MPs of the European Parliament Are Concerned on EIA of the Ukrainian NPP Print
Tuesday, 28 July 2015 16:04

caption22 Members of the European Parliament have signed a joint letter warning the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and Euratom to suspend the loan proceedings for nuclear units lifetime extension until a full transboundary Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and a public consultation are launched and carried out in accordance with international treaties to which Ukraine is a party.

"On May 28 "Energoatom "received notification from the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) on the entry into force of the loan Agreement concluded on August 7, 2013 and ratified by the Ukrainian Parliament in May 2014, on giving credit by Euratom of EUR 300 million for the implementation of the Complex Consolidated Safety Upgrade Program of Ukrainian NPPs (hereinafter – CCSUP).

Thus, taking into account another credit agreement with EBRD for the implementation of the CCSUP, which entered into force on 19 December 2014, process of taking on the loan from EBRD and Euratom totaling EUR 600 million can be considered completed"- was said in press center of "Energoatom".

However, MEPs - authors of the letter, are concerned about the absence of proper environmental impact assessment (EIA) and public consultation of upcoming life extension of nuclear reactors, which carries an increased risk of accidents with potentially devastating effects on the environment and people in Ukraine and abroad. The public was not properly involved in the taking of such a decision that directly violates the principles, standards and procedures established by international and European law, such as the Aarhus Convention and the Espoo Convention, both signed and ratified by Ukraine and all EU countries, and Directive 2011/92/EU on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment, which is included in the Association Agreement.

The full Letter in English can be found here.

In the letter the Members of the European Parliament appeal to the Vice-President of the European Commission and to the Heads of European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and Euratom. MEPs maintained such initiative after the meeting with the representatives of European NGOs CEE Bankwatch, Greenpeace and Nuclear Transparency Watch – public initiative, which appeared with the support of MEPs. UNENGO “MAMA-86” was one of its co-founders in 2013.

The 1st and 2nd reactors of the Rivne NPP, mentioned in the letter, have already received a lifetime extension of 20 years beyond their 30 years designed lifetime. It should be noted that a proper EIA procedure and a transboundary public consultations with neighboring countries were not held, as at present in our country there are no appropriate legislation that can obliged NPPs to carry out EIA in case of extension of reactor’s lifetime. Such procedures are stipulated only in case of the construction of new facilities or reconstruction of existing ones.

This is why, the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources with the support of the EU Project for the Sector Budget Support with participation of NGO Coalition “Reanimation Package of Reforms” (which includes the members of UNENGO MAMA-86) has drafted the new law on Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). This draft law has to improve the system of Environmental Impact Assessment and ensure the implementation of international obligations taken by Ukraine. The draft law was submitted to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine under the number 2009a. More information you can find here.

Being a co-founder and member of Nuclear Transparency Watch UNENGO MAMA-86 advocates the establishment of transparent conditions for activities in nuclear energy to provide a social control and to guarantee the safety and protection of environment and people’s health. “Nuclear energy requires the highest levels of safety, and civil society plays an essential role in ensuring this”, asserted Jo Leinen, Member of the European Parliament (S&D, Germany) and member of NTW.

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