Rosatom Eyes Slovak Plant

PRAGUE — The Slovak government agreed on Wednesday to start negotiations with Russia's Rosatom on building a new nuclear power plant in Slovakia, news agency SITA reported.

The Russian state-owned company has shown interest in taking over the project from Czech electricity producer CEZ which has reduced its foreign business in favor of investments on the domestic market.

CEZ has offered Rosatom its 49 percent stake in JESS, a joint venture with the Slovak government that would build the plant at Jaslovske Bohunice in western Slovakia.

Nuclear projects have been under pressure from rising safety costs and requirements after the 2011 disaster in Japan's Fukushima, and from falling electricity prices.

Slovak Economy Minister Tomas Malatinsky, mandated to negotiate with Rosatom, said the Russian firm had sought a guaranteed price of electricity from the future plant, under a similar system to ones the British and Czech governments are considering for their new nuclear plants.

(Reuters)