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Anti-nuclear camp Poland

Nuclear Monitor Issue: 
WISE Amsterdam

A coalition of various Polish groups and organizations struggling against nuclear energy and for social and environmental justice are coming together to give a public voice to the opposition against these plans and to promote public action and organizing in the directly affected communities. The camp will take place from 23-29 July in Lubiatowo on the Baltic Sea Coast.

The final decision on the Polish nuclear program is still to be made, and the nuclear contracts are yet to be signed. We are reaching the turning point – if the state succeeds in its plans, for the next few generations Polish society will pay the cost of building, exploiting and decommissioning of nuclear reactors, and the radioactive waste will stay here for thousands of years. The future depends on our actions, and on the scale of social resistance to the nuclear power. Meanwhile the whole world is sinking in economic and energy crisis, caused by the uncontrolled expansion of transnational corporations. The great debate on the future of democracy, on the new balance of power has begun.

The anti-nuclear camp in Lubiatowo is our voice in this debate, a voice for the social self – organization and self – governance. It’s up to all of us! We want every participant in the camp to take part in making decisions, and to share the responsibility for its success. That’s why we welcome any ideas for the workshops, meetings and actions as well as every discussion on the idea of the camp proposed by us. By organizing the camp we are creating the space for collective initiatives and actions – its final shape depends on all of You.

The main working languages of the camp will be Polish and English, with other languages possible if needed. Workshops and presentations can also take place in other languages, with translation provided, if organizers are told in advance.

EYFA youth gathering
EYFA will be organizing an international youth gathering as part of the anti-nuclear camp. Participants in the EYFA gathering will take part in general camp activities, workshops, and public events, as well as being part of a smaller international youth gathering with trainings on topics like campaigning and media-work and info-sessions on nuclear power and general energy issues. All participants will be expected to take part in the day-to-day running and decision-making of the camp.

EYFA is looking for activists from all over Europe with a focus on young people from Central and Eastern Europe to take part in the camp. Travel reimbursement is only available for those who are able to stay for the full duration of the camp, arriving no later than July 23rd and leaving no earlier than July 29th. EYFA can reimburse 70% of travel (by train and/or bus - no planes!), food and camping costs. EYFA will provide visa support for those who need it. Just let us know.

If you are interested in participating in the camp as part of the EYFA Youth Gathering please go to Application Deadline: June 1, 2012

Please keep in mind that everyone is welcome to the camp. You do not need to apply unless you would like to take part in the EYFA youth gathering at the camp.


Poland: the Mielno referendum and the battle for Choczewo

Nuclear Monitor Issue: 
Greenpeace Central Europe

Poland is struggling forwards to join the nuclear club – all of Poland? No, a small village on the coast...
When after the Chernobyl catastrophe in 1986, Poland decided to abandon its only ongoing nuclear power project near the hamlet of Zarnowiec, a vast majority of the population supported the decision. Since then, a five to ten meter high concrete ruin ran full of water and is now a paradise for fishers and a colony of gulls.

After the Fukushima catastrophe, the situation is decisively different. On 24 February, 2012, Prime Minister Donald Tusk confirmed after a meeting with his Minister for Economy Waldemar Pawlak and the Minister for Regional Development Elżbieta Bieńkowska that Poland is determined to continue the execution of its nuclear program.

Until two years ago, this program was prepared under exclusion of any public debate and prepared for Parliament by the nuclear physicist, Zarnowiec veteran, former CEO of state utility PGE and now vice-minister for nuclear energy Hana Trojanowska. Unfortunately for the Ministry, environmental NGO Greenpeace pointed out this program had to be submitted to a strategic environmental assessment (SEA). A 900 page report was prepared in a bit more than a month and published just after Christmas 2010 – the public was given three weeks to respond. After protests by several NGOs that three weeks was not acceptable under the Aarhus and Espoo Convention, the period was prolonged to three months. After pressure, also a transboundary consultation, as prescribed by the EU SEA Directive and the Espoo Convention was prepared. Germany, Austria, Sweden, Finland, Denmark and later also Luxembourg joined the procedure and demanded under more public pressure also three months for submissions instead of the three weeks they were granted originally. Deadline 4 January 2012.

But the Polish public was still largely asleep on the issue. Until PGE announced in December 2011 its proposal for three potential sites for a new nuclear power station. In the original SEA documentation, 42 places were indicated, from which 5 had a priority. One of the sites published in December, however, was not among those: Ganski in the municipality of Mielno on the Western Polish Baltic coast. The people in this tourist area did not accept their sudden fate and in January sufficient signatures were collected for a local referendum that took place on 12 February 2012. Within a matter of two months, many of the inhabitants of Ganski had educated themselves on nuclear issues and decided they did not want PGE to come and ruin their landscape, put the population at risk and refuse to address issues like nuclear waste or the look for alternative ways to produce energy. During a PGE presentation in the second preferred location of Choczewo, a few days before the referendum in Mielno, people from Ganski and Mielno took the floor to inform a growingly sceptical regional population and anti-nuclear activists from the nearby larger cities of Gdansk and Gdynia of the ways that PGE was trying to manipulate the population. The PGE representatives' attempts to explain the advantages of nuclear power for the region were booed away.

The referendum in Mielno ended successfully with 94% of the population against the construction of any nuclear installation in the municipality.

Vice-minister Trojanowska reacted with the remark that the people had voted far too early, and that they did not know anything about nuclear power. She announced the start of a multi-million zloty nuclear propaganda campaign, financed by the Polish state, starting on the first of March. PGE, in the mean time, is preparing a tender for the construction of 3000 MW of nuclear on the location of Ganski, Choczewo or Zarnowiec. The locations of Choczewo and Ganski are on the sea-coast, while the Zarnowiec has two possibilities – one on a reservoir, that has insufficient cooling water for 3000 MW of capacity, and one on the coast. Preferred bidders include Areva from France, Westinghouse / Toshiba from the US and GE / Hitachi from Japan.

So far, coordinated influence from PGE (over its power as advertiser) and the government have kept any critical sound about nuclear power out of the Polish media, whereas information from the few academics that started this push, mainly from the nuclear research centre in Swierc, is spread widely. The Mielno referendum and Choczewo public meeting started to bring some change in that, and when Greenpeace nuclear campaigner Jan Haverkamp applied for the position of CEO of PGE Nuclear Energy SA shortly after, some critical arguments also started appearing in the business press. On the question whether his application was a joke, his response that he considers seriously to take the job and close down this wing of PGE, and that the plans from PGE to build a nuclear power station are the real joke, was widely quoted.

The transboundary public procedure for the nuclear energy programme delivered in the mean time over 60.000 submissions from Germany alone – many of them over an on-line tool from the Umweltinstitut in Munich and the BUND in Brandenburg. Because of the new site choice of Ganski, the final deadline for submissions in the transboundary procedure was 27 February 2012, and the Ministries of Environment and Economy in Poland now have to take all submissions from the past year “into due account”.

In that light, the recent remarks from Tusk confirm fears that Poland lacks the sincerity to do so. And the creativity and competence to look beyond large scale centralised electricity production – the kind of thinking it is used to with its heavy dependence on coal. Poland is for the survival of the nuclear industry next to the UK and the Czech Republic (or rather, the CEZ Republic) one of the three front states in Europe, and because of its lack of experience, the easiest to manipulate.

The Mielno referendum and the Battle for Choczewo signal, however, a turning of tides of some kind. When these small starts of public opposition will spread further along the coast, there is a good chance that the bad economics of nuclear, combined with public resistance can turn Poland around and prevent another nuclear ruin on the Baltic shores.

Source and contact: Greenpeace Poland, Iwo Los
Email: iwo.los[at]

Greenpeace Central Europe, Jan Haverkamp
Email: jan.haverkamp[at]

In brief

Nuclear Monitor Issue: 

Little support for nuclear power worldwide.
There is little public appetite across the world for building new nuclear reactors, a poll for the BBC indicates. In countries with nuclear programmes, people are significantly more opposed than they were in 2005, with only the UK and US bucking the trend. Most believe that boosting efficiency and renewables can meet their needs. Just 22% agreed that "nuclear power is relatively safe and an important source of electricity, and we should build more nuclear power plants". In contrast, 71% thought their country "could almost entirely replace coal and nuclear energy within 20 years by becoming highly energy-efficient and focusing on generating energy from the Sun and wind".  Globally, 39% want to continue using existing reactors without building new ones, while 30% would like to shut everything down now.

The global research agency GlobeScan, commissioned by BBC News, polled 23,231 people in 23 countries from July to September this year, several months after Fukushima. GlobeScan had previously polled eight countries with nuclear programmes, in 2005. In most of them, opposition to building new reactors has risen markedly since. In Germany it is up from 73% in 2005 to 90% now - which is reflected in the government's recent decision to close its nuclear programme. More intriguingly, it also rose in pro-nuclear France (66% to 83%) and Russia (61% to 83%). Fukushima-stricken Japan, however, registered the much more modest rise of 76% to 84%. In the UK, support for building new reactors has risen from 33% to 37%. It is unchanged in the US, and also high in China and Pakistan, which all poll around the 40% mark. Support for continuing to use existing plants while not building new ones was strongest in France and Japan (58% and 57%), while Spaniards and Germans (55% and 52%) were the keenest to shut existing plants down immediately.

In countries without operating reactors, support for building them was strongest in Nigeria (41%), Ghana (33%) and Egypt (31%).
BBC News, 25 November 2011

Short list  for Poland's first n-power plant.
Poland's largest utility PGE on 25 November announced a short list of three sites for Poland's first nuclear plant. The utility intends to conduct more studies at Choczewo, Gaski and Zarnowiec over the next two years, with a final decision expected in 2013. Poland has signalled its intention to potentially build two nuclear plants with a combined capacity of up to 3GW. PGE plans to commission the first plant, at a projected cost of 18 billion euro ($23.7bn), in 2020-22.

Meanwhile PGE has withdrawn from nuclear developments in Lithuania and the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad to focus on domestic opportunities. PGE has suspended its involvement in building the Visaginas nuclear plant, near Ignalina, in Lithuania. The move ends hopes that the project will be jointly developed by Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Poland. PGE said it suspended its involvement after analysing the offer from Lithuanian firm VAE, which is lead investor in the project. VAE plans to build the €5bn ($6.6bn) plant by 2020 next to the site of the Ignalina nuclear station, which was shut in 2009.
Argus Media, 12 December 2011

TEPCO: Radioactive substances belong to landowners, not us.
During court proceedings concerning a radioactive golf course, Tokyo Electric Power Co. stunned lawyers by saying the utility was not responsible for decontamination because it no longer "owned" the radioactive substances. “Radioactive materials (such as cesium) that scattered and fell from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant belong to individual landowners there, not TEPCO,” the utility said.

That argument did not sit well with the companies that own and operate the Sunfield Nihonmatsu Golf Club, just 45 kilometers west of the stricken TEPCO plant in Fukushima Prefecture. The Tokyo District Court also rejected that idea. But in a ruling described as inconsistent by lawyers, the court essentially freed TEPCO from responsibility for decontamination work, saying the cleanup efforts should be done by the central and local governments. TEPCO's argument over ownership of the radioactive substances drew a sharp response from lawyers representing the Sunfield Nihonmatsu Golf Club and owner Sunfield. “It is common sense that worthless substances such as radioactive fallout would not belong to landowners,” one of the lawyers said. “We are flabbergasted at TEPCO’s argument.” The golf course has been out of operation since March 12, the day after the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami set off the nuclear crisis. Although the legal battle has moved to a higher court, observers said that if the district court’s decision stands and becomes a precedent, local governments' coffers could be drained.

The two golf companies in August filed for a provisional disposition with the Tokyo District Court, demanding TEPCO decontaminate the golf course and pay about 87 million yen ($1.13 million) for the upkeep costs over six months.
Asahi Shimbun Weekly, 24 November 2011

The powers that be.
U.K.: at least 50 employees of companies including EDF Energy, npower and Centrica have been placed within government to work on energy issues in the past four years. The staff are provided free of charge and work within the departments for secondments of up to two years. None of the staff on secondment in the Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc) work for renewable energy companies or non-governmental organizations, though a small number come from organizations such as the Carbon Trust, the Environment Agency and Cambridge University.

There have also been 195 meetings between ministers from the Decc and the energy industry (and 17 with green campaign groups) between the 2010 general election and March 2011, according to a Guardian analysis of declared meetings with Decc. Centrica met ministers seven times, EDF and npower fives times each, E.ON four times and Scottish and Southern just three times. "Companies such as the big six energy firms do not lend their staff to government for nothing - they expect a certain degree of influence, insider knowledge and preferential treatment in return," said Caroline Lucas. The Green party MP asked under the Freedom of Information Act, several key government departments to tell more about staff secondments - private companies and other organisations sending staff to advise and work with the government.

Secondments also work in reverse, with civil servants going to work in the energy industry, such as a two-year secondment to Shell and another to Horizon Nuclear Power, a joint venture of E.ON and RWE npower that aims to build nuclear power stations in the UK.
Guardian (UK), 5 December 2011

Anti-nuclear protestors take out rally against Koodankulam. 
India: about 10,000 anti-nuclear protestors today took out a procession from a temple at nearby Koodankulam to this town and staged a peaceful demonstration, condemning Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s statement that the nuclear power project would be operationalised in a couple of weeks and resolved to picket the plant if work resumed. Pushparayan, Convenor of People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE), which is spearheading the stir, said the organisation would intensify its agitation from January 1 if their demand for removing the fuel rods loaded into the reactor were not removed by that date. Earlier in the day, PMANE condemned Singh’s ‘anti-people’ and ‘autocratic’ statement on KNPP (Koodankulam Nuclear Power Project), saying it betrayed the fact that the state government’s resolution to halt work was never honoured earnestly or implemented effectively.

One of the 'leaders' of the anti-Koodankulam fight, long-time anti-nuclear activist, Mr Udayakumar is awaiting the consequences of the sedition charges that have been filed against him for his anti-Koodankulam activities. Given the number of charges he is facing ("55 to 60 cases"), Mr Udayakumar said he did not know why he has not yet been arrested. Charges have reportedly been filed against Mr Udayakumar under sections 121 and 124A of the Indian Penal Code, which carry possible sentences of life in prison or even death. But he said he was not particularly concerned. "I haven't done anything wrong or bad or harmful to the country. I am fighting for something just. So no, I am not worried."
Statesman (India), 16 December 2011 /, 18 December 2011

Saudi Arabia not excluding nuclear weapons program.
Saudi Arabia may consider acquiring nuclear weapons to match regional rivals Israel and Iran, its former intelligence chief Prince Turki al-Faisal said on December 5. Israel is widely held to possess hundreds of nuclear weapons, which it neither confirms nor denies, while the West accuses Iran of seeking an atomic bomb, a charge the Islamic republic rejects. Riyadh, which has repeatedly voiced fears about the nuclear threat posed by Shiite-dominated Iran and denounced Israel's atomic capacity, has stepped up efforts to develop its own nuclear power for 'peaceful use.'

"Our efforts and those of the world have failed to convince Israel to abandon its weapons of mass destruction, as well as Iran... therefore it is our duty towards our nation and people to consider all possible options, including the possession of these weapons," Faisal told a security forum in Riyadh.

Abdul Ghani Malibari, coordinator at the Saudi civil nuclear agency, said in June that Riyadh plans to build 16 civilian nuclear reactors in the next two decades at a cost of 300 billion riyals ($80 billion). He said the Sunni kingdom would launch an international invitation to tender for the reactors to be used in power generation and desalination in the desert kingdom.
AFP, 5 December 2011

Central European nuclear renaissance stalling

Nuclear Monitor Issue: 
Jan Haverkamp, Greenpeace EU energy campaigner

Much of the nuclear renaissance talk of the last years was targeted at the EU new member states in Central Europe. The combination of centralized energy structures based on the pre-1989 planned economy, short links between politics and nuclear lobby and the need for re-powering because of the end of life-time of much of the current electricity generation capacity looked like the perfect backdrop for reviving old nuclear dreams.

Most of Central Europe, with the notable exception of Hungary and the Baltic States, survived the recent financial crisis quite well. Nevertheless, nuclear projects and plans are confronted increasingly with delays. Projects and plans in Poland, Slovakia, Lithuania, the Czech Republic, Romania and Bulgaria faced important complications and delays in the first months of 2011.

Visaginas, Lithuania – the ghost of Russia
Rosatom from Russia announced the start of construction in 2011 of the Kaliningrad and Belarus nuclear power stations. Even though these projects will probably be hit with a recently announced cut-back in Russian nuclear expansion, this has pushed plans for the Visaginas nuclear power station in Lithuania further backwards. The Lithuanian government fiercely protested the quality of Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) of both neighboring projects but this has not helped wooing strategic investors for Visaginas after Korean KEPKO withdrew from the project on December 6, 2010.

Cernavoda, Romania – strategic investors withdraw, fate of EIA uncertain
On 24 January, CEZ, GdF-Suez / Electrabel, RWE and Iberdrola officially withdrew from the project during the shareholder meeting of ElectroNuclear, the holding company of the project. This leaves only Romanian state utility Nuclearelectrica, ENEL from Italy and the Romanian branch of steel-giant Arcelor Mittal involved.

Three consortia were accepted in the tender for construction of this project: one led by US / Canadian engineering giant Bechtel, the second led by SNC Lavalin, the Canadian engineering company practically taking over much of what Canadian state owned AECL was involved in, and a Russian consortium led by Atomtechnoprom. Given the problems Bechtel is currently facing with a high-way project in Romania and the lack of experience of the Russian consortium with both the CANDU design as with EU regulatory practices, this looks like a pre-determined tender for SNC Lavalin.

In the mean time, Romanian NGO Terra Mileniul III discovered that EnergoNuclear contracted several consultants for the development of parts for “an adequate Environmental Impact Assessment”. This sheds doubt over the fate of the EIA that started in 2006 and that still has not been approved.

Belene, Bulgaria – power games with Russia
On 6 February, a memo from the head of Atomstroyexport Sergej Kiriyenko leaked to the French daily La Tribune in which he advised Rosatom to withdraw from the Belene project. He argued that the 200 million Euro compensation payment would be larger than the 150 million Euro Rosatom was expected to profit. A day later, however, Atomstroyexport declared during a conference in Bulgaria that it expects to start poring concrete in September of this year and denied the relevance of the leaked document. Bulgarian Prime Minster Borissov announced that when Russia will not back down on the inflation correction it agreed with his predecessor, Bulgaria will not continue with Belene. Borissov asked journalists “Are we going to lose 200 M or 2.5 B – this is the question. What funds do we have left then for construction, for providing better life to Bulgarian citizens – money for pensions, education, increase of wages, infrastructure?”

Also resistance in Serbia is growing over participation in the Belene project.

Mochovce, Slovakia – construction continuing with invalid licenses
After a groundbreaking ruling of the Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee declared three permits for changes in the Mochovce 3,4 design in breach with the Aarhus Convention because the Slovak regulator UJD had not waited for the conclusion of the ongoing EIA (see Nuclear Monitor 722), Slovenske elektrarne and ENEL continue construction. The European Commission is investigating how the ACCC ruling should be implemented and Slovakia has taken the unprecedented step to send a complaint about the ruling to the UNECE – the secretariat of the Aarhus Convention. This means that it might seek to have the judgment overturned during June's Meeting of Parties to the Convention in Chisinau, Moldava. The involved NGOs, Greenpeace Slovakia, Za Matku Zem, Global2000 and Ökobüro Wien are currently contemplating legal steps to force a halt of construction of Mochovce 3,4 and a new public participation procedure.

Temelín, Czech Republic – Five years delay in planning
The Czech electricity giant CEZ announced a five year delay for the Temelin 3,4 project. Ladislav Kriz, spokesman for CEZ that operates Temelín, said it was rather an administrative measure and that CEZ expected the project to be completed earlier.

Nuclear Energy Program, Poland – SEA confronts nuclear government with reality
On 27 December, the Polish Ministry of Economy announced a three week public consultation on Strategic Environmental Assessment of the Polish Nuclear Energy Program, to start on the 30th of December. A fast intervention from Greenpeace, followed by other NGOs, made clear to the Polish Government, that three weeks was too little under the Aarhus Convention and the EU SEA Directive for proper public participation on the basis of the 1205 pages of documentation issued by the Ministry. It also pointed out a transboundary assessment had to be made. The Ministry not only had to extend the term for public input to three months (ending 31 March 2011), but also announced a transboundary procedure, though no time-line has been published for this so far.

The delivered environmental assessment fails among others to properly address alternatives, the issue of radioactive waste and is inadequate concerning the possible effects of large accidents and security, so that further delays can be expected.

The potential operation date for the first Polish nuclear power plant already has been postponed from 2020 to 2022.

Source and contact: Jan Haverkamp, Greenpeace EU policy campaigner dirty energy expert on energy issues in Central Europe, Tel. +32 2 27419 21

Energy for the Future?

A new publication from the Heinrich Boell Stiftung, WISE Brno and Hnuti DUHA / FoE CZ describes the nuclear lobby and its influence on energy policies in Central Europe (Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary and Bulgaria).

It is available for download at: