Teplator, a small modular reactor from UWB and CTU, succeeded in an architectural competition

Cooperation Achievements Science

The ABF Foundation, which supports the development of architecture and construction, organized the Urban Project of the Year competition for the 9th year. The public award as well as the award of the National Construction Center 4.0, was won by the SMR Teplator project by architect M. Postránecký.

The Teplator is a small modular reactor that is being developed by a team of scientists from UWB and Czech Technical University in Prague under the leadership of Professor Radek Škoda from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering of the University of West Bohemia. It differs from other reactors of this type in that it uses cores not to produce electricity but to produce heat. The authors already presented the unique project in Brussels in April, and now it has received further attention. Thanks to the way it should look, it scored in the 9th year of the Urban Project competition show.

"Because we wanted to have a nuclear reactor that was also aesthetic, we chose the Czech-American architect Michal Postránecký, who works at the Czech Institute of Informatics, Robotics and Cybernetics at the Czech Technical University in Prague. Winning in two categories shows that it was the right choice," says Professor Radek Škoda about the success.

Teplator's newly patented technology is intended to significantly contribute to the energy sector by producing heat for district heating with clean energy. It uses the spent fuel of nuclear power plants and further uses its residual energy effectively. The project's goal was to show that it is possible to place Teplator near cities, or in cities, for example, in industrial areas on their outskirts. The attractive form of the entire architectural solution was chosen primarily to popularize this technology, which is the only one of its kind in the European Union.  

"I first met Professor Škoda almost two years ago. He approached me to see if we could do a quick sketch for Teplator, a project that was still in its infancy. I provided him with a very simple visualization within a few days, which of course, corresponded to the quality of the time I had for it. At the end of last year, the people from the Teplator project contacted me again, saying that we could collaborate on a significantly more advanced study that would give the unique technology an 'iconic' face in order to interest not only the professional but also the lay public," describes Michal Postránecký, author of the project proposal.

The complex includes the main technological building of the Teplator, an administrative center, and a visitor center. The water tank can be used for recreation and as a safety reservoir for heat accumulation. "Teplator is safe enough that there is no need to be afraid of it. At the same time, we wanted to show that a technological unit for energy production can also be an interesting architectural work, the appearance of which also decorates its surroundings. I believe that we succeeded," explains Postránecký.

The shape was chosen on purpose; the roof (a kind of crust or carapace) above the building not only has a protective function but also has greenery on it.

"The Teplator team called the proposed object Trilobite. Even though it wasn't my idea, I like the name," smiles architect Postránecký, adding: "One of the main reasons I enthusiastically accepted the challenge was that it is a Czech project with high added value and the world is currently watching its back. I appreciate the fact that I was approached and given complete freedom. I was carefully guided by Radek Škoda and also by Ondřej Šimek, the designer of the scientific team, who patiently explained to me what was happening within the reactor and what elements were part of its technology. I didn't even know how cool it could be to work for nuclear physicists and engineers," concludes Michal Postránecký.

Those interested can see the winning design of the Teplator at the exhibition, which is on display at the ABF Foundation Gallery in Prague until September this year.


Behind the discovery of the technology is a team of Czech scientists from CTU and the University of West Bohemia, led by nuclear physicist Professor Radek Škoda. The Teplator is a small modular reactor (referred to by the English abbreviation SMR) that uses nuclear fuel and can, thanks to it, produce heat more cheaply than burning coal or natural gas. The Teplator will make it possible to supply heat to households and companies at a price of around 100 CZK/GJ. This is less than a tenth of the current prices in the Czech Republic. However, much more economical heat production conditions are not the only benefit of the Teplator project. Its goal is also to transform the Czech heating industry from fossil fuels to the clean energy of the future and, at the same time, increase its independence from gas supplies from abroad. More at www.teplator.cz.

Michal Postránecký
Czech architect and urban planner. His portfolio includes works in the Czech Republic and the United States of America. He was the lead designer of the 52-story Planet Hollywood Westgate Hotel in Las Vegas. He also created the Miltown project - the concept of the city of the future. It promotes the inclusion of digitally intelligent technologies and artificial intelligence in the structure of cities. He founded the CIIRC CTU Future City Center and the Vision 2050+ Foundation Fund.

Radek Škoda
Prof. Ing. Radek Škoda, Ph.D., focuses on the physics of nuclear reactors and the economics of nuclear power plants. In the Czech Republic, he works at the Czech Technical University in Prague and at the University of West Bohemia in Pilsen. Outside the Czech Republic, he taught nuclear engineering in South Africa, the United States, and France; he lectured at courses in China, Oxford, and Ottawa and represented the Czech Republic at the World Nuclear University and the European Nuclear Education Network. Radek Škoda studied experimental particle physics in Bergen, Norway; in the Czech Republic, he received an education in finance and nuclear engineering.


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28. 06. 2023