Czech Energy company CEZ has been issued a licence by the Czech Nuclear Safety Authority (SUJB) to operate the first unit of nuclear power plant Temelin for a further ten years from the expiry date of October 11.

CEZ applied for the licence three months ago, but before it could be issued the regular evaluation of its safety had to be carried out, essentially an assessment of whether the power plant was, is and will be safely operated for at least another ten years. CEZ also had to present, among other things, plans for the unit’s outages for the coming period.

“Based on all these data, the SUJB has decided to allow the first unit’s further operations until October 2020,” said the power plant’s spokesman Marek Svitak.

The SUJB in the licence set conditions that CEZ has to meet. For example, it has to regularly submit evaluations of the condition and reliability of safety systems, permanently monitor and evaluate the unit’s safety, and continue updating operating rules for coping with accidents.

The first unit’s reactor was first started on October 11, 2000 at 06:19 and supplied its first kilowatt-hour of electricity to the grid in December 2000. Since that time, the plant has generated over 100 billion kWh of electricity.

Although the building process from site location to first power took nineteen years, Temelin, originally conceived as a four-unit facility, is nonetheless Europe’s youngest operating nuclear power plant. Construction of the third and fourth units was halted after the ‘Velvet Revolution’ of 1989 when it was decided that only two units would be completed. Construction of the two units cost Kc 98.6 bn.