Slovak NGOs ask for re-evaluation of nuclear programme in Ukraine

UKRAINE is prolonging the lifespan of its 15 nuclear reactors from the Soviet era without a public environmental impact assessment (EIA) – thereby violating international law.

Environment Minister Peter Žiga (L)Environment Minister Peter Žiga (L) (Source: SITA)

The first two reactors got their licences prolonged without an EIA, while two more reactors will be prolonged this year; one of them probably in a few weeks, Slovak non-governmental organisations wrote in a memo. The whole project, with serious impacts and questionable benefit, is supported by the European bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBOR) and Eurat (European Association for Nuclear Energy) from public resources. NGOs from Slovakia and neighbouring countries ask their governments to enable citizens to comment on the nuclear project – in compliance with international law.

CEE Bankwatch Network, Človek v ohrození / People in Perils, Greenpeace Slovensko, VIA IURIS and Zelená koalícia  (The Green Coalition) on March 23 filed a motion with the Environmental Ministry to organise a cross-border assessment of the impacts of prolonging the lifespan of Ukrainian reactors according to the Treaty from Espoo.

Similar calls were delivered to their due governments and organisations in neighbouring EU countries – Hungary, Romania and Slovenia. CEE Bankwatch called also on the EBOR and European Commission representatives to guarantee the observance of rights in projects financed from public resources.

“In one month, there will be the anniversary of the accident a Chernobyl , and we do not want a similar incident to be repeated,” Dana Mareková, CEE Bankwatch Network – following the use of EU development finances in Slovakia, said. ”Already prolonging the lifespan of reactors in Rivne has violated international law; and thus, it is necessary that these institutions require cross-border consultations in our name.” 

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