PR:Green Circle withdrew its representatives from the Working Group for Dialogue on Geological Disposal, the reason is the government's approach

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=> CZECH version of this press release

Press Release by Calla and Green Circle dated December 8, 2016

Expert contacts:

Green Circle has withdrawn its representatives from the Working Group for Dialogue on Geological Disposal, the reason is the government's approach

Following municipalities and associations from several sites, two representatives of the association of environmental organizations - Green Circle - have also left the governmental Working Group for Dialogue on Geological Disposal for radioactive waste. The reason is that the responsible state authorities violate the agreed rules and ignore the proposals of the Working Group. Additionally, the Green Circle sent a letter of formal notice urging the Minister of Industry and Trade Jan Mládek to initiate honest dialogue about finding solutions to the problem of nuclear waste. More details in the press release.

In Prague on December 8, 2016

After six years of patient filing proposals from mayors, NGOs and experts in the Working Group for Dialogue on Geological Disposal (PS Dialog) there has been no significant impact on the procedure taken by Radioactive Waste Repository Authority (SÚRAO), Ministry of Industry and Trade (MPO) and Ministry of the Environment (MŽP).

State requires from the members of the PS Dialog based in municipalities to actively explain the state’s procedure, but the state itself provides information on it only minimally and selectively. The state informs about its fundamental steps and reversal in the siting process for a geological disposal facility (GDF) with delay. In contradiction with the agreed procedure geological surveys were commenced by the state without the consent of municipalities.

The criteria for the site selection for a GDF are deliberately vague. The Working Group or municipalities, which are directly concerned, have not been informed in advance of the launch of this year's siting process for two new sites of EDU-West and ETE-South.

The approval of the new Act on municipalities’ involvement in the siting process for a GDF, which has come from several years’ efforts of the Working Group members, has been obstructed. Government Council for Energy and Raw Materials Strategy approved it in September 2015, but the government has not discussed it yet. Therefore, Parliament will no longer adopt this Act, which has been envisaged in the new Atomic Act, in this election period.

The Czech state refuses to discuss options to solve the problem of nuclear waste other than the geological disposal. However, public debate about alternatives should be an essential part of the ongoing process of Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) on the national radwaste programme known as the Updated Concept of Radioactive Waste and Spent Nuclear Waste.

The Working Group for Dialogue on a GDF was originally established in 2010 for the purpose of “a transparent siting process for a GDF for radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel produced in the Czech Republic with respect to the public interest”. Representatives of the Green Circle are very actively involved in its work and also in working groups set up to prepare a draft Act to strengthen the rights of municipalities or the draft socio-economic selection criteria for a GDF. The state, however, does not take these proposals seriously and thus the expended work becomes meaningless.

Edvard Sequens of Calla said: „We continue to take our commitment to lead honest dialogue with the state about finding solutions to the problem of nuclear waste. However, the prerequisite is a suspension of the ongoing geological surveys, because setting up the rules amidst of the siting process has repeatedly proved to be very problematic.“

Daniel Vondrouš of Green Circle said: „It is a pity that the government refuses to carry a fair dialogue with affected municipalities on such a serious matter. Still, we believe that we will succeed to overcome this and start a dialogue with the state.“

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.

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