Construction of the SUSEN infrastructure in the Research Centre Řež is completed, the research goes on!

An extensive base of research facilities is now in operation at the Řež nuclear centre near Prague and in the city of Pilsen ● The Prime Minister of Czech Republic Bohuslav Sobotka, the Head of the Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy in the European Commission Erich Unterwurzacher, the Director of EU Operational Programmes Management Department of MEYS (the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports) Jakub Uchytil, the Chairwoman of the State Office for Nuclear Safety Dana Drábová, and other guests were present at the ceremony in the Řež centre, marking the completion of the SUSEN project ●

On Tuesday, September 12, 2017, the Sustainable Energy (SUStainable ENergy, SUSEN) project was officially declared completed at the Řež site near Prague. The project was funded with the support of the European Union and of the Government of the Czech Republic under the Operational Programs “Research and Development for Innovations” and “Research, Development and Education” run by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports. The site construction at the Research Centre Řež (CVŘ) was finalized in June 30, 2017, and was carried out in cooperation with a project partner, the University of West Bohemia in Pilsen.

At the ceremony, Mr. Martin Ruščák, Director of Research Centre Řež, explained to the representatives of the international and national research community how the project was started and conducted, underscoring the achievements so far and the expectations for the future. Mr. Ruščák stated that the SUSEN project has enabled to build teams of scientists and experts entailing representative from eleven countries, who are involved in a number of national and international projects and have work programs for the years to come. He underscored that half of the SUSEN workers are below the age of 40, making CVŘ a young, dynamic and future-oriented centre.

After the symbolic cutting of the SUSEN ribbon, Mr. Bohuslav Sobotka, the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, took the word and expressed his congratulations for the achievements so far and his wishes for the time ahead.  He described SUSEN as a major investment for the future. He added that the Czech Republic is one of the leading countries in the field of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes and in the related research. “Nuclear energy has an irreplaceable role in our energy mix. The development of science and the support to universities will be accounted for in the 2018 national budget. Well devised investments, correct use of EU funds and effective synergies between science and industry can ensure the development and competitiveness that our country needs for its future” Mr. Sobotka said.

Mr. Erich Unterwurzacher, Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy of the European Commission’s, described SUSEN as the best example of properly spent EU funds. He reminded that the Czech Republic managed to carry out several very high-quality projects, such as science and technology parks in Brno or Ostrava. “Science and research must work closely with industry, according to the motto: Development for Production.  We should tell all euro-sceptics what happened here in Řež, that EU funds went to the right place and for the right purpose, having an important impact on international cooperation for the future”, concluded Erich Unterwurzacher.

Mr. Jakub Uchytil, Director of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports Management Department underlined the complexity of some negotiations and the difficulty of fulfilling all the legislative requirements for such project – and appreciated that the CVŘ had managed it all. If they did not succeed, we would not be here today to celebrate the achievements of this exceptional project, and to aknowledge the people behind it and the strong effort to bring everything to a successful end“, Mr. Uchytil said.

SUSEN project manager Mr. Jiří Richter, immediately followed with some basic information about the project. Among others, he stated that between 2012 and 2017 the SUSEN project technical infrastructure has been designed, built and equipped with instruments and experimental facilities enabling to create scientific research teams specialized in solving important development projects in the energy sector, with focus on nuclear.

The total cost of the project amounts to almost CZK 2.7 billion (€100 million). All works and equipment supplied by external contractors were awarded as public contracts in accordance with the Public Procurement Act. Part of the supplies was developed, produced and delivered directly by the Research Centre Řež. The SUSEN technological infrastracture is located in Řež, while the Science and Technological Park Pilsen and the facilities of University of West Bohemia are based in Pilsen.

After the opening speeches, the SUSEN facilities were visited by the guests. They were particularly interested in the unique hot cells designed for work with highly radioactive samples and in the technologies for the development of Generation IV nuclear reactors, for which special experimental loops were built in Řež and Pilsen. They also visited the LR-0 research reactor. The guests were informed about the involvement of CVŘ in the development of the ITER fusion reactor, including the HELCZA device for testing the primary wall of the fusion reactor. They also visited the material research facilities including laboratories with highly sensitive analytical instruments.

The implementation of the SUSEN project has significantly strengthened the prerequisites for the involvement of the Czech Republic’s R&D community in the development of Generation IV nuclear reactor technologies and fusion reactors. It also substantially augments the research work in support of the safe long term operation of existing power plants, while favouring the research on new materials, on cooling media and on waste processing technologies for nuclear and non-nuclear applications. The new scientific and research base provides a unique opportunity for the development of national know-how, hence favouring the education of new generations of specialists and maintaining high level technology competencies in the Country.

 

 

Contact person:
Ing. Jiří Richter
SUSEN project manager, Research Centre Řež
phone.: +420 26617 3186, email: jiri.richter@cvrez.cz