CZECH SEARCH FOR NUCLEAR WASTE REPOSITORY

During the last two years there has been relatively rapid development in the search for a final deep geological repository for nuclear wastes in the Czech Republic. After years of general confusion following the break-up of the former Soviet Union and consequent loss, for the Czech republic of the option to export nuclear wastes back to Russia the newly established state offices now self-confidently claim the ability to solve the waste problem.

by Libor Matousek, Hnuti Duha - Brno

On the basis of the so-called “atomic law” approved in 1997, the Radioactive Wastes Repository Authority (SURAO) was entrusted with the task of managing all nuclear wastes in the Czech Republic. Intermediate and long-term wastes, most in the form of spent fuel from the two Czech NPPs. ..... SURAO began research activities for the siting of a deep geological repository (DGR) in the Czech Republic in 1998. ... In 2003 SURAO presented a list of potential sites. 6 localities all situated in granitic rock formations and immediately began the next phase of researc, field geological surveys. SURAOS activities raised the opposition at the 6 localities. Citizens started to write letters, then the villages began seeking legal methods to enable their participation in decision making after receiving little or no reaction from the state politicians...

Some initiated local referenda, results of which are binding for the villages and their elected bodies, but not for state offices. 80-100% of voters opposed the siting of DGR in or around their village with a very high average number of participating constituency - about 70%.

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