Nuclear power means nuclear waste and the Czech Republic, like many other European countries, is faced with the headache of where to store the waste long term. A shortlist of seven locations for geological tests for suitable deep storage resulted in howls of protest from most of the citizens and mayors living near the sites. And that has forced a rethink from the ministry and state body piloting the selection process.The Czech Republic has been producing nuclear power for just over 30 years now with the two plants at Dukovany and Temelín responsible for producing around a third of the country’s electricity. And there are plans to boost that proportion with more plants in the future.
But the high level nuclear waste produced from the process is still being stocked on site at the plants with plans for a deep storage site hitting furious opposition from most of the seven preliminary sites earmarked for geological tests. Five of those sites have launched or allied themselves to legal proceedings aimed at stopping the surveys and sent back millions of crowns in payments aimed at compensating locals for the inconvenience.
Now the Ministry of Industry and Trade says it will bow to the opposition and seek to push ahead with surveys at one locality near Třebíč in Vysočina and another straddling Vysočina and South Moravia.
Minister Jan Mládek said the decision was not a defeat for the ministry:
“I would put it completely differently. We are in the search for consensus because we do not believe that we can build a permanent storage facility for used nuclear fuel in the localities where the municipalities are hostile to this idea. So we are trying to reach a consensus. At the same time, we need the places which are geologically stable, which are good for possible building of permanent storage for nuclear fuel. And we hope in this way we will reach a consensus in a quicker way.”
And do you think there is a real chance that the remaining two localities will accept the idea?
“Yes, because they were the localities that did not start court action against the state.