PR:Extending the validity of exploration permits by the end of 2017 does not apply
Press release by the Platform Against Deep Repository dated January 8, 2018
Extending the validity of exploration permits by the end of 2017 does not apply
Minister Brabec must first decide on appeals from municipalities and associations
Municipalities and associations from all four sites in which the Ministry of the Environment decided in mid-December 2017 to extend the validity period of exploration permits for geological works to search for a deep geological repository of spent fuel by the end of 2017 have appealed against this verdict. Newly, the Minister of the Environment Richard Brabec must decide. Only if he confirmed the decision of his subordinates, the validity periods extended for the last few days of 2017 would be effective. In the sites of Březový potok (near Horažďovice), Čertovka (near Lubenec), Magdalena (near Jistebnice in Tábor district) and Čihadlo (near Lodhéřov in Jindřichův Hradec district), in total 12 municipalities and 4 associations have appealed against, including the NGO Calla – Association for Preservation of the Environment.
The main objections raised by municipalities and associations include the failure to comply with several statutory conditions for extending the period of validity, including the lack of authorization of the Radioactive Waste Repository Authority (RAWRA) to carry out mining operations  RAWRA has repeatedly confirmed that it does not need exploration permits to carry out planned geological work, and this work has begun to be carried out as a research for which exploration permits are not needed .
The Platform Against Deep Repository has earlier pointed out that the real reason behind the entire proceedings, when the permit was to be extended only for the last few days of 2017, was to allow financial contributions for municipalities to be disbursed from the nuclear account in excess of CZK 51 million . If the validity of the exploration permits is renewed in the same way and for the remaining three sites in the Vysočina Region, another 42 million crowns will be drawn from the nuclear account.
Petr Nohava, a spokesman for the Platform Against Deep Repository, said: "It's simple - if the Repository Authority carried out exploration work in 2017, the validity extention of the exploration permits is irrelevant, and the only reason is obtaining the consent of the municipalities through the financial contributions from the nuclear account. If the Authority carried out the exploration work, it did so without a valid permit and it violated the law."
Platform Against Deep Repository associates 35 members (23 municipalities and 12 associations) and its aim is to enforce such a way of finding a solution that would be open, transparent and which by law would adequately guarantee the rights of the municipality and the public's rightful welfare. http://www.platformaprotiulozisti.cz/
Further information can be provided by:
- Ing. Petr Nohava, Mayor of Pluhův Žďár and spokesman for the Platform Against Deep Repository - tel.: 725 972 632, e-mail:pnohava AT gmail DOT com
- An example of the appeal / deferral submitted by the town of Deštná and the villages of Světce and Pluhův Žďár against the decision of the Ministry of the Environment to extend the validity of the decision on the establishment of the exploration area: http://www.nechcemeuloziste.cz/cs/lokality/cihadlo/pravni-stav-cih/rozklad-destne-svetcu-a-pluhova-zdaru-proti-rozhodnuti-mzp-o-prodlouzeni-doby-platnosti-pruzkumneho-uzemi-cihadlo.html.
- This year, The Radioactive Waste Repository Authority (RAWRA) has repeatedly stated that it does not, neither it did not, need the exploration permits in order to obtain the necessary information to decide on the suitability of deep repository sites. For example: "RAWRA notes that the refusal of the MoE (to extend the so-called" exploration permits for special intervention in the Earth's crust") does not affect the course of evaluation of existing sites." (Source: https://www.surao.cz/clanek-406-stanovisko-surao-k-zastaveni-rizeni-k-prodlouzeni-platnosti-stanoveni-pruzkumnych-uzemi-na-7-lokalitach), similar information is in its News Report of the Spring 2017 or Autumn 2017 (see www.surao.cz) and in other public statements of RAWRA‘s representatives.
- The geological works that were to be carried out as geological surveys in accordance with Act No. 62/1988 Coll., on geological works, were designated as geological surveys by the Repository Authority and were carried out fully according to the approved Geological Surveying Projects for individual sites, within the framework of the contracts entered into by RAWRA.
- RAWRA also confirmed the absence of need to extend the validity period of exploration permits in a note to the Ministry of the Environment of 22nd November 2017. Although it did not have valid exploration permits in 2017, it obtained the necessary data: "Based on the evaluation of geological work data, the applicant concluded that the site has sufficient geological data already, the acquisition of which was the purpose of the stage of exploratory geological work."
- In accordance with the Atomic Act No. 263/2016 Coll., financial contributions are paid from the nuclear account to municipalities in the territory of which are designated exploration permits for special interventions in the Earth's crust for siting proces for a repository. In total, it amounts to more than 93 million crowns each year.
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