- Our history began in the second half of the fifties of the 20th century, when the world was divided by the Iron Curtain. This also affected science, nuclear research in particular. With the support of the former Soviet Union, the government of the Czechoslovak Republic decided to establish a nuclear research workplace called the Institute of Nuclear Physics as well as the Government Committee on Research and Peaceful Use of Nuclear Energy; this was on 10 June 1955. Its specialization was developing research activities in the field of nuclear physics, radiochemistry, nuclear power industry, as well as verseeing the development of the use and production of radioisotopes. The significant funds obtained from the state budget in the same year made it possible to start building the premises in Řež. In 1957, the VVR-S (today LVR-15) research reactor was commissioned here, and the first fission chain reaction in Czechoslovakia took place. The following years saw the expansion of the Institute as well as a change of its name and founder; the name “Nuclear Research Institute” (Ústav jaderného výzkumu) has been in use since 1959. A fundamental change occured after 1989, when the perspective of how research institutes function began to change. Their activities gradually lost state support and, thus, their funding. The Nuclear Research Institute was privatized in 1992 as a whole and has transformed from a subsidised organization into a joint-stock company. ČEZ, a. s., SE, a. s., ŠKODA JS a. s., and the Municipality of Husinec became shareholders. This meant changes in the method of company‘s management and organization, particularly in its business strategy. Ústav jaderného výzkumu Řež a. s. is gradually changing, especially becoming an engineering and then research company in the area of applied research. The company is engaged in analytical and design activity; it operates in the fields of nuclear power plant safety, problems related to lifetime extension of nuclear power plants („LTO“), material research and monitoring, and the qualification of equipment for conceptual and implementation projects; it is gradually building a division focused on the development and manufacture of radiopharmaceuticals, in particular PET; it offers radioactive and non-radioactive waste management projects; it focuses on the service period and the back end of the NPP fuel cycle; and it participates in projects in the area of the development of new types of nuclear reactors as well as a number of other commercial activities at home and abroad. The new development strategies were associated with the purchase of subsidiaries, having 100% of the shares herein. The ÚJV Group is thus established, which is composed of the following: Institute of Applied Mechanics Brno, Ltd. (www. uam.cz), Výzkumný a zkušební ústav Plzeň s.r.o. (www.vzuplzen.cz), EGP INVEST, spol. s r.o. (www.egpi.cz), and Research Centre Rez ( www.cvrez.cz), with all the scientific and research capacities including infrastructure being transferred thereto. In addition, a broad portfolio of services is completed by the subsidiaries ENERGOPROJEKT SLOVAKIA a.s. (with 34% share) and NSTC s.r.o. (Nuclear Safety and Technology Centre, with 40% share). Another milestone was on 1 September 2012, when the company‘s trade name changed by a decision made by the General Meeting of the company. After more than five decades since its establishment, the Institute has become ÚJV Řež, a. s.
- ÚJV Řež, a. s. is also engaged in non-nuclear areas such as the conventional energy sector, chemical industry, and environmental protection. International cooperation pursued in the past primarily focused on the research institutes situated in Russia and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). After 1989, cooperative efforts have been substantially enhanced to cover the NEA (Nuclear Energy Agency under OECD), EURATOM (EU), and leading western partners.
- The international activities of the Institute have also included active participation in a range of projects focused particularly on improving the safety of nuclear plants operating the VVER reactors.
- The Institute is involved in a number of technology platforms included in the EU structures, first and foremostly the Technology Platform for Sustainable Nuclear Energy - SNETP.