SLOVAK Prime Minister Robert Fico signed a framework agreement on research and development on nuclear waste disposal in France on September 17. France, which now holds the European Union presidency, is calling on EU member states to take joint steps in solving the problem of spent nuclear fuel, the SITA newswire wrote.
Slovak Economy Minister Ľubomír Jahnátek, who drafted the agreement for Slovakia, pointed out that several states face the problem of how to liquidate their nuclear fuel, which is why there is a need to deal with this issue within the EU. Slovakia welcomes the French initiative due to the fact it does not have sufficient capacities for storing nuclear waste.
As of yet, the EU has not defined the conditions for depositing and storing nuclear waste.
First, the EU must finish research, define parameters for depth deposit and decide whether the deposits will be separate for each country, for several countries combined, or for the entire EU.
“We estimate costs amounting to more than Sk70 billion (€2.32 billion) for the needs of Slovakia,” said Jahnátek.
Currently, Slovakia deposits its nuclear waste at the nuclear power plant in Jaslovské Bohunice where capacity will last until 2035. Afterwards, Slovakia will face the problem of what to do with its nuclear waste. According to the original agreements, nuclear waste should have been shipped back to Russia. However, current Russian legislation does not allow that.
PM Fico spoke with French President Nicolas Sarkozy about French participation in building new nuclear power plants in Slovakia.
22. Sep 2008 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff from press reports