OREANDA-NEWS. Czech President Milos Zeman signed a law that excludes the participation of Russian and Chinese companies in the construction of a new power unit at the Dukovany nuclear power plant (in the south-east of the country), Czech TV reported.

The document provides for the possible use in the construction of the block, as well as in its subsequent operation, technologies only from those countries that have joined the international agreement on state orders from 1996. Moscow and Beijing are not included in this number.

In August, Deputy Prime Minister and Head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Karel Gavlicek, announced that the tender for the construction of a new power unit for a nuclear power plant built according to the Soviet design in 1985-1987 would begin at the end of this year. According to the Deputy Prime Minister, the construction price may range from 140 to 160 billion kroons (from 6.4 to 7.3 billion dollars).

Applications for participation were submitted by the Russian state corporation Rosatom, the American Westinghouse, the Chinese China General Nuclear Power, the French EdF and the South Korean KHNP. The winner will be determined no later than 2024. The construction of the block itself should begin in 2029 and be completed in 2036.

Following protests from members of the Senate and opposition in parliament, who saw the participation in the tender by firms from Russia and China as a threat to the country's security, the government in March excluded China General Nuclear Power from the list of applicants.