Cooperation Danube Region Nuclear-free
PUBLIC PARTICIPATION IN NUCLEAR PROJECTS –
opportunities and challenges
Reception by Paula Stegmüller
Die KonferenzteilnehmerInnen von links nach rechts: letzte Reihe: Paxus Calta, Márton Fabók, Jan Haverkamp, David Reinberger, Gueorgui Kastchiev, Reinhard Uhrig, Andreas Molin, Emmerich Seidelberger, Dietmar Glaninger, Dalibor Strasky; vordere Reihe: Magdalena Waygand, Julia Bohnert, Margit Quendler, Joschi Arbeithuber, Albena Simeonova, Heinz Stockinger, Lisa Lippa, Christoph Urbanek, Patrizia Lorenz, Hanna Nekowitsch, Summer Kern, Maria Lentsch, Luminita Simoiu, Dana Mareková, Brigitte Koller, Isolde Schönstein, Paula Stegmüller. Foto: Niederösterreichische Landesregierung
Public participation in nuclear projects
The Czech Republic is slowly becoming the Atomic state. Although many countries decided to reduce their nuclear programs, the Czech Republic has plans to build new nuclear blocks (in spite of the fact that nobody knows how and who will finance it) and to prolong the operation of the old ones.
Above that the nuclear lobby (including the State Office of the Nuclear Safety – SONS) try to reduce the public participation in all nuclear projects (nuclear waste deep depository, construction of new nuclear blocks, prolongation of the operation of old nuclear blocks – PLEX) as much as possible.
Implementation amendment of the EIA Act – EIA process becomes more and more formal
Unfortunately, this amendment is one that means a restriction on the public participation in permitting of nuclear facilities under the Nuclear Act. The Nuclear Act has been dropped from the list of associated procedures. Ultimately, this means that judicial defence will be impossible in proceedings following an EIA process made in accordance with the Nuclear Act. Unfortunately, there is no way to appeal against the EIA process as such. Moreover, the authority will not be bound by EIA position statement requirements when permitting the location of a nuclear facility. The amendment has been pushed by the State Office for Nuclear Safety.
PLEX – no chance for the public participation
It is really absurd situation if the public has no chance to participace in PLEX procedure. The longer the operation will be the stronger influence on the environment off course will be. In spite of this fact the EIA Act do not permit to assess PLEX.
The Czech NGOs and international NGOs as well try to change this. At the national level South Bohemian Mothers Association are fighting to become the participant of PLEX of the second nuclear block in Dukovany NPP. Our comlaint is now at the Municipal Court in Prague and we are waiting for their decision. If they rejected our complaint then our next step will be the appeal to the Supreme Court and then (if necessary) the appeal to the Constitutional Court. The next steps (if needed) will be legal steps at the international level similar as we have done together with other international NGOs OEKOBUERO, Global 2000 and Aarhus – Convention Initiative last October. We put the complaint to the ESPOO Aarhus Committee in Geneva concerning the public participation in Dukovany permission (there are permissions from the year 2007 when operator asked for the new licence for next 10 years operation).
Considering how the permit for continued operation of the old nuclear blocks of Dukovany NPP has been issued for the operator this year, it is more than obvious that enforcing public control is very important: the Dukovany nuclear power plant (JEDU) is operated in a condition that does not conform to the state of the art in science and technology (thin walls of the reactor building, location of the spent fuel pool, no containment, only a so-called barbotage systém) and it does not take into account relevant new information about risks, such as cyberattacks. The entire permit does not contain a single mention that the nuclear power plant is secured against the increasing risk of cyberattacks. In spite of all above mentioned facts SONS (the entire process involves the operator only and the decision is made by SONS) gave the decision to continue operation of Unit 2 for the operator for an indefinite period of time. The decision specifies a number of requirements that the operator has to meet in future. This is an absolutely absurd situation, because many of the requirements should have been met a long time ago, and the Office should have issued the permit only based on their meeting. They include a solution to the issue of resistance of the superaccident supply pumping station, the spent fuel pool cooling system, and the important technical water system. We think that it is irresponsible to operate this obsolete nuclear power plant for another 10 years in a time of realistic danger of a terrorist attack, or to consider operating it for 60 years.
Do you want information from CEZ company? Bad luck!
In July 2017, the Constitutional Court ruled that the mostly state-owned energy giant ČEZ does not have to provide information according to the Act on Free Access to Information, because publication of contracts and other information might harm the business of ČEZ. A 2016 ruling by the Supreme Administrative Court stated that ČEZ must not keep information secret but the Constitutional Court has an opposite view. Constitutional Court also added that the problem it has created with its ruling can be rectified easily. It should be done by a law that will define exactly what is a public institution, which has an obligation to provide information by law. That list could include ČEZ. Nevertheless, it is not clear when such a law will be passed.
Welcome in the Atomic state! 🙁
TSCHERNOBYL – 31 years after the nuclear meltdown
On 26th April 1986 a major nuclear accident happened in block 4 of the nuclear power plant close to the Ukrainian city of Prypjat, when a total power black-out was simulated (INES-level 7 of the 7-step International Assessment Scale for Nuclear Events).
In November 2016 the crumbly makeshift sarcophagus, which had covered the radioactive embers of block 4 since 2012, was finally topped with an enormous roof. It weighs 36.000 tons, is 165m long and 110m high, and it cost 1,5 billion euros. This roof is supposed to have a life-span of 100 years.
The ground water in the area is affected by the permanent nuclear radiation. The contamination of the surface water exceeds the norm 50 times over. Radioactive strontium will stop being radioactive by the year 2214, caesium 127 by 2314. The isotope of plutonium 239, which according to experts is the major contaminant in the area around Tschernobyl, will stop being radioactive by the year 26,017, which means in 24,000 years from now.
According to estimates of the United Nations, about 9 million people are affected by the radiological consequences of this catastrophe. About 112,000 of the approximately 830,000 liquidators have already died from health hazards related to the dismantling of the radioactive debris. (source: www.ausgestrahlt.de )
The population of the Ukraine and Belarus, particularly the children, have suffered from severe health damage ever since the accident. Common are infections of the breathing tract, stomach aches, lack of concentration and fatigue. Severe illnesses such as leukemia, thyroid cancer, other aggressive tumors, diseases of the cardio-vascular system, metabolic diseases, infertility, deformities – among many others – have increased dramatically.
ANY NUCLEAR POWER PLANT CAN BECOME THE NEW TSCHERNOBYL!!!!
WE DEMAND: NO NEW NUCLEAR POWER PLANT AROUND AUSTRIA!!!!
IndependentWHO – Health and Nuclear Power calls for rally
opposite WHO HQ Geneva on 26 April 2017
to mark the end of the ten-year Hippocratic Vigil
Health is the most precious asset of humanity. We want to pass it on to future generations. But ionizing radiation from the civil and military nuclear industry continues to irradiate and to contaminate people,especially children, over several generations, in particular causing irreversible genetic damage. The“international community“, under the banner of the World Health Organization (WHO), refuses torecognize or minimizes these health consequences.
Since 26 April 2007, every working day, in all weather, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., the Hippocratic Vigils of the Collective IndependentWHO – Health and Nuclear Energy have called on the WHO to cease to endorse and propagate these criminal lies and tell the truth about the health effects of ionizing radiation, especially on the victims of the fallout from military tests and civil disasters at Chernobyl and Fukushima.
After ten years of silent protest the Vigils of IndependentWHO – Health and Nuclear Energy are obliged to recognize that this denial remains intact despite irrefutable testimony from victims and independent scientific publications. However, more and more citizens and part of the scientific community suspect that the whole truth has not been told.
After Fukushima, replica of Chernobyl, it is now officially recognized that other disasters are possible. It has become important for the authorities to make us believe that we can adapt to living in a contaminated environment. As a result, the members of IndependentWHO – Health and Nuclear Energy have decided to continue their struggle in other ways, in particular by passing on the experience gained in the past ten years to those who consider that this fight for truth and health is indispensable.
To mark the 10th anniversary of IndependentWHO – Health and Nuclear Energy, the following actions are scheduled on Wednesday 26 April 2017 in Geneva, at the Morillons crossroads, opposite the WHO (bus terminal n ° 8):
12 noon to 3:30 p.m.: Mass Vigil
3:45 p.m.: Inauguration of a commemorative stele in recognition of the victims of nuclear power and speeches by personalities: Rémy Pagani (Administrative Council of the City of Geneva), Jean Ziegler (Sociologist and Vice-Chairman of the Advisory Committee of the UN Human Rights Council), Annie Thébaud-Mony (sociologist, Honorary Director of research at INSERM, spokesperson of citizen networks in the fight for occupational health), Roland Desbordes (President of the CRIIRAD), Anne-Cécile Reimann (President of Contratom), Paul Roullaud (initiator of the IndependentWHO Vigil).
5 p.m.: Presentation to the WHO of the book „The Crime of Chernobyl – the Nuclear Gulag“ by Wladimir Tchertkoff and messages for the current and future Directorates of the World Health Organization.
6 p.m: From the Place des Nations, participation in the event organized by Contratom, Geneva antinuclear group.
Paula Stegmüller: Report of the Nuclear Waste Conference in Budapest, June 15, 2016
The one-day conference was hosted by “Joint Project – Nuclear Risk & Public Control”, the Austrian Institute of Ecology and Energieaklub Hungary. Participants from Germany, Hungary, Romania and Austria were present.
The conference focused on the EURATOM Council Directive 2011/70/EC establishing a framework for the deposition and storage management of nuclear waste and discussed adherence to and implementation of the directive by individual member states. In her presentation, Gabriele Mraz listed numerous problems arising in the implementation measures devised by national programs.
Some of these national programs portray storage of high and medium level waste as an internal problem, disregarding crossborder effects on the environment. EU law provides for the inclusion of crossborder public participation measures in matters of national disposal schemes, as specified in the instrument of the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) by SEA directive 2001/42/EC. According to NGOs for environmental protection, independent experts and some nations within the EU, the execution of SEAs should be mandatory for all member states.
Uncertainties pertaining to consequences for member states in the event of subsequent modifications of a national program or the failure to adhere to projected and stipulated requirements could not be resolved.
It is interesting to note that the originally declared ban of shipping nuclear waste beyond EU-borders has now been rescinded. Nevertheless, ultimate responsibility for the safe storage of exported waste remains with the originating member state. It is entirely unclear how this is to be achieved in the real world. At any rate, as of yet no country wishing to import nuclear waste has come forward.
However, Vladimir Slivyak of Ecodefense Russia from Moskow reported that Rosatom, the Russian state agency intimately involved in all of Russia’s nuclear undertakings, was willing to take back spent nuclear fuel rods of certain reactors for reprocessing. A dry cask repository in Siberia stocks more than 20.000 spent fuel rods – for example from Ukraine. Within the nuclear repository of the Mayak weapons manufacturing complex, highly contaminated by radioactive materials following a disastrous waste explosion in 1957, nuclear waste is – in large part illegally – being deposited in “technical” lakes and rivers. Today, the village of Mayak has no more than 100 residents, all of whom are suffering from deteriorating health because of elevated levels of radioactivity. Rosatom denies all responsibility and did not resettle the people at risk. At present Mayak is designated as a “national park”.
The Hungarian speaker Zsuzsanna Koritár of Joint Project/Energiaklub Hungary denounced the lack of transparency as well as the lack of possibilities to consult and participate in the decision making process concerning nuclear waste management, in the face of EC Directive 2011/70 EC, article 10, that clearly envisages strong public participation. Only the city council was permitted to partake in the process. On top of this, the Hungarian government in 2016 enacted an amendment curtailing the competences of the nuclear regulatory authorities, stipulating that it alone had the power to license nuclear installations. This relegates the members of the Hungarian Nuclear Regulatory Commission to mere henchmen of the Orbán government (It is fair to assume that the EC will not approve of this precedent).
The Director-General for Nuclear Energy, Safety and ITER of the EC in Brussels, Mr Massimo Garribba, judges responsibilities and goals of the national nuclear management program to present great challenges for member states and admits that to a good many things remain unsettled and unsolved. In relation to the national programs he attests to the importance of resolute public participation as a basic democratic right – a position that was criticized by conference participants as being unrealistic when compared with observed practices.
1) The problem of how to dispose of nuclear waste remains completely unsolved
2) Nuclear industry and democracy are incompatible (Who is going to welcome voluntarily in a democratically correct procedure the establishment of a final depository in their surroundings?)
Audio and text files of the presentations (in English) can be found at http://www.joint-project.org/
Gabriele Mraz, Patricia Lorenz, Massimo Garribba, Budapest
„Nuclear free future for the site of Belene NPP“.
The event will take place on 27th September 2016 between 10-12 am in Sofia , in the Red house, the hall Pasha Nikolova (http://www.redhouse-sofia.org/default.aspx). This is the best place in Sofia for such events and it is a centre for culture and debate with good reputation throughout the years. Many energy and economical experts, political analysts, journalists are invited.
We will start with 10-15 minute presentation of few reports on the following topics:
– Why the Belene NPP project is not needed
– Who is responsible?
– What is the nuclear-free future for the site
After the reports we will have discussion – or after each of the topics.
We expect confirmation of the participation till 20.09.2016.
Todor Draganov Todorov
Energy and Climate Coordinator
SPARE Project National Coordinator
11B „Yanko Sakazov“ str. floor 1
1527 Sofia, Bulgaria
Mailing address: Ekologichno sdruzenie „Za Zemiata“ P.O. Box 975, 1000
Tel/fax: + 359 2 943 11 23
E-mail: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Public discussion on the EIA of Bohunice NPP
Time: Wednesday, 18. 11. 2015, from 15.30h
Garnisongasse 14-16 / Schwarzspanierstraße 13
Documents in English/Slovakian/German: http://www.umweltbundesamt.at/umweltsituation/uvpsup/espooverfahren/espoo_slowakei/uvp_kkw_bohunice2014/uvp_kkw_bohunice2014_scoping/