PREAMBLE AND SUMMARY
This report provides information on the status and development of the nuclear power programme in the Czech Republic, including factors related to the effective planning, decision making and implementation of the nuclear power programme that together lead to the safe and economical operation of nuclear power plants (NPPs).
Currently, the Czech Republic has six nuclear power reactors in operation, which accounted for 37.3 % of electricity production in 2020. In accordance with the Atomic Act (Act No. 263/2016 Coll.), a licence for continued operation has been issued for Unit 1 at the Temelin site. In conformity with the State Energy Policy to support and accelerate the process of negotiating for preparation and implementation of new nuclear units at the existing NPP sites with a total output of up to 2500 MW, Czech Power Company, CEZ, a. s., or more precisely its subsidiary, the Dukovany II NPP, submitted to the regulatory body (SÚJB) an application for a siting permit for two nuclear facilities at the Dukovany site (“New Nuclear Source”) in March 2020.
1. COUNTRY ENERGY OVERVIEW
1.1. ENERGY INFORMATION
1.1.1. Energy policy
On 18 May 2015, the Czech Government approved an updated version of the State Energy Policy of the Czech Republic prepared by the Ministry of Industry and Trade with a 2040 timeline. The energy policy specifies a comprehensive set of priorities and long term goals, taking into account energy, environmental, economic and social interests (see www.mpo.cz/dokument161030.html).
The outlined strategic objectives are based on the European Union’s energy strategy and are aimed at meeting the targets of the State Energy Policy to fulfil the long term vision for the energy sector in the Czech Republic. The top strategic objectives are: (1) security of energy supplies; (2) competitiveness of the energy sector and social acceptability; and (3) sustainable development.
The Czech energy policy is clearly determined by factors relating to international energy policy and the global market, on which the Czech economy is reliant for gas and petroleum imports. The possibility of using various energy sources is limited in the Czech Republic due to the country’s natural resources and economic specifics, which determine their comparative advantages and disadvantages. The potential of energy from renewable resources is limited by the natural conditions of the Czech Republic (climate, geology and soil) and environmental protection requirements (soil, water, landscape character, flora and fauna).
1.1.2. Estimated available energy
Available energy sources are shown in Table 1.
TABLE 1. ESTIMATED AVAILABLE ENERGY SOURCES
|Coal||Crude Oil||Natural Gas||Uranium||Hydro||Other
|Total amount in specific units*||630.6||1.439||9.829||276||2.008||55.85
|Total amount in exajoules (EJ)||9.046||0.0609||0.3342||0.2806||0.007||0.201|
* Solid, liquid: million tonnes; Gas: billion m3; Uranium: metric tonnes; Hydro, renewable: TW.
Sources: Ministry of Industry and Trade, Czech Geological Survey.
1.1.3. Energy Consumption Statistics
TABLE 2. ENERGY CONSUMPTION
|Final Energy consumption [PJ]||2000||2005||2010||2015||2019||Compound
rate 2000–2019 (%)
|Total||1 127||1 207||1 159||1 101||1 161||0.16|
|Coal, Lignate and Peat||237||192||147||135||123||-3.39|
|Bioenergy and Waste||52||74||100||123||139||5.31|
*Latest available data, please note that compound annual growth rate may not be representative of actual average growth.
**Total energy derived from primary and secondary generation sources. Figures do not reflect potential heat output that may result from electricity co-generation.
—: data not available.
Source(s): United Nations Statistical Division, OECD/IEA and IAEA RDS-1
1.2. THE ELECTRICITY SYSTEM
1.2.1. Electricity system and decision making process
The energy sector was mostly privatized by 2002, though the State still owns about 70% of the Czech Power Company, a.s. (CEZ, www.cez.cz), the major domestic energy production and distribution company. In the long term, State influence in the energy sector is anticipated only in the form of indirect measures (legislation, pricing and taxes) by regulating natural monopolies in particular industries and assuring energy security such as management of ownership rights.
The legislative background is as follows:
Act No. 458/2000 Coll. (collection of laws) on Business Conditions and Public Administration in the Energy Sectors (Energy Act) establishes a new regulatory regime to regulate business in the electrical power sector. According to the Energy Act, electricity generation, distribution, transmission and trading is subject to licensing. Support for cogeneration of electricity and heat in the form of a duty to buy the produced electricity and in the provision of financial support to electricity production is stated as well. The Energy Act introduces the market environment, opens the electricity and gas markets and establishes relevant institutions: the Energy Regulatory Office (www.eru.cz), the Electricity Market Operator (www.ote-cr.cz) and the State Energy Inspection (www.cr-sei.cz).
Act No. 406/2000 Coll. on Energy Management stipulates the rights and obligations of natural and legal bodies in the management of energy, in particular of electricity and heat as well as gas and other fuels. It aims to contribute to the economical use of natural resources and the protection of the environment, as well as to the more efficient use of energy, enhanced competitiveness, reliable energy supplies and the sustainable development of society.
Electricity trade is organized and regulated by the Electricity Market Operator, which is a state-owned stock company. The key role of the company is to organize the electricity market and flow of information between the market players.
A regulatory role is performed by two State bodies and the technical status is inspected by the State Energy Inspection, which is the government body that supervises energy facilities.
From an economic perspective, the regulatory function is performed by the Energy Regulatory Office, as defined in the Energy Act. It is the State administrative body appointed by and responsible to the Cabinet. Its operating costs are covered by the State budget approved annually by the Parliament. The general mission of the Energy Regulatory Office is to support economic competition and protect consumers’ interests in the energy sector, aiming to meet all reasonable requirements for energy supply (i.e. electricity, gas and heat supplies).
1.2.2. Structure of electric power sector
About two thirds of electricity production is concentrated in CEZ, the joint stock company which owns the following power plants located in the Czech Republic: 8 coal power plants, two nuclear power plants (Dukovany and Temelín), 31 hydropower plants, 12 solar power stations and two wind power plants (https://www.cez.cz/cs/o-cez/vyrobni-zdroje). The remaining electrical power production is provided by plants owned largely by independent producers (e.g. International Power Opatovice, a.s., and Elektrárna Kolín, a.s.) or by autonomuous producers in industry and local heat producers (cogeneration), and by regional utilities.
Electricity is distributed, as well as imported and exported, by the Czech electricity transmission system CEPS, a.s. (www.ceps.cz), a state-owned shareholding company which owns and operates the backbone high voltage power transmission system (400 kV, 220 kV and some 110 kV lines) in addition to a dispatching centre.
Electricity distribution to final consumers is provided by three electrical power distribution companies (utilities) — CEZ, a.s., E.ON Distribution, a.s. (www.eon.cz/en) and PRE Group (www.pre.cz/en). Since 2006, a consumer of any size (including households) can select its electricity supplier. The role of the three utilities is servicing distribution lines and providing them to the delivery organization at the cost defined by the Energy Regulatory Office.
1.2.3. Main indicators
Table 3 shows electricity production and installed capacity, and Table 4 presents energy related indicators. The energy sources for electricity production have been quite stable for several years since the first operation of Temelín NPP and the use of hydro potential, which cannot be further substantially increased due to physical conditions.
TABLE 3. ELECTRICITY PRODUCTION
|Electricity production (GWh)||2000||2005||2010||2015||2019||Compound
rate 2000–2019 (%)
|Total||72 012||80 653||83 776||81 853||87 006||1.00|
|Coal, Lignate and Peat||53 514||50 343||47 612||41 799||39 449||-1.59|
|Natural gas||1 691||1 470||1 362||2 264||5 791||6.69|
|Bioenergy and Waste||531||738||2 189||4 868||5 116||12.66|
|Hydro||2 313||3 027||3 380||3 071||3 175||1.68|
|Nuclear||13 590||24 728||27 998||26 841||30 246||4.30|
|Solar||0||0||616||2 264||2 312|
*Latest available data, please note that compound annual growth rate may not be representative of actual average growth.
**Electricity transmission losses are not deducted.
—: data not available.
Source: United Nations Statistical Division, OECD/IEA and IAEA RDS-1
TABLE 4. ENERGY RELATED RATIOS
|Nuclear/total electricity (%)||18.7||30.5||33.3||32.5||35.2||37.3|
*Latest available data.
Source: RDS-1 and RDS-2
—: data not available.
2. NUCLEAR POWER SITUATION
2.1. HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT AND CURRENT ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE
The nuclear power era in the former Czechoslovakia started in the 1950s. The decision to build an NPP was founded on an established research and development (R&D) capability, which had a long tradition of industrial success despite not using fossil fuels (stemming from an absence of significant resources of oil and gas and shrinking coal reserves).
In the 1970s, four WWER-440/213 reactors were built at the Dukovany site. The four units were completed and put into commercial operation in 1985–1987. The Soviet design was adopted and Czech industry was gradually involved in the production of plant equipment, with the exception of fuel and main circulation pumps. Czech industry also became a supplier of these parts for other Eastern European countries (e.g. 20 reactor vessels were made by Škoda). In the mid-1980s, construction of the WWER-1000 began at the Temelín site. In 1993, the Government decided to change the reactor control system and fuel type to meet specific criteria, and Westinghouse was selected as a supplier. The original project manufacture of four units was reduced to two units. Finally, the two units were completed and put into commercial operation in 2003.
During the period of economic reconstruction in the 1990s, a lack of demand for nuclear equipment led to a loss of industrial capacity. In recent years, demand was partially renewed for sub-deliveries, mainly for Areva Company at Olkiluoto 3 in Finland and Jules Horowitz in France.
In August 2009, CEZ, a.s., launched a tender for the construction of two more units at the Temelín NPP site (Temelín 3 and 4). Final selection was expected to be made in September 2013, but the decision was delayed and later cancelled.
According to the State Energy Policy of the Czech Republic (see www.mpo.cz/dokument155315.html), the primary objectives include: (1) supporting and accelerating the process of negotiating, preparing and implementing new nuclear units at existing NPP sites with a total output of up to 2500 MW or annual production of approximately 20 TWh by 2030–2035; and (2) creating conditions to extend the lifetime of the Dukovany plant to 50 years and, if possible, to 60 years.
In accordance with the State Energy Policy of the Czech Republic, preparations for the construction of new nuclear units in Dukovany were started. The Ministry of the Environment issued the Positive Binding Statement on the Project of “New Nuclear Source at the Dukovany Site” on 30 August 2019 (see https://portal.cenia.cz/eiasea/detail/EIA_MZP469). In March 2020 Dukovany II, a.s. submitted to the State Office for Nuclear Safety (SÚJB) an application for the siting permit of two nuclear facilities at the Dukovany site (“New Nuclear Source”) each with one pressurized water reactor with a net electrical capacity of up to 1200 MWe. In accordance with the provisions of Art. 19, paragraph 2(a) of Act No. 263/2016 Coll., the Atomic Act, the decision on the permit is supposed to be issued within 12 months.
2.1.2. Current organizational structure
The organization of the Czech Government can be seen in Fig. 1. The Ministry of Industry and Trade is a political ministry with the principal responsibility for overall energy policy and support of selected fields. The State Office for Nuclear Safety (SÚJB) belongs to a group of ‘non-political’ offices of the Government along with the Czech Mining Office (i.e. these institutions have their own budget not connected to any ‘political’ ministry). Heads of these organizations are appointed by the Cabinet on a professional basis.
FIG. 1: Position of the SÚJB in the State administration.
2.2. NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS: OVERVIEW
2.2.1. Status and performance of nuclear power plants
In the Czech Republic, there are six reactors in operation (see Table 5):
Four units operating at Dukovany (WWER-440/V213 type PWRs), with a total installed power of 2040 MWe;
Two units at Temelín (WWER-1000/V320 type PWRs), with a total installed power of 2110 MWe.
TABLE 5. STATUS AND PERFORMANCE OF NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS
|Data source: IAEA - Power Reactor Information System (PRIS).|
|Note: Table is completely generated from PRIS data to reflect the latest available information and may be more up to date than the text of the report.|
FIG. 2. Map of nuclear power plants in the Czech Republic.
2.2.2. Plant upgrading, plant life management and licence renewals
As of 2015, Dukovany NPP had been in operation for 30 years and Temelín NPP for 15 years. The SÚJB conditionally approved operation of both NPPs on the performance of a periodic safety review to the extent specified in IAEA Safety Standards Series No. NS-G-2.10(1), Periodic Safety Review of Nuclear Power Plants. The first review at Dukovany NPP was performed in 2005–2006 and the second review in 2013–2014. The results of these activities served as the basis for a permit application for operation after 2015, following 30 years of operation.
In September 2015, CEZ, as the operator of Dukovany NPP, applied for SÚJB approval to operate the unit Dukovany-1 to 2025. After implementing all required conditions in accordance with Atomic Act No. 18/1997, the SÚJB issued an operating permit for Unit-1 for an indeterminate period. A new operating permit was issued on 30 March 2016 (valid from 1 April 2016) and includes almost 99 conditions, which, if not fulfilled, could warrant withdrawal of the permit. The permit imposes on CEZ an obligation to inform the SÚJB about operation beyond the scope of the permit to ensure the efficient performance of the State administration as well as the regulatory body.
The application for the permit to continue operation of the unit Dukovany-2 was submitted by CEZ, a.s., on 2 January 2017 and for the units 3 and 4 on 30 June 2017. In accordance with Act No. 263/2016 Coll., the Atomic Act, the SÚJB issued an operating permit for Unit 2 as of 28 June 2017 and for Unit 3 and 4 as of 19 December 2017, for an indeterminate period.
In March 2020, CEZ a.s., as the operator of Temelín NPP, applied for SÚJB approval to operate the unit Temelín-1. After implementing all required conditions in accordance with Act No. 263/2016 Coll., the Atomic Act, the SÚJB issued an operating permit for Temelín-1 for an indeterminate period. The new operating permit was issued on 24 September 2020.
For more information about upgrades and modernization of both NPPs, please refer to the latest Czech Republic National Report under the Convention on Nuclear Safety, published in 2019.
The Post-Fukushima National Action Plan (Rev. 4) was drafted on the basis of the European Union stress tests and provides additional enhancements of plant safety levels.
2.2.3. Permanent shutdown and decommissioning process
2.3. FUTURE DEVELOPMENT OF NUCLEAR POWER SECTOR
2.3.1. Nuclear power development strategy
The updated State Energy Policy of the Czech Republic considers nuclear power to be a feasible and desirable option.
Within the framework of the State Energy Policy, several future considerations are outlined, including: (1) supporting the development of nuclear energy, including a target of nuclear energy to comprise 50% of the amount of electricity generated and maximizing heat supplies from NPPs; (2) supporting and accelerating the process of negotiating, preparing and implementing new nuclear units at existing NPP sites with a total output of up to 2500 MW or annual production of approximately 20 TWh by 2030–2035; (3) creating conditions to extend the lifetime of the Dukovany plant to 50 or 60 years, accounting for existing technology, safety and security regulations, the economy and European Union rules; (4) scheduling the potential construction of a new block at existing NPP sites in line with the expected decommissioning of Dukovany NPP (i.e. after 2035); and (5) making a decision concerning the storage of nuclear waste by 2025.
In addition, the policy recommends making greater use of heat energy produced from nuclear sources to heat large urban agglomerations. If nuclear power were to continue to be used for a long period of time, it would also be necessary to explore and prepare, as needed, sites for future additional nuclear power stations after 2040.
2.3.2. Project management
It is assumed that the delivery of new units will be considered a ‘turnkey’ type project.
2.3.3. Project funding
In July 2020, CEZ, a.s., Elektrárna Dukovany II and the Czech Republic represented by the Ministry of Industry and Trade signed the First Implementation Agreement on cooperation in the construction of a new nuclear source at the Dukovany location in the Czech Republic.
2.3.4. Electric grid development
The backbone internal electric grid owned by CEPS, a.s. is adequate for internal transfers. New investments will focus on strengthening the connection of new units.
In accordance with the strategic task defined in the updated State Energy Policy, construction of new nuclear facilities in the Czech Republic is desirable. This plan includes immediate preparations for the siting and construction of one nuclear unit at the Temelín NPP site and one unit at the Dukovany NPP site, all while keeping the possibility of constructing two units at both sites by filing the application for the necessary permits/licences. Public awareness
CEZ, a.s., initiates long term efforts to establish friendly and mutually beneficial relationships with the towns, municipalities and populations within the vicinity of the power plants. These relationships are based on mutual confidence and honesty, and the public has an opportunity to ensure that safety is a priority during the operation of NPPs in the Czech Republic. Support for the development of nuclear energy in the Czech Republic dropped to 72% following the 2011 Fukushima accident and has since increased to 74%.
Representatives and residents of municipalities living in the vicinity of Dukovany NPP and the general public have been invited to inspect the plant’s premises, including both spent nuclear fuel interim storage facilities, and their questions and comments have been considered and addressed. A total of 86% of the population within 20 km of Dukovany NPP supports modernization and long term operation of the plant and 70% is supportive of further development.
The communication strategy of the Communication Division at Temelín NPP specifies key target groups of the population. The groups are addressed using a variety of communication channels. The most important group exchanging information on an intensive basis is made up of the mayors of 33 municipalities within 13 km of the emergency planning zone around the Temelín NPP. The power plant organizes 4–6 working meetings annually with the mayors in the presence of power plant and CEZ, a.s., company management. In Melk, Austria, the Prime Ministers of the Czech Republic and Austria concluded a general agreement in December 2000 on the exchange of information between both States on the operation of Temelín NPP. A number of expert negotiations took place on the basis of this agreement which are also available in Czech and English on the SÚJB web site: https://www.sujb.cz/mezinarodni-spoluprace/melksky-proces/.
Thanks to the communication strategy, in the long term, approximately 53% of the population would agree to the construction of a new NPP in the country; this opinion level has held steady. Neither the poll results nor long term trends indicate any significant fear of NPPs in terms of the risk of a nuclear accident or adverse environmental impacts. The main issue is the disposal of spent nuclear fuel and fear of increased construction costs if a new power plant is built.
2.4. ORGANIZATIONS INVOLVED IN CONSTRUCTION OF NPPs
Since most of the equipment and all construction parts of both NPPs were produced in the Czech Republic or in Slovakia, involvement of domestic companies is expected. Some domestic companies are listed in Appendix 2.
There are no domestic specialized capacities in the areas of uranium enrichment, fuel fabrication and spent fuel processing or heavy water production. The only exception is research in fuel coating and spent fuel processing.
2.5. ORGANIZATIONS INVOLVED IN OPERATION OF NPPs
It is assumed that CEZ, a.s., the operator of both existing NPPs, will operate any new NPP. It is the only organization licensed to operate an NPP.
2.6. ORGANIZATIONS INVOLVED IN DECOMMISSIONING OF NPPs
The basic obligations of a licensee as per the Atomic Act include the obligation to create financial reserves for the preparation and actual decommissioning of nuclear installations. The amount of this reserve shall be established based on the decommissioning technology approved by the SÚJB and based on the estimate of the costs given for the decommissioning technology verified by the Radioactive Waste Repository Authority (RAWRA). The method of creating reserves is governed by a separate legal regulation issued by the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic. The creation of reserves is controlled by the RAWRA. Monetary reserves for decommissioning are created in compliance with legal regulations for all nuclear facilities operated by CEZ, a.s. The funds for decommissioning nuclear installations are kept in a blocked account and can only be used for preparation and implementation of decommissioning. The preparation of decommissioning documentation is assured by the licensee (CEZ, a.s.). Currently, proposals for decommissioning have already been approved for Dukovany and Temelín NPPs and associated spent fuel storage facilities, including an interim spent fuel storage facility at Dukovany, a spent fuel storage facility at Dukovany and a spent fuel storage facility at Temelín.
2.7. FUEL CYCLE, INCLUDING WASTE MANAGEMENT
Nuclear fuel is supplied to both NPPs by the TVEL Company. In addition, fuel for Czech research reactors is supplied by the Russian Federation. Under the Global Threat Reduction Initiative, research reactors at both the Czech Technical University and the Nuclear Research Institute at Rež, a.s./Research Centre Rež, s.r.o. (Ltd) were converted from the use of highly enriched uranium to low enriched uranium (less than 20%); spent fuel from all Czech research reactors was also repatriated to its country of origin in 2007.
In January 2016, the Czech Government decided to decommission the uranium mine at the Rožná deposit before the end of 2017. The GEAM Dolní Rožínka branch of DIAMO, a state enterprise, eliminates the consequences of uranium mining activity, including mine water treatment in the localities where the mines had been terminated. In 2020, the GEAM Dolní Rožínka branch released about 5.6 million mł of treated water into rivers. It included 114 000 mł of water produced by treating overbalanced water from the tailing ponds of the chemical treatment plant, 5.4 million m3 of treated mine water and about 100 000 m3 of treated surface water. The outlets of the main abandoned mines, which were closed after surveying and mining uranium, polymetallic ores, coal and lignite, are periodically inspected. The effects of mining, liquidation and remediation on the environment are also monitored.
The Bukov Underground Research facility was built at the site of the Rožná I mine. The TÚU Stráž pod Ralskem branch of DIAMO has been dealing with remediation after underground mining and in-situ leaching of uranium since the second half of the 1990s. Three underground uranium mines were gradually liquidated by 2003, the milling facility was decommissioned and liquidated in 2015, and the groundwater remediation after in-situ leaching, started in 1996, is still ongoing. As part of this activity, more than 5.2 million m3 of residual technological solutions after in-situ leaching are depleted and cleaned annually, and more than 380 000m3 of neutralization sludge from three remediation (neutralization) technologies are safely stored. The groundwater remediation process is planned until about 2037. The effects of liquidation and remediation on the environment are monitored. At other localities in the Czech Republic affected by the stopped uranium mining, such as the waste rock heaps in Príbram, the tailings ponds in Mydlovary or the outflow of mine water in Zadní Chodov, remediation and reclamation works and mine water treatment are being carried out together with monitoring by the SUL Príbram branch of DIAMO.
The storage of spent fuel is ensured by its originators: CEZ, a.s. (from NPPs) and Research Centre Rež (from research reactors). The spent nuclear fuel removed from the reactors is stored in a spent nuclear fuel pool (approximately 7–10 years) and then in dry storage facilities (approximately 40–60 years), which are situated at power plant sites.
There are (interim) dry cask-type spent fuel storage facilities at both NPPs. The first interim storage facility at Dukovany NPP, with a capacity of 600 tonnes of heavy metals, was in operation from 1995 to 2006. The second storage facility at Dukovany, with a capacity of 1340 tonnes of heavy metals (sufficient to cover the remaining production of spent fuel at all four units of Dukovany NPP), was put into operation in 2006. Since 2010, spent fuel storage has also been in operation at the Temelín NPP (with a capacity of 1370 tonnes of heavy metals).
The construction of a deep geological repository is declared in the policy of radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel management in the Czech Republic prepared by SÚRAO. The policy respects the requirements of Council Directive 2011/70/Euratom. In compliance with a recommendation contained in these directives and recommendations provided by the Working Group of the European Nuclear Energy Forum (Information and Transparency), discussion is under way regarding implementation of national legislative frameworks in the site selection process. Based on a preliminary timetable, selection of the final and backup final sites is scheduled based on governmental decision for 2030; construction of the deep geological repository is scheduled for 2050–2064; and the commissioning of the repository is scheduled for 2065. At the end of 2020, the Government agreed a shortlist of four sites (from a total of nine) for the location of the deep geological repository.
A shallow land repository for radioactive waste is operated by SÚRAO within the Dukovany NPP site. It is designed to accommodate all future low level radioactive waste from both Dukovany and Temelín NPPs.
A repository for low and intermediate level radioactive waste from medical and industrial use is located in an abandoned limestone mine, Richard, near Litomerice in the north of the Czech Republic. It commenced operation in 1964. Another repository, Bratrství, for waste containing natural radionuclides only, is located near Jáchymov in the northwestern part of the Czech Republic and has been in operation since 1974. Repository Hostim, near Beroun, was closed in 1997 and is now monitored by SÚRAO.
2.8. RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
2.8.1. R&D organizations
Responsibility for research in the area of nuclear energy is coordinated between the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic and the SÚJB. While the ministry sponsors general research in the area, the SÚJB supports projects aiming to increase nuclear safety.
Most activities in the area of nuclear energy R&D are carried out by (1) the Nuclear Research Institute at Rež, a.s., founded in 1955; (2) its daughter company, Research Centre Rež, s.r.o., established in 2002; and (3) the Czech Technical University in Prague.
ÚJP Praha, a.s., performs specialized research into fuel element cladding — it is a successor of the former Nuclear Fuel Institute (ÚJP) established in 1966.
Several institutes of the Czech Academy of Sciences and other universities such as the Czech Technical University in Prague (Department of Nuclear Reactors) focus their scientific activities on a broad spectrum of issues of nuclear power engineering. They cover theoretical and experimental reactor physics, safety of nuclear facilities or computational tools for nuclear reactor analyses. The department staff is also concerned with advanced nuclear reactors, nuclear fuel cycles, spent nuclear fuel, and design and test control and safety systems of nuclear reactors. Finally, the department members study thermohydraulics of nuclear reactors and thermomechanics of nuclear fuels.
At present, three nuclear research reactors are operated in the Czech Republic. Two experimental reactors are located in the vicinity of Prague at the Research Centre Rež, s.r.o. — LVR-15 and LR-0 — and one training reactor VR-1 is operated by the Faculty of Nuclear Sciences and Physical Engineering of the Czech Technical University in Prague.
In accordance with Act No 263/2016, the Atomic Act, the SÚJB issued in 2020:
A permit for continued operation of LR-0 research reactor and LVR-15 research reactor;
A siting permit for the VR-2 subcritical research reactor at the Faculty of Nuclear Sciences and Physical Engineering of the Czech Technical University in Prague. The reactor VR-2 will enhance experimental and educational capacity in the Czech Republic and will bring another opportunity to train key nuclear specialists.
2.8.2. Development of advanced nuclear power technologies
The Czech Republic is an active member of the IAEA International Project on Innovative Nuclear Reactors and Fuel Cycles (INPRO), providing study support as in-kind contributions within its framework.
The Nuclear Research Institute at Rež, a.s., together with the Research Centre Rež, s.r.o., is engaged in several international research projects under the European Union framework programmes on nuclear safety, waste management and other topics in the nuclear field.
2.8.3. International cooperation and initiatives
The Czech Republic has fruitful international cooperation with a number of international nuclear organizations and is a member of a number of international nuclear organizations and associations such as the IAEA and the Nuclear Energy Agency of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD/NEA).
Intensive cooperation is carried out within the European Union. The Czech Republic is involved in the development of European legislation in the European Council as well as in the planning and realization of EuropeAid projects under the Instrument for Nuclear Safety Cooperation and Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance.
The SÚJB is a member of the following associations:
Western European Nuclear Regulators’ Association;
WWER Forum (established by the regulatory bodies of countries operating Soviet designed PWRs);
Association of countries with small nuclear programmes.
In the area of safeguards, the Czech Republic is a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group and the Zangger Committee.
CEZ, a.s., is also a member of the World Association of Nuclear Operators.
Czech scientists participate in research activities organized by international organizations such as OECD/NEA, the Information System on Occupational Exposure, International Nuclear Emergency Exercises, the Incident Reporting System and programmes of the European Organization for Nuclear Research, Dubna and others.
The Czech Republic has concluded agreements to exchange information with all neighbouring States and general cooperation agreements with other countries having a substantial nuclear programme.
The Czech Republic is a member of the international conventions and treaties listed in Appendix 1.
2.9. HUMAN RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT
In the Czech Republic, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports is the central authority in education responsible for the overall strategy, educational policy and distribution of financial resources from the State budget and is also responsible for the introduction of the general scientific research and development policy.
The Czech Republic, a country with a developed and operational nuclear energy programme, dedicates systematic care to educating and training personnel including specialists to ensure the reliable operation and manufacturing of various nuclear devices and carrying out of R&D activities.
Basic courses at the Master’s level in nuclear physics and its application and engineering are provided at four main universities: Charles University and Technical University in Prague; Masaryk University in Brno; and University of West Bohemia in Plzen. These universities also support postgraduate courses and PhD studies. Education in chemistry, biology and other scientific curricula offers many partial courses on the use of radioactive sources and radiation protection.
The Czech Republic continues to implement one ‘national’ project under the IAEA Technical Cooperation Programme — Strengthening Human Resource Capacity, Nuclear Knowledge, Skills Preservation, Supplementary Enlargement of Knowledge and Expertise in Relevant Fields of the Peaceful Use of Nuclear Energy. The programme focuses on strengthening human resources capacity with the aim of sustainable high level professionalism in the field of non-industrial utilization of nuclear energy, considering the intergenerational exchange of experts. The project is coordinated by the SÚJB, with target institutions to include universities, research institutes and relevant organizations within the State administration.
2.10. STAKEHOLDER INVOLVEMENT
Communication by governmental institutions with the public is approached with openness and transparency. While it is governed by Act No. 106/1999 Coll. on Free Access to Information, in practice it is implemented using Internet services (www.statnisprava.cz, https://portal.gov.cz www.sujb.cz, www.mpo.cz). An example can be found at www.sujb.cz/elektronicka-uredni-deska/.
Formal communication (content of communications and terms) between the SÚJB and its licence holders and other stakeholders is governed by Act No. 500/2004 Coll., or the Administration Act. The most important communication between CEZ, a.s., and the SÚJB concerning events at NPPs is governed by the Technical Specification of NPP operation (Limits and Conditions) and by an agreement between CEZ, a.s., and the SÚJB.
International communication on emergency matters is governed by the Convention on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident. The Czech Republic has also concluded bilateral agreements with all neighbouring States which cover matters related to the exchange of information in case of an emergency and mutual cooperation in the field of peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
Information exchange has a prominent role in relations with Austria and Germany. The respective agreements are formulated very carefully and are followed by several arrangements establishing technical details.
2.11. EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS
The Monitoring and Crisis Management Division of the SÚJB is responsible for emergency preparedness and crisis management, overseeing related activities. This division is directly managed by the Vice-President for Radiation Protection.
Emergency preparedness means an ability to recognize the occurrence of a radiological emergency and, upon its occurrence, to carry out measures specified in emergency plans. The Monitoring and Crisis Management Division performs the following activities:
Approves on-site emergency plans of nuclear facilities, workplaces of the fourth category and selected workplaces of the third category;
Carries out the inspection of emergency preparedness at the nuclear facilities, workplaces of the fourth category and selected workplaces of the third category;
Evaluates the results of inspections;
Participates in inspections at other workplaces with sources of ionizing radiation focusing on the emergency preparedness;
Continuously operates the workplace for the receipt of information on occurrence of an emergency event;
Receives and distributes protocols on an emergency event;
Manages the Radiation Monitoring Network in the normal radiation situation (current radiation situation in the Czech Republic is available on the webpage: https://www.sujb.cz/en/radiation-situation-monitoring).
Manages the international exchange of data.
3. NATIONAL LAWS AND REGULATIONS
3.1. REGULATORY FRAMEWORK
3.1.1. Regulatory authority(s)
The SÚJB was established as the Czech Republic’s national regulatory authority to oversee nuclear safety and radiation protection on 1 January 1993 by Act No. 21/1992 Coll. The competencies of the former Czechoslovak Atomic Energy Commission were divided first into regulatory activities (nuclear safety and safeguards), which were transferred to the SÚJB, and second into promotional activities, which were transferred to the Ministry of Industry and Trade. In 1995, the SÚJB assumed regulatory responsibility in the overall area of radiation protection from the Ministry of Health. In 2000 and 2002 respectively, the scope of the SÚJB’s responsibilities was extended to regulate material and technologies that could be used for chemical and biological weapons (in the case of chemical weapons, from the Ministry of Industry and Trade). In 2005, ‘technical’ safety responsibilities were transferred to the SÚJB to simplify the inspection of important mechanical parts in nuclear installations, such as pressure tubes or vessels.
The legal framework of the SÚJB is provided by Act No. 263/2016 Coll., the Atomic Act. Other legal documents specifying the powers of the SÚJB are listed in Section 3.2.
The SÚJB is an independent central body of the State administration, with its own budget. It is headed by a chairperson appointed by the Government. The chairperson can, on request, be present at a meeting of the Government. Regulatory decisions of the SÚJB cannot be changed by any other Government body. Directors of sections, directors of departments and heads of divisions, as well as nuclear safety and radiation protection inspectors, are appointed by the chairperson of the SÚJB.
The SÚJB has 218 employees. Its organizational chart is presented in Fig. 3.
FIG. 3: Organizational chart of the SÚJB.
3.1.2. Licensing process
The legislative framework of the licensing process is defined by Act No. 183/2006 Coll. on Urban Planning and Building Code (the Building Act), the Atomic Act and their implementing decrees.
In the case of construction of a nuclear installation, the Building Act establishes a three stage procedure for its licensing, including site decision, construction permit and final inspection approval. General building authorities exercise the competence of a building office to issue a site decision (siting) pursuant to Act No. 183/2006 Coll. The construction permit and operating licence (permanent operation) are issued by the Department of Planning and Building Control of the Ministry of Industry and Trade. Their resolutions are conditional upon decisions issued by specialized regulatory bodies, including the SÚJB. The Department of Planning and Building Control of the Ministry of Industry and Trade can issue the operating licence only with the approval of the municipal department of planning and building control competent to issue the site decision, which verifies observance of its conditions; the approval is not an administrative decision, and can be challenged in revision proceedings.
Moreover, every nuclear installation has to undergo a procedure under Act No. 100/2001 Coll., on Environmental Impact Assessment, prior to its construction. A binding opinion is issued as a result of this procedure by the Ministry of Environment.
The Atomic Act establishes how to utilize nuclear energy and ionizing radiation, as well as conditions for the performance of activities related to that utilization. A precondition for the performance of such activities is a licence issued by the SÚJB with an administrative procedure, which is independent of the above described procedure required under the Building Act. The Atomic Act explicitly forbids siting, construction, operation and other activities at nuclear installations requiring a licence issued by the SÚJB before the respective licence becomes legally effective.
Aside from the three stage process mentioned above, the approval procedure also includes a number of other partial licences issued by the SÚJB in accordance with the Atomic Act during different stages of the service life of a nuclear installation.
According to the provisions of Section 5 of the Atomic Act, the licensee shall verify nuclear safety during all stages of the installation’s service life within the scope appropriate for the particular licences. Following this, the licensee will systematically and comprehensively assess associated science and technology considerations, and ensure that results of such assessments are translated into practical measures. The verification/assessment shall be documented. The content of the documentation is specified in Appendix 1 to the Atomic Act. A safety assessment is, in compliance with the Atomic Act, reviewed by the SÚJB, both analytically and within its inspection activities.
The implementing decrees complement the Atomic Act to establish basic criteria for the nuclear safety assessment of a nuclear installation during different stages of its service life.
For more information, see the latest National Report of the Czech Republic under the Convention on Nuclear Safety: https://www.sujb.cz/en/reports/the-czech-republic-national-report-under-the-convention-on-nuclear-safety-2019/.
3.2. NATIONAL LAWS AND REGULATIONS IN NUCLEAR POWER
The Czech Republic’s legislative framework for nuclear safety and radiation protection is based particularly on the Atomic Act and appropriate decrees of the SÚJB, as well as Government resolutions. The following list contains the complete legislation relating to the responsibilities of the SÚJB and also includes norms concerning the prohibition of chemical and biological weapons. Both laws and decrees are continuously updated; for the most current information, the public is invited to consult the following web site: www.sujb.cz/en/legal-framework/. It is necessary to note that since May 2004, the Czech Republic has been a member of the European Union and is therefore participatory in the ‘acquis communautaire’, which means that all European Union treaties, legislation, declarations, resolutions, international agreements and more are fully applicable in the country.
Act No. 263/2016 Coll., the Atomic Act. This principal piece of nuclear legislation of the Czech Republic took effect on 1 January 2017: https://www.sujb.cz/en/legal-framework/nuclear-law
Act No. 18/1997 Coll., on Peaceful Utilization of Nuclear Energy and Ionizing Radiation (the former Atomic Act) — the Act is left in a residual form and regulates only civil liability for nuclear damage. This Act was amended by Act No. 264/2016 Coll., which amends certain acts in connection with the adoption of the Atomic Act.
Act No. 19/1997 Coll., on Some Measures Concerning Chemical Weapons Prohibition and on Amendments and Additions to Related Acts.
Act No. 281/2002 Coll., on Some Measures Related to Prohibition of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Amendments to the Trades Licensing Act.
Decree No. 324/1999 Coll., on Limits of Concentration and Amount of Nuclear Material for which Nuclear Liability Requirements Do Not Apply.
Decree No. 474/2002 Coll., on Some Measures Related to Prohibition of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Amendments to the Trades Licensing Act.
Decree No. 208/2008 Coll., Implementation of the Act on Some Measures Concerning Chemical Weapons Prohibition.
Decree No. 358/2016 Coll., on Requirements for Assurance of Quality and Technical Safety and Assessment and Verification of Conformity of Selected Equipment.
Decree No. 359/2016 Coll., on Details of Ensuring Radiation Extraordinary Event Management.
Decree No. 360/2016 Coll., on Radiation Situation Monitoring.
Decree No. 361/2016 Coll., on Security of Nuclear Installation and Nuclear Material.
Decree No. 362/2016 Coll., on the Conditions for the Award of the Grant from the State Budget in Some Existing Exposure Situations.
Decree No. 374/2016 Coll., on the Accountancy and Control of Nuclear Materials and Reporting of Information on Them.
Decree No. 375/2016 Coll., on Selected Items in the Nuclear Area.
Decree No. 376/2016 Coll., on Dual-Use Items in the Nuclear Area.
Decree No. 377/2016 Coll., on the Requirements for the Safe Management of Radioactive Waste and on the Decommissioning of Nuclear Installations or Category III or IV Workplaces.
Decree No. 378/2016 Coll., on Siting of a Nuclear Installation.
Decree No. 379/2016 Coll., Concerning the Approval of Some Products in the Field of Peaceful Use of Nuclear Energy and Ionising Radiation and the Carriage of Radioactive or Fissile Material.
Decree No. 408/2016 Coll., on Management System Requirements.
Decree No. 409/2016 Coll., on Activities Especially Important from Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection Viewpoint, Special Professional Qualification and Training of Persons Ensuring Radiation Protection of the Registrant.
Decree No. 422/2016 Coll., on Radiation Protection and Security of a Radioactive Source.
Decree No. 21/2017 Coll., on Nuclear Safety Assurance.
Decree No. 162/2017 Coll., on Requirements for Safety Assessment Under the Atomic Act.
Decree No. 329/2017 Coll., on Nuclear Installation Design Requirement.
Decree No. 266/2019 Coll., on Concept of Radioactive Waste and Spent Nuclear Fuel Management.
Decree No. 250/2020 Coll., on the Method of Setting a Reserve for Decommissioning of Nuclear Installations and Workplaces of Category III and IV.
Government Order No. 347/2016 Coll., on Tariff Charges for Professional Activities of the State Office for Nuclear Safety.
APPENDIX 1: INTERNATIONAL, MULTILATERAL AND BILATERAL AGREEMENTS
Following is the list of international conventions and bilateral agreements signed/ratified by the government of the Czech Republic in the field of nuclear power.
Revised Supplementary Agreement Concerning the Provision of Technical Assistance by the IAEA to the Government of the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic.
Agreement between the Government of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic and the Government of the Republic of Austria to Settle Issues of Common Interest in Connection with Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection.
Protocol between the Government of the Czech Republic and the Government of the Republic of Austria Amending the Agreement between the Government of the Czechoslovak Republic and the Government of the Republic of Austria to Settle Issues of Common Interest in Connection with Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection.
Agreement between the Government of the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic and the Government of Germany to Settle Issues of Common Interest in Connection with Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection.
Agreement between the Government of the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic and the Government of the Republic of Hungary on Exchange of Information and Cooperation in the Field of Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection.
Agreement between the Government of the Czech Republic and the Government of the Russian Federation on Cooperation in the Field of Nuclear Energy.
Amendment to the Agreement between the Government of the Czech Republic and the Government of the Russian Federation on Cooperation in the Field of Nuclear Energy of 4 April 1994.
Agreement between the Government of the Czech Republic and the Government of Canada on Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy.
Agreement between the Government of the Czech Republic and the Government of the Slovak Republic on Cooperation in the Field of State Supervision of Nuclear Safety of Nuclear Installations and State Supervision of Nuclear Material.
Agreement between the Czech Republic and the Government of the Slovak Republic on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident.
Agreement between the Government of the Czech Republic and the Government of Ukraine on Cooperation in the Field on Nuclear Energy and Nuclear Industry.
Agreement between the Government of the Czech Republic, the Government of the Russian Federation, the Government of the Slovak Republic and the Government of Ukraine on Cooperation in the Field of Transport of Nuclear Materials between the Czech Republic and the Russian Federation through the Territory of the Slovak Republic and Ukraine.
Cooperation Agreement between the Government of the Czech Republic and the Government of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan on the Development of Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy.
Agreement between the Government of the Czech Republic and the Government of the Republic of Korea on Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy.
Agreement between the Government of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic and the Government of the Republic of India on Cooperation in the Field of Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy.
Agreement between the Government of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic and the Government of the People’s Republic of Bulgaria on Cooperation in the Area of Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy.
Agreement between the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia on Cooperation in Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy.(2)
Agreement between the Czech Republic and the Government of the Republic of Poland on Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident and on Exchange of Information on the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy, Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection.
Agreement between the Czech Republic and the Government of Australia on Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy and the Transfer of Nuclear Materials.
Agreement between the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic and the USSR on Further Extending of Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy.
Agreement between the Government of the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic and the Government of the United States of America on Cooperation in Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy.
APPENDIX 2: MAIN ORGANIZATIONS, INSTITUTIONS AND COMPANIES INVOLVED IN NUCLEAR POWER RELATED ACTIVITIES
Ms. Silvia Habadová
State Office for Nuclear SafetySenovážné námesti 911000 Praha 1Czech Republic
Tel.: (+420) 221 624 770 or 226 514 770Email: email@example.com
(2) Tterminated on 4 April 1997; succession to bilateral agreements via exchange of notes; remaining contracting parties: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Serbia and Montenegro. Decree MZV 56/2000 item 5 cancelled – Croatia. Decree MZV 59/2000 item 6 cancelled – Macedonia