Relations between the USSR and Czechoslovakia commenced in 1955 with the signing of an intergovernmental agreement. This agreement allowed for the construction of Czechoslovakia’s first research reactor. Launched by Skoda the project (nuclear power plant A1) gave birth to the nation’s nuclear industry. A further intergovernmental agreement was signed in 1970, that allowed for the construction of two nuclear power plants with the VVER-type reactors (water-cooled, water-moderated) in Dukovany and Yaslovske Bogunice.
The first NPP VVER-440/V213 reactor “Dukovany” was built in 1985, a second and third – in 1986 and a fourth – in 1987. Dukovany NPP is the only plant in the world which has succeeded in starting two reactors within a twelve month period.
In 1987 the building began on the Temelin NPP with Russian designed VVER-1000 reactors. After November 1989 stakeholders decide to build only two power units instead of the four that had been planned previously. The units came into operation in 2002 and 2003 respectively, outputting 2000 MW common power. These plants became the largest electrical power source in the Czech Republic.
Czech companies have proven active participants in NPP construction in ex-Eastern block countries. Skoda has manufactured 24 NPP equipment complexes (including reactors) for Czech Republic, East Germany, Hungary, Poland and Bulgaria.
Today Czech companies are leading suppliers on Rosatom projects in Russia as well as abroad.
Over the last few years Czech companies have supplied products in the amount of 10 billion CZK for 14 nuclear power plants constructed by ROSATOM in Russia and other countries. Companies such as Vitkovice, MSA, Mostro, ZPA Pečky, Arako, Armatury Group, Krona, Lutos, Kabelovna Kabex, Sigma Lutin, and others supplied the equipment for the following NPPs in Russia: Novovoronezh, Rostov, Kalinin, Balakovo, Beloayrsk, Leningrad, and Smolensk, as well as for Kudankulam NPP in India, Tianwan NPP in China, and the first NPP in Belarus.
The Russian-Czech partnership also extends to nuclear power supply.
From the very beginning of the nuclear power plants operation, Russian joint-stock company TVEL (a company of the ROSATOM Group) has been a reliable provider of fuel to Dukovany NPP.
Present supplies are based on a 1996 contract, won by the company after an open tender process.
Improvements in fuel technology have led to the increase of NPP output.
Following a 2010 tender exercise, TVEL is a provider of nuclear fuel to the Temelin NPP.
Both NPPs meet approximately 40% of the electricity demand of the Czech Republic.