Planet Gore

Czech Republic Expanding Nuclear Power

As opposed to Germany and other European countries that are putting the kibosh on nuclear power, the Czech Republic has plans for a $25 billion project to build as many as five nuclear reactors and ultimately increase nuclear’s share of the country’s electricity mix from 30 percent to 50 percent. Why? Because highly subsidized renewables just won’t cut it.

Today’s WSJ reports:

Vaclav Bartuska, the Czech government’s special energy envoy, said the Czech Republic wants to increase the proportion of its electric power generated by nuclear reactors to 50% from the current 30%.

“There is antinuclear sentiment in some countries,” Mr. Bartuska added. But until alternate energy sources make economic sense, “we see nuclear as the solution.”

Mr. Bartuska said that the accident in Japan highlights the need for high safety standards. But he said that in order to cut greenhouse-gas emissions, nuclear power is critical.

“We have burned our fingers with massive funding and subsidies for photovoltaic power,” he added. “At the present stage we do not see renewables as a way forward if they have to be heavily subsidized.”

Germany has said it will try to use renewable fuels such as wind, hydro, solar and biomass to replace the generation capacity it is losing because of its antinuclear stance.

Alan Svoboda, the head of sales at CEZ, called this “the German experiment” and predicted it would drive up electricity costs for most Europeans.