PR:Is the information about the Bukov Underground Research Laboratory so problematic that Repository Authority keeps it secret? Calla defends itself by filing a lawsuit against RAWRA

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=> CZECH version of this press release

Press release of October 9, 2017
http://calla.cz/index.php?path=hl_stranka/tiskovky/2017&php=tz171009.php

Is the information about the Bukov Underground Research Laboratory so problematic that Repository Authority keeps it secret?

Calla defends itself by filing a lawsuit against RAWRA

Calla has decided to file a lawsuit in order to get access to a major technical and economic study on the realization of the research program of the Bukov Underground Research Laboratory (Bukov URL) in the former uranium mines in the Vysočina Region, which should prove the suitability of the site for research activities connected to a deep geological repository. In violation of the Act on Free Access to Information, the Radioactive Waste Repository Authority (RAWRA) refused to provide the study and the opponent's reports and its decision on the appeal was confirmed by the Director of RAWRA [1].

The government has decided about preparation of the required study after doubts about the meaningfulness of the project have arisen. The geological structure of the Bukov URL differs significantly from the others potential sites chosen for the repository in the Czech Republic. In addition, the rock environment in PVP Bukov is very complicated, disturbed, so the underground laboratory project had to be changed twice in a short period of time because of serious difficulties during the excavation.

However, the question marks also arise over the legality of the decision on the construction of the already completed Bukov URL. THe cost in contract for works between RAWRA and state enterprise DIAMO acting as a supplier, which surged to 107 million Czech crowns, was signed in May 2013, without the decision of the government that is competent to do that [2]. In December 2016, on the proposal of the then Minister of Industry and Trade Mládek, the government decided to grant another 313 million crowns from the nuclear account without a tender for DIAMO to ensure the operation of URL Bukov until 2019.

And other items that are gradually withdrawn from the Nuclear Account in favor of Bukov URL are multiplying. The total costs of public funds for construction, operation and research by 2030 should be around CZK 1.8 billion [3]. Afterwards, an underground laboratory should be constructed at a site selected for future repository, and the experiments should be carried out in real rock conditions once again.

Edvard Sequens, Energy Consultant of Calla – Association for Preservation of the Environment, said:"Content of the study on Bukov's research program must be „explosive“ when the Repository Authority has decided to remove the transparency mask because of it. However, I believe that the public will be able to get acquainted with the study."

Pavel Doucha, partner of law firm Doucha Šikola Advocates Ltd., added:"Reasons for failing to provide a study that were reported by the Repository Authority - a reference to the copyright law, and that it is merely background information for further decision-making - are purposeful and have no support in the law. We are convinced that the court will agree with us."

Further information can be provided by:

Notes:

  1. Decision of the Radioactive Waste Repository Authority Board dated 24 July 2017 regarding the rejection the Calla’s request for a study pursuant to Act No. 106/1999 Coll., On Free Access to Information and Appeal by Calla dated 8th August 2017 can be sent upon your request.
  2. In accordance with Article 26 (4) of the then applicable Atomic Act, the withdrawal of funds from the Nuclear Account for the activities of RAWRA could be done solely on the basis of a government approved action plan with the RAWRA‘s budget for the year in question. In the "Radioactive Waste Repository Authority Plan for 2013, a 3-year Plan and a Long-term Plan" there is no reference to the URL Bukov and the investment in it. The information about URL Bukov is missing even in other years and it appears for the first time in the Plan of Action for 2016. Even in the current Governmental "National Programme on Radioactive Waste and Spent Nuclear Fuel Management in the Czech Republic", the construction and operation of such an URL is not mentioned.
  3. See in detail the document "Proposal to address the social consequences of closure of the Rožná uranium mine in Dolní Rožínka" that the government adopted in January 2016.
  4. 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 (".").
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