After an inspection lasting 17 days, an Operational Safety Review Team (OSART) from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has said the Dukovany nuclear power plant, the Czech Republic’s oldest, is safe and well-run. The inspectors say some processes at the plant could be improved, but at the same time they intend to recommend certain practices implemented at Dukovany to other nuclear plant operators.
Concern over nuclear power rose significantly during the past year, but it still was near the bottom of global issues that Czechs worried about, according to a CVVM poll. Waste accumulation and water quality were higher up in people’s minds. More esoteric items like the ‘rain forest’ and ‘extinction’ also registered high. Basement dwellers include genetically modified food and overpopulation.
Czech state-controlled power collosus ČEZ is ready to sell its half share in German mining company MIBRAG to joint owner Energetický a Průmyslový Holding (EPH), according to the Czech weekly Týden. It says the deal is prompted by another deal to sell EPH a power plant together with long-term coal supplies and the looming outcome of a probe by European Commission competition watchdogs.
New World Resources (NWR), a leading Central European hard coal and coke producer, announced Monday that the company’s board of directors has given final approval for a project to extract coal from the Dębieńsko mine in Poland.
Czech power utility ČEZ chief executive Martin Roman told a parliament hearing on Wednesday that Germany’s use of neighboring countries’ grids (such as the Czech Republic and Poland) for the north-south electricity flow was de facto illegal — and Berlin should pay Kč 7 billion to make use of the networks.
Central Europe's biggest hard coal mining company, the Czech firm OKD, says it is sticking to a roughly and half-and-half mix of coke and steam coal production even though demand from steelmakers has accelerated. The mining firm, which is part of the New World Resources (NWR) group, ruled out opening new mines for the moment.
The surge of media interest stirred up by reports that the Ministry of Finance’s special auditing section is probing state-power giant ČEZ's purchase and construction of two big solar projects demonstates well-used links between the ministry and media, a complicated corporate structure for the companies under the spotlight, and what is probably a clear sub-plot to discredit Defense Minister Alexandr Vondra.
The Finance Ministry is citing the threat to the country’s financial stability and security in an attempt to ditch normal public tender rules and quickly select a legal team to take on foreign solar power investors in a looming arbitration. The gov’t long played down the threat, saying it had a watertight case for measures it took to curb a costly solar power boom; now, prospects seem less sunny.
Czech Coal says current contract prices of coal for municipal heating companies in the Czech Republic are too low and it wants a larger share of profits. Meanwhile, the heating companies charge that the miner is abusing its monopoly position, consumers will face considerably higher bills, and the rise in prices will threaten the viability of the industry.
The special auditing section of the Finance Ministry is investigating how two massive wind farms were built by Czech state-controlled power giant ČEZ in the north of the country. The probe reportedly centers on the company Amun.Re, which acted as a middle man in the construction after ČEZ bought the ready prepared projects, according to business daily Hospodářske noviny. ČEZ said the construction costs were reasonable.