The Czech Republic is no longer dependent on Russian fuel for its two nuclear power plants

Photo by MIA

The Czech Republic is no longer dependent on Russia for fuel for its two nuclear power plants, and from next year, when supplies run out, the Dukovany and Temelin plants will be supplied with fuel by the US company Westinghouse.

- For the Czech Republic, it is a strategic issue to get rid of dependence on supplies from Russia. We are taking steps not to depend on Russian fuel for Temelin and Dukovani. At the same time, we have enough reserves to switch to another fuel, Czech Prime Minister Petr Fijala said last night.

Until now, it was thought that there was no substitute for Russian fuel for reactors built during the USSR, such as the one at the older Czech Dukovany nuclear power plant, but the solution was provided by the American company Westinghouse.

- The contract with Westinghouse... will be for a minimum of seven years. The work is worth hundreds of millions of euros in conversion. American fuel is compatible with Russian fuel. It differs only in some technical details, said Bohdan Zronek, director of the nuclear sector in the electricity company CEZ, the CTK agency reported.

Nuclear energy scientist Radek Škoda said that Russian fuel is slightly better, but that American fuel is also safe and proven, with the cost of switching suppliers being slightly more expensive fuel with slightly worse parameters.

The Russian company TVEL, from the state holding Rosatom, has been supplying nuclear fuel to the Dukovani plant for almost 40 years, the last replacement was made after the Russian attack on Ukraine, and the agreement ceased to be valid after Prague did not sign the annex for its extension last year.

For the more modern Temelin nuclear power plant, built on the border with Austria, which has a hybrid Russian-American technology, from the beginning of 2024 fuel will be supplied by Westinghouse together with the French company Framat.

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