by Staff Writers
Prague (AFP) Nov 08, 2012
The Czech Republic said Thursday it wanted to increase nuclear power to at least 50 percent of its electrical energy mix by around 2040 from the current 30 percent and to cut coal use to meet greenhouse gas emission targets.
"We are planning to have at least 50 percent nuclear power, while coal use will be considerably reduced," Prime Minister Petr Necas told reporters in Prague.
The Czech government is betting on a nuclear power as its communist-era coal plants face likely closure amid tighter regulations on greenhouse gas emissions.
Necas said an environmental impact study would precede a final seal of approval for the energy strategy spanning two to three decades.
"The plans call for the construction of two new facilities at the Temelin nuclear power station, the upgrade of four existing facilities and building a fifth station in Dukovany," he added.
A winner for the contract to build at Temelin is to be named in 2013 and the new units are to come online by 2025.
About 120 kilometres (75 miles) south of Prague, but only about 60 kilometres from the Austrian border, Temelin has been repeatedly criticised by Vienna over safety concerns.
Czech nuclear stations are managed by the CEZ (Ceske Energeticke Zavody) energy giant, two-thirds of which is held by the state.
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