PR:The state rejects the debate about the alternatives for radioactive waste management. People have the last chance to comment.

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=> CZECH version of this press release

Press Release by Calla and Green Circle dated June 27, 2017

The state rejects the debate about the alternatives for radioactive waste management.

People have the last chance to comment.

These days, the Strategic Environmental Assessment process for the Government's National Programme on Radioactive Waste and Spent Nuclear Fuel Management [1] is culminating. The Association of Environmental Organizations called Green Circle and Calla – Association for Preservation of the Environment have been criticizing the national programme for a long time. Therefore, the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MPO) refuses to prepare and evaluate other possible alternatives to the final deep geological repository for hazardous radioactive waste management. It ignores not only the views of the affected municipalities and the public, but also the conclusions of the Ministry of the Environment (MŽP) which is in charge of the assessment procedure [2]. As part of the SEA process, a public hearing will take place tomorrow, where citizens will be able to comment on the fundamental flaws and mistakes of the draft national programme [3]

In Prague on June 27, 2017

For more than a year, the MPO has failed to provide input to evaluate the environmental and health impacts of the draft national programme. Eventually, contrary to the findings of the SEA scoping stage, it refused to provide realistic options for radioactive waste management. The MPO has submitted a single variation of permanent deep geological repository. This has prevented experts and the public from discussing, for example, the possibility of long-term storage in secure surface interim storage facilities where it is possible (unlike in case of underground variants) to control the integrity of the protective packages. Nor is it possible to compare a variant which makes it easy to exclude and use part of the waste in the case of technological progress or a variant of cooperation on an international solution.

Furthermore, the proposed draft national programme is already outdated. Some of the proposed goals were to be met in 2015, others have lost their meaning. For example, the Working Group for Dialogue on Deep Geological Repository, which is mentioned in the draft national programme, has ceased to exist. It may be the slackness and arrogance of state authorities that ignored the proposals of representatives of municipalities and associations from the sites concerned.

Also, the Ministry of Industry and Trade has approached the whole national programme with an unbelievable sluggishness. It took more than a year just to prepare the documents for its impact assessment. At first glance, the state's effort to avoid any debate with the public is visible as well. While public commenting on the scoping stage took place just before Christmas, public hearing on the SEA of the national programme is timed at the start of summer holidays. Although the State Office for Nuclear Safety (SÚJB) has promised that public hearing will take place in all the affected regions [4], nothing has happened.

State proceeds in an untrustworthy way in decision-making on the management of hazardous radioactive waste. Without changing today's unsuitable legislative status and clear rules for siting process for a deep geological repository, the entire process should be stopped.

Daniel Vondrouš of the Green Circle Association said': "The state decides how it will deal with radioactive waste hundreds of thousands of years ahead. It refuses to prepare any variants and offers people the opportunity to express themselves for only a few days while they are leaving for a holiday. This is not only unacceptable but also stupid concerning such a serious problem."

Edvard Sequens of Calla said: "We are asking Minister Brabec to review the whole national programme. Otherwise, his positive statement will not have a significant value, and a question will arise, why this purely formal matter has lasted for three years?"

Expert contacts:

Information for media
Green Circle is an association that brings together 26 major environmental non-governmental organizations operating in the Czech Republic. The Association is dedicated to the general monitoring of laws and policies, it coordinates legislative campaigns and provides active support with advocacy activities which focus on maintaining a quality environment and high level of civil rights in decision-making processes. It is engaged in long-term issue of public participation in decisions on plans and projects with impact on the environment. Green Circle also deals with coordinating the selection of non-governmental and female experts in interdisciplinary working groups and advisory boards and commissions of the Government and coordinates the establishment of joint observations, positions and public statements of environmental organizations about significant situations in environmental protection.

You can find more info on

  1. Evaluation of the "Update of the National Programme on Radioactive Waste and Spent Nuclear Fuel Management" elaborated according to Act No. 100/2001 Coll., ECO-ENVI-CONSULT, SOM s.r.o. And EKOEX, January 2017
  2. At the conclusion of the SEA scoping stage, the Ministry of the Environment requests: "To complement and comprehensively evaluate other realistic (feasible and technically feasible) options for the solution of the spent fuel management and to determine their effects on the environment and public health."
  3. The public hearing will be held on June 28, 2017 from 3pm in the building of the Czech Technical University - Faculty of Nuclear Sciences and Physical Engineering, Trojanova 13, Prague 2.
  4. RAWRA Director Jiří Slovák stated at the meeting of the Working Group for Dialogue:"Public hearings will take place in all the affected regions (Ústecký, Plzeňský, Jihočeský, Vysočina ...). Public hearings will be focused mainly on the issue of the region. They will take the form of Hyde Park." See minutes of the WG for Dialogue of November 19, 2015:
  5. 5.0 5.1 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 (".").