The Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) welcomes a joint letter it has co-signed with the chairs of the Cities for a Nuclear Free Europe (CNFE) and the Alliance of Regions for Phasing-Out of Nuclear Power Across Europe calling for an international and independent safety review of the proposed Mochovce new nuclear reactors planned for operation in Slovakia (1).
The three organisations have agreed to work more closely together for joint aims of opposing the development of new nuclear power stations in Europe, urging the phasing out of aging nuclear power stations and of promoting a wide renewable energy mix. (2)
The Slovakian Government plans to start new nuclear plants at Mochovce 3 and 4 shortly. The last time a new nuclear power plant started in Europe was in 2002. CNFE notes that Mochovce 3 and 4 can hardly be called ‘new’ plants. The design is from the 70’s, construction of them started in 1985, but was stopped in 1992 for several years before restarting again in 2008.
CNFE note that the whole construction process has been characterised by incidents, wrong procedures, unqualified subcontractors and so forth. In CNFE’s view, there has hardly been any international control on the safety of the plant. The Slovak Government are hoping to plant will start up later this year.
The joint letter between CNFE, NFLA and the Alliance of Regions includes an urgent appeal to the Slovak government to allow an international and independent safety review before a start-up of Mochovce 3 and 4. The letters have been issued to the Slovakian Prime Minister Mr. Pelligrin and to the Slovakian Minister of the Economy, Mr. Ziga.
An additional letter have also been sent to the Interim Chair of ENSREG (European Nuclear Safety Regulators Group), who is currently the UK Chief Nuclear Inspector, Mark Foy, raising concerns over what CNFE note are ongoing failed safety measures at Mochovce. Furthermore, letters have been issued to European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and Commissioner Cañete, to seek the European Commission’s view over the nuclear power developments in Slovakia.
This is the first time that our three networks, representing more than 70 million European citizens, have worked together in agreeing such a strong motion against nuclear energy in Europe. We believe that our common voice should not be ignored.
The three networks will seek to develop further initiatives and are planning a future meeting later this year to discuss wider strategy.
New nuclear reactors are clearly being considered in the UK, but also in a number of eastern European states, and similar initiatives to publicise concerns over such matters are planned.
NFLA Steering Committee Chair Councillor David Blackburn said:
“The NFLA is delighted to join with the Cities for a Nuclear Free Europe and the Alliance of Regions for the Phasing-out of Nuclear Power Across Europe to send out a strong message to the Slovakian Government opposing the opening of the Mochovce 3 and 4 plants. These power stations are not even built to the most modern of safety standards and put at risk large populations across central Europe should an accident occur with them. We jointly call on the Slovak Government, nuclear safety regulators and the European Commission to postpone any starting-up of these reactors until they have had an international and independent safety review. NFLA welcomes the close cooperation between our three networks and hope this continues to develop for our joint aims of a Europe flourishing with new and plentiful forms of renewable and decentralised energy.”
Ends – for more information please contact Sean Morris, NFLA Secretary, on 00 44 (0)161 234 3244.
Notes for editors:
(1) The letters have been issued from the CNFE Secretariat based in Vienna. They are available on request from the NFLA Secretariat and will be placed on the NFLA website. The letters have been signed by Ulli Sima, Deputy Mayor for the Environment at the City of Vienna on behalf of the Member Authorities of the Cities for a Nuclear Free Europe; Rudi Anschober, Regional Minister for Environment, Climate, Consumer Protection and Integration, Upper Austria, Initiator of the Alliance of Regions for Phasing-out Nuclear Power Across Europe; and Councillor David Blackburn, Councillor Mark Dearey and Councillor John Trainor, Co-Chairs of the UK and Ireland Nuclear Free Local Authorities on behalf of its member authorities.
(2) Cities for a Nuclear Free Europe – http://www.cnfe.eu
Alliance of Regions for Phasing-out Nuclear Power Across Europe – http://www.atomfreie.eu/94/
UK and Ireland Nuclear Free Local Authorities – http://www.nuclearpolicy.info