PLEX in Czech Republic

status of this text: May 2013

Status

Dukovany

Currently, four nuclear reactores are operating at the nuclear power plant Dukovany.
The reactors were put into operation 1985-1987.

The current licences run to 2015-2017 (30 years).

An extension of the lifetime by ten years is envisaged:

In 2009, CEZ commenced its Long-Term-Operation (LTO) project to extend the planned operating lifetime of the Dukovany reactors by 10 years. Unit 1 will reach the end of its original 30 years operational lifetime in 2015. The LTO project consists of about 230 sub-projects costing over CZK 14 billion (€ 560 million) between 2009 and 2015. Further extension to 60 years is under consideration.
(source: WNA)

Temelin

The two operating reactors in Temelin were connected to the grid in 2000/2002. The State Office for Nuclear Safety (SUJB) has confirmed their licences to 2020 and 2022. So plant life time extension is no issue in Temelin yet.

Lobbying activities

Letter to nuclear regulator on Dec. 10, 2012:

Monika Wittingerova from South Bohemian Mothers sent the following questions to the State Office for Nuclear Safety in a letter on Dec 10, 2012:

"The company ČEZ is considering extending the operation of the nuclear units at Dukovany Nuclear Power Plant. In connection with that, I hereby request you to answer the below questions:

  1. Until what date is each of the existing units licensed for operation?
  2. Has ČEZ applied with your Office for extension of operation of each of the units beyond the total period of their licence for operation (so-called PLEX - Nuclear Power Plant Ageing and Plant Life Extension)?
  3. If there are considerations of extending the operation of the nuclear units at Dukovany beyond the total period of their licence for operation (so-called PLEX - Nuclear Power Plant Ageing and Plant Life Extension), have you been informed by relevant authorities whether the activity will be assessed under an EIA process?
  4. What measures has your Office required the operator of Dukovany NPP to implement in order to increase safety in connection with the stress test procedure, and how are these measures being implemented?
  5. If the operation of any of the units is extended beyond the total period of their licence for operation (so-called PLEX - Nuclear Power Plant Ageing and Plant Life Extension), what measures aiming at improving nuclear safety will your Office require the operator to implement?"

Answers to the letter

In reply to your Request for Information that we received on 11 December 2012 and that dealt with provision of information related to extension of service life of the nuclear units of the Dukovany nuclear power plant, I hereby provide you with the requested information sorted by question.

Ad 1 Until what date is each of the existing units licensed for operation?

The permit holder (ČEZ, a.s.) has valid permits for operation as follows for the units:
for Unit 1: until 2015
for Unit 2: until 2016
for Unit 3: until 2016
for Unit 4: until 2017

Ad 2 Has ČEZ applied with your Office for extension of operation of each of the units beyond the total period of their licence for operation (so-called PLEX - Nuclear Power Plant Ageing and Plant Life Extension)?

ČEZ, a.s., has so far not applied for renewal of the permits for operation for the units. The schemes you refer to are implemented by the IAEA and are designed so that the scope of testing provide a sufficient overview of the current condition of the facilities, including information on remaining service life of key components. All the activities monitoring the service life of the units of both the nuclear power plants are supervised by the SONS. Two IAEA missions have been executed to fulfil these schemes, and a third one is scheduled, which will examine the provision of quality and control of the process of implementing the aforesaid schemes by the operator, among other important data.

Ad 3 If there are considerations of extending the operation of the nuclear units at Dukovany beyond the total period of their licence for operation (so-called PLEX - Nuclear Power Plant Ageing and Plant Life Extension), have you been informed by relevant authorities whether the activity will be assessed under an EIA process?
At present, the SONS does not have any relevant information whether an assessment of the extension of the service life of the Dukovany nuclear power plant units will be carried out as part of an EIA process.

Ad 4 What measures has your Office required the operator of Dukovany NPP to implement in order to increase safety in connection with the stress test procedure, and how are these measures being implemented?

In connection with the stress tests, the SONS has requested the operator to submit a scheme of remedial actions, including a time schedule for their execution. A number of the actions were already proposed during the testing, others were added in accordance with the SONS requirements as well as international requirements, and their fulfilment will be examined. The actions range from organizational measures to amendment of existing operating documents and development of new ones, to a number of technical adjustments. Some of the actions have already been implemented, some are being implemented at the moment, and where the facility modifications have an impact on the facility in operation, they are or will be executed during shutdowns. A number of the actions have required additional analyses, which are also in progress and should be ready within two years depending on their extent. The SONS is going to publish the National Action Plan as of 1 January 2013.

Ad 5 If the operation of any of the units is extended beyond the total period of their licence for operation (so-called PLEX - Nuclear Power Plant Ageing and Plant Life Extension), what measures aiming at improving nuclear safety will your Office require the operator to implement?
If the SONS receives an application to renew the permits, it will consider several aspects. One of them is the fulfilment of the requirements arising from the stress tests. Another is the performance of a periodic review of the safety of the units, referred to in IAEA documents as the Periodic Safety Review (PSR). Its significance is attested by the fact that over 70% of the stress test findings agree with the PSR results, which is why a number of the actions were implemented even before the testing. If the necessity to fulfil any of the requirements to improve the nuclear safety arises from the PSR after its execution, the SONS will demand that they be fulfilled. Additional requirements may arise from operational experience and international experience and practice.

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