Nuclear energy

Czechia and Slovakia plan common nuclear waste repository

During the 14th European Nuclear Energy Forum (ENEF) in Prague, Slovak Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini said that the Czech and Slovak Republics could jointly resolve the issue of a deep geological nuclear waste repository.

According to the Slovak PM, it is ineffective for the Czech Republic and Slovakia to invest billions into separate repositories, and discussions on nuclear waste could soon take place at the level of ministers of economy and industry.

Pellegrini said this project is extremely demanding and expensive. Czech PM Andrej Babiš noted that Czechia and Slovakia have not yet advanced to the next stage, adding that the Czech Republic is on the same level as Slovakia and discussions will continue.

Ahead of the ENEF, Babiš and Pellegrini had time for a bilateral meeting to discuss the plans. Both Prime Ministers also discussed the joint venture of ČEZ and Slovak company SPP in the market of energy savings, the preparation of a new nuclear power plant in Jaslovské Bohunice, Czechia, and the creation of a battery chain for lithium mining in the Czech Republic.

According to those who oppose building the nuclear waste repository in Czechia, i.e., activists and several municipalities, a possible agreement with Slovakia and other countries would mean abolishing the insurance in the Czech Atomic Act, namely banning the import of nuclear waste for disposal in the Czech Republic.

Choosing the location for the repository has been ongoing for several years. At the end of January, the board of the Czech Radioactive Waste Repository Authority (SÚRAO) decided not to reduce the number of possible locations from nine to four. SÚRAO´s board President and Deputy Minister René Neděla said the Authority wants to wait for geophysical data, which will be available next year.

Former Minister of Industry and Trade Marta Nováková (ANO) promised to submit a bill on the involvement of municipalities in the selection of a location for nuclear storage by the end of the year. The progress of the Czech Republic has been long-time criticized by municipalities and associations that oppose placing the deep geological repository in Czechia.

Among the considered locations in the Czech Republic, there are two near the nuclear power plants – Na Sklaním near Dukovany and Janoch near Temelín. Construction and operation costs are expected to reach 111 billion CZK. Currently, spent fuel is being stored in warehouses directly at nuclear power plant sites.

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