Why is the Working Group for Dialogue on a Geological Disposal Facility falling apart?

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=> CZECH version of this article

At the end of June 2016 Calla and the Green Circle (which is the association comprised of 26 prominent environmental NGOs) issued a press release, in which they informed about six representatives of the sites of Březový potok and Hrádek leaving the Working Group (WG) for Dialogue on a Geological Disposal Facility (GDF) during April and May 2016. The mayors and associations in both sites feel that the WG is being misused and that it violate its statute by not contributing to transparent siting process for a GDF. What are the reasons for this happening?

The mayors of seven municipalities in the site of Březový potok withdrew their two representatives in the WG on the Day Against GDF on April 23, 2016, when they released a joint statement [1] on that the WG "inadequately represents and defends the interests of individual sites," and that it had become "a tool in the hands of the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MPO) when Radioactive Waste Repository Authority(RAWRA/SÚRAO) in its printed publications gives deliberately biased information to the population in the sites about the cooperation with local municipalities." Disgruntled municipalities further write that they "still, after all the promises, have no secured and equal role in decision-making process."

The site of Hrádek dispatched an open letter [2] to the Minister of Industry and Trade on 31 May 2016 in which five municipalities and three associations withdraw three of its representatives in the WG. Mayors and associations have expressed that "Clearly, RAWRA's intention, as of a representative of the State, is not leading people towards dialogue, but using PR and non-transparent public opinion surveys in order to create the impression that there is a dialogue led with the citizens and that those voting against a GDF in local referenda, want a GDF next to their homes." Furthermore, they do not like that: "RAWRA, as the main driver in the WG of the siting process for a final GDF, has long ignored comments of members of the WG on the discussed materials, has long ignored comments and objections of the geologist in the WG and what's more, RAWRA has long ignored valid resolutions of the WG."

Calla and the Green Circle have urged the responsible state institutions in order to stop the current siting process for a GDF, to pass a law to remedy the status of municipalities, to clearly announce, in which geological environment should be a GDF constructed, for how much radioactive waste and to prepare criteria in advance for selecting suitable sites in the siting process for a GDF.

Olga Kališová, Calla (July 17, 2016)

  1. Joint declaration and joint decision of the municipalities from the site of "Březový potok" in Pačejov on April 23, 2016 http://www.nechcemeuloziste.cz/cs/aktuality/starostove-z-brezoveho-potoka-odvolali-sve-zastupce-z-pracovni-skupiny.html
  2. Open letter to the Minister of Trade and Industry concerning the abuse of the Working Group for Dialogue on a Geological Disposal Facility by RAWRA, dated May 31, 2016 http://www.nechcemeuloziste.cz/cs/lokality/hradek/zastupci-lokality-hradek-opustili-vladni-pracovni-skupinu-pro-dialog-o-ulozisti.html