PR:RAWRA is embarking on another round of disputes with municipalities – it plans to extend geological surveys in today's seven sites for two years

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=> CZECH version of this press release

Press release of the “Platform Against Deep Repository” dated December 13, 2016

RAWRA is embarking on another round of disputes with municipalities – it plans to extend geological surveys in today's seven sites for two years

Platform Against Deep Rrepository which brings together 17 municipalities and 11 associations that are influenced by the siting process for a deep repository for spent nuclear fuel [1], has expressed deep concern that the state changes its procedure again. Today, Radioactive Waste Repository Authority (RAWRA) announced to the mayors of the municipalities in seven potential sites for the siting of deep geological repository for spent nuclear fuel that it has asked the Ministry of the Environment for an extension of the period of validity for established exploration areas at seven sites for another two years. The reason for that is that RAWRA has failed to carry out most of the planned works in the period of validity until the end of 2016, which itself has proposed.

Therefore, RAWRA’s procedure negates the July information from Minister of Trade and Industry Mládek [2] that the siting process for a deep repository will not continue at sites where municipalities filed suit against established exploration areas. Lawsuits were filed by 18 municipalities and 6 associations in all seven sites. It can not be assumed that these parties will agree with extension of the period of validity for established exploration areas and therefore we can expect a new round of protracted litigation.

Perhaps it is also about a peculiar response of Minister Mládek to mayors, because Mládek ask municipalities to send him answers to questions about possible further cooperation in the siting process for a deep geological repository by the end of September. Municipalities are still waiting in vain for Mládek’s responses.

Due to its timing, RAWRA’s step sharply contradicts transparency (proclaimed by the state), since municipalities and active citizens will have to deliver their opinions at the time of Christmas and New Year holidays.

Platform Against Deep Repository calls for halting ongoing exploration work. First, a new national programme for radioactive waste management must be discussed and adopted, together with clearly defined criteria according to which the final site will be chosen and legislation must be adapted as well, notably the Act to strengthen the rights of municipalities must be passed. Only if there are clear rules that do not change with every new Minister of Industry and Trade, it is possible to build trust between the responsible state institutions and the concerned municipalities.

Petr Klásek, spokesman for the Platform Against Deep Repository, said: "Following the statement of the Minister Mládek in the summer, we first expected the Ministry will present us the path that they want to take regarding the siting process for geological disposal. However, today's RAWRA report again confirms the long-term attitude of this institution towards municipalities and citizens in sites – we will not ask you about anything and we will decide without you. Again, the promises saying that further geological surveys will not proceed without the consent of the municipalities, have been broken. And again, interesting timing of substantial administrative proceedings to Christmas and New Year season."

"The interest and aim of the Platform Against Deep Repository is to prevent RAWRA’s similar ill-mannered behaviour in the future. What matters now is to stop the impromptu geological surveys, review the schedule and set clear selection criteria for geological disposal."

Further information can be obtained from:

  2. Press release by Ministry of Industry and Trade dated July 15, 2016: Ministry and RAWRA want more transparent and faster siting process for a future deep geological repository for spent fuel and radioactive waste,
  3. For protection against automatic email address robots searching for addresses to send spam to them this email address has been made unreadable for them. To get a correct mail address you have to displace "AT" by the @-symbol and "DOT" by the dot-character (".").