CEZ says will ask for nuke plant assessment

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

VIENNA (Reuters) - Czech power firm CEZ will file for an environmental impact assessment (EIA) of a new unit at its Dukovany nuclear power station in weeks, CEZ sales chief Alan Svoboda said on Tuesday.

CEZ already filed a request to add two units at its Temelin plant earlier this year as it prepares to renew and expand its nuclear portfolio.

"For Temelin we have already submitted the EIA requirement, and for Dukovany we will do it in the near future," Svoboda said at the Reuters Central European Investment Summit in Vienna.

"It is a matter of maybe weeks or two months," he said.

EIA is a key step in the approval process to build new nuclear power stations, which is expected to take about two and a half years.

Svoboda said CEZ was looking at available reactors with 1,000-1,700 megawatt capacity, and wants to use just one type, probably closer to the 1,000 figure, at both locations.

CEZ is now operating two 1,000 megawatt units at Temelin, close to the country's southern border with Austria, and four smaller units at Dukovany in the south-east.

CEZ's progress in raising nuclear capacity, an increasingly popular alternative among utilities because nuclear plants do not release carbon dioxide, has been held up by politics.

Nuclear power has overwhelming support among Czech political parties but a junior government coalition partner, the Greens, have won a concession in the government's manifesto that no new project would be approved before the 2010 election.

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