Czech Long-Term Energy Plan Continues to Rely on Nuclear Power

The Czech government said it remained opposed to state subsidies for nuclear plants as it approved a long-term strategy that stresses the importance of atomic power and renewable energy for decades to come.

Nuclear energy will allow the country to comply with a European Union target for cutting carbon emissions, the Ministry of Industry and Trade said in a statement on Monday. The government envisages two new reactors at the Soviet-designed Temelin and Dukovany nuclear plants that generate about 40 percent of the nation’s electricity output.

“We definitely have to build one new nuclear bloc in Dukovany and then one in Temelin,” Finance Minister Andrej Babis told reporters after a government meeting in Prague.

The Czech Republic hasn’t decided how the new facilities will be financed after state-controlled utility CEZ AS last year scrapped a $15 billion tender for two reactors as the government refused to guarantee prices for power purchases. Babis and Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka reiterated the government’s reluctance to subsidize nuclear projects.

“We should look for all possible avenues to further develop Dukovany and Temelin, but without having to provide guarantees that would present a risk for the state budget,” Sobotka said at the press conference on Monday.

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