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Mochovce public participation insufficient

Nuclear Monitor Issue: 
#722
6110
21/01/2011
Jan Haverkamp, Greenpeace EU energy campaigner
Article

On 14 January 2011 the Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee (ACCC) slammed Slovakia for lack of proper public consultation on the Mochovce  3,4 nuclear power project. This decision means that Slovakia also is in breach with EU law and that the European Commission will have to supervise its implementation. The decision implies that construction of the Mochovce nuclear power plant will have to be stopped until a new Environmental Impact Assessment has been carried out.

Jan Haverkamp, Greenpeace EU nuclear expert: "This groundbreaking decision shows that you cannot build dangerous nuclear power stations without taking the input of the  public into proper account. It is now up to the European Commission to keep Slovakia to its legal obligations. Mochovce construction should stop right away."

The Mochovce 3,4 nuclear power project is situated in Southern Slovakia near the Hungarian and Austrian border. It is constructed by the energy giant ENEL from Italy. It consists of two 1970s soviet design reactors that miss crucial safety features, including a secondary containment that is to protect the power station from among others attacks from outside.

Slovakia allowed active construction of the Mochovce 3,4 nuclear reactors before the public was properly consulted on the project. Greenpeace, Slovak NGO Za Matku  Zem, Global2000 (Friends of the Earth Austria) and the Viennese Ökobüro filed  complaints to Slovak courts and the UNECE Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee (ACCC) based in Geneva. The ACCC is the highest legal organ   interpreting the Aarhus Convention on access to information, public participation and access to justice in environmental matters. The ACCC decided that Slovakia was  wrong to allow construction of Mochovce without proper public participation being finished. The ACCC decision means that Slovakia will have to order a halt to  construction and re-do the public participation in the Environmental Impact  Assessment. Because the EU is a signatory to the Aarhus Convention, the European Commission is obliged to start procedures against Slovakia for breach of the  Convention and related EU directives.

Source and contact: Jan Haverkamp, Greenpeace EU campaigner dirty energy.
Tel: +32 477 790 416
Email: [email protected]

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