Russia’s Rosatom prone to get barred from $7-bn Dukovany nuclear plant tender, Czech minister says, amid ammo depot blast scandal


Russia’s Rosatom will possible be barred from tendering for refurbishing the Dukovany nuclear energy plant, the Czech trade minister mentioned, amid scandal over a 2014 munitions depot blast, blamed by Prague on Russian intelligence.

The Russian state-owned nuclear power company will possible be kicked out of the pre-qualification spherical for the Dukovany venture, Czech Industry Minister Karel Havlicek mentioned on Sunday.

“I can’t imagine that Rosatom would be in the safety assessment at this moment,” he instructed native TV.

The move comes after Prague accused Russia’s army intelligence of being concerned in an incident at a munitions depot within the village of Vrbetice, some 330km southeast of Prague, again in 2014. The depot was rocked by a collection of explosions that killed two staff of a personal firm, which had been renting a warehouse from the army on the facility.

Also on Czechs announce expulsion of 18 Russian diplomats, as Prague claims ‘intel officers’ concerned in 2014 munitions depot explosion

Prague opted to expel 18 Russian embassy employees over the nation’s alleged involvement within the assault, whereas native police have additionally positioned two Russian residents on the wished listing over “serious crime.” The pair turned out to be Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov – the identical two people, accused by the UK of “poisoning” former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury again in March 2018. The now notorious duo had beforehand denied any hyperlinks to Russian army intelligence.

Given Havlicek’s assertion, the competition for Dukovany venture is now anticipated to shrink even additional. Back in January, China General Nuclear was barred from collaborating within the pre-tender safety evaluation, by which firms are to explain their construction of bids and provide chain, in addition to to handle cybersecurity points, amongst different necessities. Russia’s Rosatom, was allowed to participate within the evaluation, as Havlicek described Russia as “key energy partner” again in March.

“Basically, we are all inclined to believe that China is unthinkable as a potential supplier for us in the tender,” mentioned Havlícek. “At the same time, the political parties are divided in that certain politicians would like to exclude Russia as well, while others want it to remain.”

According to media experiences, a number of safety companies of the EU and NATO nations had repeatedly urged Prague to bar the Russian company from collaborating within the contest.

Other firms allowed into the safety evaluation spherical embody the French EDF, South Korean Hydro & Nuclear Power in addition to the American-Canadian Westinghouse. The latter has obtained thinly-veiled help from Washington, which has brazenly referred to as on Prague to prioritize its “national security” above every part else whereas choosing contestants for the Dukovany tender.

Also on ‘We are a sovereign country’: PM Babis tells Pompeo Czechs will resolve for themselves what to do with their nuclear plant & Huawei

“The decision on the tender for Dukovany is entirely in the Czech Republic. However, we urge the government to conduct a transparent selection process that prioritizes national security,” spokesman for US embassy in Prague, Griffin Rozell, instructed native media earlier this month.

“We would like to emphasize what Secretary of State Blinken said. Beijing and Moscow are increasingly using access to critical resources, markets and technology to put pressure on our allies and drive a wedge between us. We must not separate economic coercion from other forms of coercion.”

Dukovany nuclear energy plant, which covers round a fifth of the electrical energy consumption within the nation, was launched again in 1985. The Soviet-era design initially had a 30-year lifetime, but its majority state-controlled operator CEZ plans to maintain it working for 60 years. The plant boasts 4 energy items, with a capability of 510 megawatt every. Under the refurbishment venture, estimated to value greater than seven billion {dollars}, the plant will obtain a brand new 1,200 megawatt-strong energy unit.

Think your pals would have an interest? Share this story!