PR:The Ministry of the Environment extended the validity of several exploration permits till the end of 2017 - This will allow money to be drawn from the nuclear account

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=> CZECH version of this press release

Press release by the Platform Against Deep Repository dated December 13, 2017

The Ministry of the Environment extended the validity of several exploration permits till the end of 2017

This will allow money to be drawn from the nuclear account

The Platform Against Deep Repository considers the decision of the Ministry of the Environment to extend the exploration permits for geological works for the siting proces for a repository of the nuclear waste at Březový potok (near Horažďovice), Čertovka (near Lubenec) and Magdalena (near Jistebnice in the Tábor district) from 2016 to the end of 2017, as legally dubious. The same decision is to be made for the Čihadlo site (near Lodhéřov in the Jindřichův Hradec district) in the next few days.

According to the Radioactive Waste Repository Authority (RAWRA), exploration permits are unnecessary this year to carry out geological works [1]. Because the extension can only take effect in the last days of the year, the real reason for it is to enable paying more than CZK 51 million in financial incentives for municipalities from the nuclear account [2]. If the validity of the exploration permits is going to be renewed in the same way for the remaining three sites in the Vysočina Region, another 42 million crowns will be drawn from the nuclear account.

Originally, validity had expired by the end of 2016 and the request for its renewal, which was submitted by RAWRA shortly before the end of the year, was rejected by the Ministry in February 2017. RAWRA then began to claim that it did not require exploration permits to carry out the planned geological work, and began to carry out such work under the “research“ label for which exploration permits were not needed according to it. On our initiative, this purpose was monitored by the Ministry of the Environment in June 2017, but the outcome of the check is unknown even half a year later. According to the Ministry of the Environment, there is still no monitoring report or decision taken by the Authority to determine whether the RAWRA procedure is in compliance with the law. The current decision came after Minister Brabec canceled the February decision of his ministry and returned the request for a new hearing.

Petr Nohava, a spokesman for the Platform Against Deep Repository, said: "The only clear reason for extending exploration permits seems to be allowing municipalities to draw contributions, that are tied to valid permits, from the nuclear account. However, the consent of the municipalities can not be bought."

Platform Against Deep Repository associates 35 members (23 municipalities and 12 associations) and its aim is to enforce such a way of finding a solution that would be open, transparent and which by law would adequately guarantee the rights of the municipality and the public's rightful welfare.

Further information can be provided by:

  • Ing. Petr Nohava, Mayor of Pluhův Žďár and spokesman for the Platform Against Deep Repository - tel.: 725 972 632, e-mail:pnohava AT gmail DOT com[3]

  1. In 2017, the Radioactive Waste Repository Authority has repeatedly stated that it does not need the exploration permits to obtain the data needed for the decision on the suitability of deep repository sites. For example: "RAWRA notes that the refusal of the MoE (to extend the so-called" exploration permits for special intervention in the Earth's crust") does not affect the course of evaluation of existing sites." (Source:, similar information is in its News Report of the Spring 2017 or Autumn 2017 (see and in other public statements of RAWRA‘s representatives.
    • The geological works that were to be carried out as geological surveys in accordance with Act No. 62/1988 Coll., on geological works, were designated as geological surveys by the Repository Authority and were carried out fully according to the approved Geological Surveying Projects for individual sites, within the framework of the contracts entered into by RAWRA.
    • RAWRA also confirmed the absence of need to extend the validity period of exploration permits in a note to the Ministry of the Environment of 22nd November 2017. Although it did not have valid exploration permits in 2017, it obtained the necessary data: "Based on the evaluation of geological work data, the applicant concluded that the site has sufficient geological data already, the acquisition of which was the purpose of the stage of exploratory geological work."
  2. In accordance with the Atomic Act No. 263/2016 Coll., financial contributions are paid from the nuclear account to municipalities in the territory of which are designated exploration permits for special interventions in the Earth's crust for siting proces for a repository. In total, it amounts to more than 93 million crowns each year.
  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 (".").