PR:Municipalities‘ success: Repository Auhority has withdrawn its applications to extend the validity of exploration permits
Press Release of the Platform Against Deep Repository dated February 2, 2018
Municipalities‘ success: Repository Auhority has withdrawn its applications to extend the validity of exploration permits
Municipalities and associations that seek to re-evaluate the state's progress in siting for a deep repository for spent nuclear fuel have achieved partial success. The Radioactive Waste Repository Authority (RAWRA) withdrew its applications, seeking to extend the validity of exploration permits for geological work on seven sites. Their validity expired by the end of 2016. The Municipal Court in Prague could then decide in the following months on the legal action of 18 municipalities and 6 associations, whether the exploration areas were at all defined and the geological data for the siting selection were obtained in accordance with the law.
Withdrawal of applications is a logical result of the absurd situation from the very end of 2017, when RAWRA received retrospectively the permission to carry out geological exploration work in 2017 in four sites. RAWRA has been claiming throughout the year that it does not carry out the geological work . The Platform Against Deep Repository argued that the only reason for re-authorization was to allow financial contributions to be paid from the nuclear account  to the affected municipalities and to obtain their consent with repository siting in their cadastres. Up to 12 villages and towns and 6 associations from these 4 sites refused such a procedure and filed an appeal against this additional authorization to the Minister of the Environment.
In 2018, the number of potential sites is to be reduced from nine (in the past years two more sites near the Temelin and Dukovany nuclear power plants (NPPs) have been added to the original seven sites in silence) to four sites. The originally planned volume of geological data for this decision was not obtained by RAWRA; whether due to the unsuccessful selection of a contractor for exploration work in 2015-2016 or the expiration of the exploration permits in 2017. The Platform Against Deep Repository calls for a halt to such a site selection when there is a lack of confidence in the state authorities.
Petr Nohava, a spokesman for the Platform Against Deep Repository, said: "RAWRA refrained from regaining permission to geological work that they claimed were not carrying out. For affected communities and their residents, this is only a partial success in making a repository siting transparent. Our main request - the missing Act on municipalities‘ involvement - is still out of sight despite the promises and resolutions of the past government."
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
- In 2018, 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 for all seven sites.
- 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 (".").