construction tender

PRAGUE (RIA Novosti): Czech President Milos Zeman signed a law that excludes the participation of Russian and Chinese companies in the creation of a new power unit at the Dukovany NPP, Czech TV reported .

Now, during constructi-on, it is possible to use te-chnologies only from those countries that have joined the international agreement on state orders from 1996. Neither Russia nor the PRC are among them.

The current government may announce a tender for the construction of a new power unit after the parliamentary elections to be held in the republic on October 8 and 9, without waiting for the formation of a new cabinet. This was announced on September 21 by the Deputy Prime Minister and Head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Republic Karel Gavlicek.

“It is absolutely certain that the current government could have done this [to announce a tender]. This is a [purely] technical issue. I firmly [declare] that we do not want to postpone anything,” the politician said. Earlier, he repeatedly stated that the tender for the construction of a new power unit will be announced by the Cabinet of Ministers, which will be formed following the parliamentary elections in the Czech Republic.

“Dukovany” is a nuclear power plant in the west of Moravia, built in 1985-1987 according to the Soviet project, it includes four power units with VVER-440 V-213 reactors. Since 2012, the issue of the possible launch of a new – fifth – unit is being resolved.

In August, Prague announced that the tender was scheduled for the end of this year. According to Deputy Prime Minister and Head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade Karel Gavlicek, the construction price could range from 6.4 to 7.3 billion dollars.

Applications were submitted by the Russian state corporation Rosatom , American Westinghouse , China General Nuclear Po-wer, French EdF and South Korean KHNP. The winner should be determined no later than 2024, the creation of the power unit is scheduled for the interval between 2029 and 2036.

The opposition and some of the senators believe that Moscow and Beijing pose a threat to the country’s security. In March, following protests in parliament, the government removed the Chinese from the list of contenders.

In April, Prague accused Russian intelligence agencies of involvement in an explosion at military depots in Vrbetica and expelled 18 embassy officials. In response, Moscow declared 20 employees of the Czech diplomatic mission persona non grata, calling the claims absurd. After that, the Czech Cabinet of Ministers excluded Rosatom from the list of candidates for participation in the tender for the construction of a new power unit at the Dukovany NPP. The corporation considered this decision non-market and politically biased.

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