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Westinghouse Secures Czech Nuclear Fuel Contract

Westinghouse, a U.S.-based nuclear fuel supplier, will replace Russia's TVEL as the supplier for CEZ's Dukovany nuclear power plant in the Czech Republic beginning in 2024. 

This change comes as a result of CEZ seeking a new supplier after Russia invaded Ukraine. TVEL had been the only supplier of fuel for Dukovany's VVER reactors.

The switch is a significant win for Westinghouse, solidifying its position as a major supplier of nuclear fuel in the Czech Republic. Westinghouse has already been the supplier of the Temelin power station since 2010.

CEZ's decision to switch to a western supplier of fuel assemblies for Dukovany is also essential for the energy industry and the entire Czech Republic, according to CEZ's Chief Executive, Daniel Benes. 

"Securing a western supplier of fuel assemblies for Dukovany is an important step not only for the Czech energy industry, but also for the entire Czech Republic. There is a further significant strengthening of energy safety," Banes explained.

The first assemblies for Dukovany with fuel supplies are set to arrive next year. The Czech Republic's two nuclear power stations will fully switch from Russian to U.S. fuel as of 2024, covering about one-third of the country's total power production.

Last year, CEZ selected Westinghouse and French company Framatome as its suppliers of nuclear fuel assemblies at its second nuclear power station, Temelin. This decision came as part of CEZ's efforts to diversify suppliers and increase security after the Ukrainian crisis.

Westinghouse's position as one of the three bidders for building a new reactor at Dukovany also signifies the company's growing involvement in the Czech Republic's nuclear energy sector. The other two bidders are France's EDF and South Korea's KHNP. CEZ expects to launch this new reactor in 2036 and sign a deal to build the reactor worth several billion euros with the selected bidder next year.

The decision to switch to a western supplier of fuel assemblies for Dukovany is a significant move for the Czech Republic's energy industry. 

Westinghouse's position as a major supplier in the country has been solidified, ensuring greater energy security and diversification for the future. The government's decision to choose a western supplier signifies the country's growing reliance on importing energy from stable and secure democracies.

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By Michael Kern for Oilprice.com 

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