Rosatom might join nuclear power project in Slovakia

Rosatom, Russia's state nuclear corporation, might join a project to build a new reactor at the Jaslovske Bohunice Nuclear Power Plant in Slovakia.

Slovak state company Javys now owns 51% of operating company Jadrova energeticka spolocnos Slovenska (JESS) and Czech company CEZ holds 49%.

CEZ said on Tuesday that the shareholders of JESS had signed a memorandum with Rosatom that allows the Russian company to receive information about the project. Based on this information, Rosatom will be able to decide whether or not to make an offer to buy a stake in the project.

CEZ said it is now focused on preparations to build two new generating units at the Temelin NPP in the Czech Republic. Participating in the second big project will require substantial resources from the company, so it has decided to consider the option of taking on a partner.

"Rosatom joining the project is potentially interesting - not only as an investor, but also as a supplier of technology," Rosatom communications director Sergei Novikov told Interfax. Rosatom will begin studying information about the project immediately, he added.

Russia supplies nuclear fuel for all Slovak reactors, which consist of four Russian-designed units with combined capacity of about 1800 MW. Russia's Atomstroyexport (ASE) is supplying equipment for the completion of two generating units at the Mochovce NPP.

Italy's Enel is completing the third and fourth units at Mochovce, construction of which was begun by the Soviets. There are also plans to build a fifth unit at Bohunice.

Bohunice NPP, one of Slovakia's two nuclear power plants, operates two generating units with VVER-440 reactors; another two units with the same type reactors were closed at the insistence of the European Union. It was reported earlier that construction of a new unit at Bohunice could begin in 2014.

The Russian-Czech consortium of ASE, the Gidropress design bureau and Skoda JS is seeking to participate in CEZ's project to complete the Temelin NPP.