Friday, 26 May 2017

Czechs protest against nuclear waste repository plan

ČTK |
9 January 2017

Chanovice, West Bohemia, Jan 7 (CTK) - A large group of people took part in a march in protest against a planned construction of a nuclear waste repository near the village of Chanovice on Saturday morning.

Chanovice Mayor Petr Klasek said 265 people joined the march, while last year it was more than 400. However, this seems to be a result of the extremely cold weather and temperatures around minus 20 degrees Centigrade in the morning, he said.

The nine-kilometre march copied the perimeter of the planned underground construction, called Brezovy potok, which would cover 306 hectares underground and 19 hectares above ground.

Klasek said all municipalities in the area have been against the repository for a long time.

Michael Forman, mayor of the district's centre Horazdovice, said all official statements that have been made by the municipalities concerned since 2003 when the repository was first discussed oppose the idea. Local referendums were against the repository as well.

Local also oppose the geological surveys that the Czech Radioactive Waste Repository Authority (SURAO) launched last year, Klasek said.

The municipalities even sued the state for permitting the geological surveys. A court decision has not been issued yet.

In 2012, the government agreed to pay financial compensations to the municipalities for the surveys, but the municipalities in the Horazdovice district rejected the money and said it was a bribe.

Klasek is the spokesman of the Platform against deep repository that was established by several groups and municipalities.

This platform wants a new concept of handling radioactive waste to be discussed and approved, it claims that state institutions ignore the opinions of municipal authorities and citizens, and it protests against the proposed way of the storage of spent nuclear fuel.

SURAO has selected seven sites in which first geological surveys are being carried out. The survey should tell which place is suitable for the repository. In 2020, the government is to shortlist two sites and then the final site will be decided on.

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