Friday, 20 July 2018

Hundreds of people protest against nuclear waste repository

11 January 2016

Chanovice, West Bohemia,Jan 9 (CTK) - Hundreds of inhabitants of the villages in the Sumava foothills participated in an almost ten-kilometre protest march, starting in Chanovice, against the planned construction of a deep nuclear waste repository Saturday, Chanovice Mayor Petr Klasek, has told CTK.
The route of the march followed the projected diameter of the planned construction that should occupy the area of 306 hectares underground and 19 hectares on the surface.
Over 300 people without banners set out on the march from Chanovice, said Klasek, one of the main organisers of the protests.
The state is considering seven localities where a nuclear waste repository could be built.
The march participants have gained information about the preparation of the repository construction and the stances of the local villages' mayors.
"The gigantic and irreversible character of the state intention has taken us aback most of all. There is no permanent [nuclear waste] repository in Europe and it is not being built either," said representatives of the local civic association "Nuclear Waste - No, Thank You!" with more than 5000 members.
"Since 2003 when discussions about a repository in our area started, all resolutions and opinions of all municipal representatives have been clearly against the repository," Horazdovice Mayor Michael Forman said.
Local referenda have confirmed this position.
The resistance of the permanent inhabitants and the owners of weekend cottages in the villages is strengthening, he said.
At the end of October, 2015, the mayors of six villages and the town of Horazdovice filed a legal complaint against the state over its approval for a geological survey of the area that is to be launched this year.
At the end of last year, the Radioactive Waste Repository Authority (SURAO) sent over 10.5 million crowns to the local villages in compensation for the survey.
All mayors confirmed during the march Saturday that they would reject the money and considered it a bribe. Municipal authorities will make the final decision on the money at an extraordinary session next week.
"We will propose that the municipal authorities return the money to the SURAO, that is the state, though it is a high sum," Klasek said.
Saturday´s march was significant and symbolic since it took place at the time when the municipalities were in a court dispute with the Environment Ministry and had received a financial compensation, which they did not want, the mayors said.
The government approved the compensation for the geological survey in 2012. The final location of the repository, where nuclear waste should be stored for tens of thousands of years, should be set by 2025, and the SURAO plans to put it in operation in 2065.
SURAO head Jiri Slovak says the geological survey is not considered the municipality´s consent to the location of the repository.
($1=24.873 crowns)

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