PR:Municipalities and associations are suing the Minister Brabec for giving permission to conduct geological surveys for a deep geological repository

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=> CZECH version of this press release

Press Release dated July 23, 2015
http://www.calla.cz/index.php?path=hl_stranka/tiskovky/2015&php=tz150723.php


Municipalities and associations are suing the Minister Brabec for giving permission to conduct geological surveys for a deep geological repository

Municipalities and associations in five localities whose appeals were rejected by the Minister of the Environment, who gave permission to conduct geological surveys in order to search for deep geological repository (DGR) of high-level radioactive waste, have filed a suit against him [1]. The main arguments of the lawsuit are:

  • Erroneous assessment of the surveys being in the public interest compared to the interests of the inhabitants of the affected municipalities who expressed themselves against surveys in local referendums and also to protecting the public interest in water systems in some of the sites and others.
  • Breach of the Atomic Act by the Radioactive Waste Repository Authority (RAWRA) when applying to determine exploration areas.
  • Contradiction with the Spatial Development Policy of the Czech Republic, when RAWRA asked for exploration areas without the consent of the municipalities.
  • Or determining exploration areas without having specified which geological exploration works should take place there.

At two sites - Hrádek near Jihlava and Březový potok near Pačejov - the Minister has not yet decided on appeals. If he does so, the legal actions are expected there, too.

The lawsuit in the locality of Horka near Třebíč was only filed by Calla - Association for Preservation of the Environment with the support of the local association Healthy Home Highlands [2], which has just recently resumed its activities in response to the municipalities that withdrew their appeals immediately after the elections.

Similarly, in the locality of Kraví hora, Calla filed a suit with the close support of the local association No Repository at Kraví hora [3], which was involved in its preparation. The No Repository at Kraví hora NGO is also considering further legal options that would avert the threat of repository.

Although RAWRA put all its eggs in one basket – the Authority offered millions of Czech crowns of so called “compensation“ for geological surveys to municipalities’ budget – they continue to be opposed by mayors and local associations in most selected municipalities. Primarily, a better anchoring of the rights of affected communities in the law that would ensure a truly transparent and effective participation in decision-making on DGR, as is the case abroad, is missing.

There are still no clearly defined criteria by which localities should be shortlisted in just a few years. That was alsos the reason why the mayors of 131 municipalities as well as representatives of 29 NGOs sent an appeal "Towards a deep geological repository in a fair way"[4] to ministers and other politicians in March 2013. To this day it has not been respected.

Edvard Sequens of Calla said:"We are suing the decision of the Ministry of the Environment at three sites and we are going to join the lawsuits with our arguments at the other two sites, because we believe that the entire authorization process has fundamental flaws. Solving the issue of nuclear waste whose hazards will persist forever, must be based on a policy adopted by a broad social consensus, which will set out clear criteria for finding the repository and specify procedural rules. Only then it is advisable to issue funds in exchange for geological surveys and just in those localities where there is a reasonable chance of finding suitable conditions for repository, with the consent of communities and their residents."


SÚRAO is searching for a final deep geological repository in the surroundings of Lodhéřov near Jindřichův Hradec (locality of Čihadlo), Jistebnice near Tábor (locality of Magdalena), Pačejov near Nepomuk (locality of Březový potok), Lubenec near Pilsen (locality of Čertovka), Dolní Cerekev north of Jihlava (locality of Hrádek), Budišov near Třebíč (locality of Horka) and close to Rožná in the region of Žďár nad Sázavou (locality of Kraví hora). Backup sites remain Boletice in the South Bohemian Region and suitable localities in the vicinity of nuclear power plants Temelin and Dukovany which The Radioactive Waste Repository Authority (RAWRA) has newly started exploring.

Additional information, including contacts with representatives of the plaintiffs municipalities and associations, can be provided to you by:


Annexes:

  1. Download the individual lawsuits as pdf at http://www.nechcemeuloziste.cz:
  2. http://zdravydomovvysocina.cz
  3. http://www.nechcemeuloziste.cz/cs/o-nas/
  4. The appeal "Towards a deep geological repository in a fair way": http://www.temelin.cz/images/PDF/Vyzva_uloziste_ferove.pdf
  5. For protection against automatical 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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