Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Some EU leaders have supported Slovak request for more funds on nuclear decommissioning

During European Council negotiations the Prime Minister Robert Fico asked his colleagues to support Slovak request for more EU funding to finish decommissioning of nuclear facility V1 in Bohunice. 

Even though the European Council, which was held on 28-29 June in Brussels, primarily focused on finding solutions to debt crisis, nuclear energy was one of the complementary issues being discussed. 

At press conference Robert Fico highlighted Slovak request to provide further EU assistance for final stage of decommissioning of two nuclear units in Bohunice. Together with his Czech counterpart Petr Nečas they opposed attempts to reopen questions about nuclear safety of power plants in both countries while approving the Council conclusions.

“We had to ask some big countries for help, and they did, which confirms that Slovakia is perceived as trustworthy partner,” Fico continued and expressed contentment of the conclusions in this matter.

The Europe-wide stress tests are not yet completed. Some nuclear facilities, including Czech NPP Temelín, are scheduled to experience additional visits. As EU Commissioner Günther Oettinger  explained in April the purpose is to “analyse some safety aspects in more detail”.

According to the conclusions, the European Council “invited Member States to ensure the full and timely implementation of the recommendations presented in the report from ENSREG“ and “noted the Commission's intention to present a comprehensive communication later this year“.

With regard to further funding to the continuation of safe decommissioning of the two units at V1 Fico confirmed that the European Commission proposed to provide assistance of €115 million during the upcoming multiannual financial framework (2014-2020). The original Commission proposal of 24 November 2011 spoke of €105 million funding.  

However, the actual costs are estimated to exceed €400 million. 

„I requested the Member States for understanding that we will not be able of further decommissioning of this nuclear power plant with €115 million, after they forced us to cease it. We are asking for at least €300 million,“ Fico said. 

The Prime Minister especially considers meeting with the President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz as favourable since the EP is the institution where this topic might be pushed through.

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