ČEZ, a Czech energy giant and nuclear plant operator, said that the “Japan scenario” is not real in the Czech Republic. However, if the EU agrees on stress tests for European nuclear plants, ČEZ will obey.
The Aktualne.cz daily learned this from ČEZ spokesman Ladislav Kříž.
Temelín and Dukovany, the Czech Republic’s nuclear power plants operated by ČEZ, are located in one of the seismically most stable parts of Europe. For example, the Temelín power plant is designed to resist much stronger earthquakes than those that can really take place in the stable Bohemian massif.
Czech landmass seismically stable
According to Kříž, the seismic stability was one of the major criterion taken in account when the Temelín locality was chosen as a nuclear power plant site. According to ČEZ, Temelín is located in the oldest and most stable part of the Bohemian massif. The spokesman also said that since 1991, both Temelín and Dukovany are “constantly” monitored for seismic activity.
In both Temelín and Dukovany, the plant consists of three independent systems that can keep it in operation. This is called a “3x 100 percent” system. “It means that when one system is off, there are still two 100 percent systems on stand-by”, said Kříž. The same safety measure is used in the Lovissa 2 plant in Finland.
On the contrary, the British Sizewell B nuclear plant, or Frence’s Chooz B1, Bugey 2, and Flamanville 2 plants use only the “2x 100 percent” system.
In addition, the current problems in Fukushima, Japan, were caused not as much by the earthquake as by the subsequent tsunami, which is an unreal scenario in the landlocked Czech Republic, added Kříž.
“Also, we conduct regular drills for a scenario of the plant finding itself without electricity from the network,” said Kříž.
The spokesman said that the situation in Japan is “very serious”, and that the Japanese have done all that is necessary to be done in such situation. Kříž praised that Japanese authorities were able to evacuate inhabitants from the surroundings of the nuclear plants amid the catastrophe of such proportions.
Fukushima will bring change
The Japan nuclear energy crisis will bring changes for all the industry. “The course of events in Japan will be analyzed and recommendations for other nuclear plant operators will be given. Currently it cannot be estimated how fundamental it (the change) will be,” said Kříž.
In addition, the Fukushima crisis has already produced a renewed wave of protests against nuclear power in Europe.
France and Great Britain, the world leaders in nuclear power technology, urge for calm, while the hydropower giant Austria calls Europe to perform security tests in nuclear plants on the continent.
Germany has even put on hold its plans to extend the life of its nuclear power plants.
The Japan crisis came precisely in the moment when the nuclear power, considered a more eco-friendly alternative to fossil fuels, was going through its renaissance in Europe and all over the world.
Also, the Czech Republic will checking food imported from Japan for radiation. The same measure is being adopted by other countries. The State Veterinary Authority is preparing a special control of fish products imported from South-East Asia.