The Czech Republic has undertaken to cooperate with France to finance joint nuclear energy projects. This follows from a new agreement concluded between the Technology Agency of the Czech Republic (TAČR) and the French National Research Agency (ANR). The signing of the agreement took place on the occasion of the visit to Prague of the French Minister for Energy Transformation, Agnés Pannier-Runacher.  

Minister Runacher and her Czech counterpart, minister of Trade and Industry, Jozef Sikela, discussed issues such as energy transition in general with a specific view on the role of nuclear energy in decarbonisation, as well as that of ensuring energy security for France, the Czech Republic and the rest of Europe.

Both Ministers agreed that France and the Czech Republic will continue to cooperate in promoting appropriate conditions for the development of nuclear energy in the EU.

"The relationship with the Czech Republic is strategic for France. Our countries are major players in the European nuclear sector, but also in energy and industry. At European level, we are working very closely with Minister Sikela to defend this energy source and its central role in a low-carbon energy mix within the Nuclear Alliance," said Agnès Pannier-Runacher, Minister for Energy Transition, after the meeting. "Our aim is to continue this work so that the next European Commission treats nuclear energy and renewables on a truly equal footing as two essential and complementary means to achieve our climate goals."

The signing ceremony of the agreement between TAČR and ANR took place on 9 January at the French Embassy in Prague in the presence of Petr Konvalinka, President of TAČR, and Thierry Damerval, President of ANR. The agreement paves the way for Czech-French projects in applied research in the field of nuclear energy and low-carbon technologies. Further negotiations on the terms of cooperation will now follow so that the first concrete call for projects can be announced this year. The French side has committed to make one million euros available each year for research projects.

The Czech Republic and France are long-standing partners in nuclear research and education. For example, the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) cooperates with the Institute of Nuclear Research in Řež or with the Czech Academy of Sciences. Internships and working visits by scientists from both countries are facilitated by grant programmes. Nuclear experts from France also regularly visit the Czech Republic to give lectures.

In 2023, the French Embassy in Prague and EDF have established the Czech-French Nuclear Academy. This is a comprehensive platform for education and research that will offer joint Czech-French educational and scientific programmes at the level of universities, secondary schools and research institutions, and will also be dedicated to vocational training and retraining. 

(Photo: Eva Kořínková)