Macron: Czech nuclear revival can launch a new “Airbus”.

French President Emmanuel Macron arrived in Prague on Tuesday to address the Czech-French nuclear forum at the end of his program there. In his speech, he supported France's EDF's efforts to secure a contract to build nuclear power units in the Czech Republic.

EDF and Korean rival KHNP have until April 15 to submit binding offers to build up to four units at the Czech nuclear power plants in Dugovany and Demlin.

“I want to confirm France's full support for this offer (EDF) for the Czech nuclear power project,” Macron told several dozen representatives of Czech and French industry at a meeting in Prague's Rudolfinum.

“Czech nuclear renaissance, starting with the Dukovany project, has the potential to promote European attraction to EPR (reactor) technology, which is 100% European. I believe that if we create a sovereign European industrial chain for nuclear projects, it will be the basis for the 'Airbus' of the nuclear industry,” Macron said.

Luc Rémont, the state-owned company, confirmed EDF's bid to participate in the new start-up of the Czech nuclear industry. According to him, the sector will play an increasingly important role in ensuring energy stability not only in the country but across Europe.

Last year, electricity production in the Czech Republic fell 10 percent year-on-year to 72 terawatt hours (TWh). 30.4 TWh of the nuclear power plants at Dukovani and Demilin.

According to Rémont, the first important thing is to set up partnerships and supply chains properly so that the sector is ready for the new era of electricity generation. The second point is setting a common goal when it comes to nuclear energy.

“Creating a European environment and if possible a common European reactor design will certainly give us long-term success,” Remont said.

“Nuclear reactors built today must operate for 60 years or more, so they must work in 2100. That is why a long-term perspective is essential for the development of our industry… You can. Count on EDF's full commitment to continue a successful partnership with Czech industry, here and elsewhere. Also believe in collaborative construction of large projects.

Czech industry can handle it

The President of the Czech Energy Alliance (CPIA), Jozef Perlik, spoke at the forum against the idea that the Czech industrial nuclear power program could not provide enough capacity, as the last such project had completed a nuclear power plant. In Demilin, finished several years ago.

“The challenges (of the Czech nuclear industry) are misused against us with the fact that the Czech industry does not participate in new nuclear projects. But that is false,” Perlik said. According to him, the real challenge is how to ensure that the Czech industry does not lose the capabilities it has.

According to Xavier Ursat, responsible for nuclear engineering and new projects at EDF, the Czech labor market can be strengthened by the construction of new nuclear sources. “According to our estimate, 15,000 jobs could be created in the Czech Republic in connection with the new reactors,” said Ursad.

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