Welcome to AtomWatch - world nuclear power news and analysis

This blog is aimed at tracing the world news related to nuclear power development internationally and in particular countries. Being an independent resource, we accept all kinds of opinions, positions and comments, and welcome you to discuss the posts and tell us what you think.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Czech Industry minister: Focus on nuclear power proved correct by gas crisis

The Czech Republic should put more focus on nuclear power in the future, not on gas, and this idea has been proved correct by the current gas row between Russia and Ukraine, Czech Industry and Trade Minister Martin Riman said in a discussion programme on Czech Television Sunday.

Orientation on nuclear energy sources is also part of the draft state energy policy.

"It is impossible to follow the path of gas power plants," said Riman (ruling Civic Democrats ODS). He, however, added that it was necessary to extend possibilities of gas flow to the country.

Around 80 percent of Czech gas consumption is now secured by shipments of Russian gas via Ukraine and Slovakia, the rest of gas is transported from Norway.

The main advantage of nuclear fuel is the fact that it can be easily stored in many years ahead, according to Riman.

He also spoke about reserves of coal, with coal mining limits introduced in 1991. He said the cabinet is not going to lift the limits. It is only opening a debate on their cancellation.

"Writing off the reserves would be a big tragedy," said shadow industry minister Milan Urban (opposition Social Democrats CSSD).

As for nuclear power, Urban said CSSD wanted the new energy policy to be discussed in parliament, but Riman did not agree saying it was not a systemic step.

Economist Vladimir Dlouhy said the draft energy policy should not be approved by parliament because of a number of groups lobbying among deputies to push through their interests. Dlouhy said it was necessary to launch a discussion on the full use of domestic sources of energy.

The new energy policy, whose draft was published by the weekly Ekonom a few days ago, reckons with lifting coal mining limits and use of all uranium reserves available.

The share of nuclear power is expected to rise from the current third to around 50 percent of Czech production by 2030 and gas power plants should make up 5 percent of the total, about the same amount as today.

The ruling Green Party and its chairman Environment Minister Martin Bursik are opposed to the draft. The document has to be reworked substantially, according to Bursik.

(Source: Prague Daily Monitor)

No comments: