Commission tells Parliament that it will not press for early closure of Temelin nuclear power plant

April 15, 2002

Strasbourg, 12 April 2002

Verbatim report of proceedings, 11 April 2002 (Annex)

Anfrage Nr. 67 von Marialiese Flemming (H-0 68/02)
Betrifft: Atomkraftwerk Temelin


The Commission recalls that the Union has based its position with regard to nuclear safety in all candidate countries on the Council Report on Nuclear Safety in the Context of Enlargement of June 2001. This report concludes that the ihsafety improvement programme for the Temelin units has been the most comprehensive so far for this reactor type. Completion of these programmes at Temelin is essential to remove the few remaining deviations at these plants with regard to achieving a high level of nuclear safety.

Given this technical evaluation as well as the demands and recommendations that the Council submitted to the Czech authorities, the Commission sees no justification to support calls for an early closure of the Temelin Nuclear Power Plant (NPP). The purpose of the current trial phase is to identify and remedy remaining potential weaknesses. All occurring anomalies or incidents during this phase, as have been widely reported in some media, have been classified as zero or category one events on the International Nuclear Event Scale (INES), meaning without radioprotection concern. The Czech authorities regularly identify their root causes. These events have not changed the overall European Union expert evaluation of the Temelin NPP mentioned above.

The responsibility to maintain a high level of nuclear safety at the plant is incumbent on the operator and the independent Czech nuclear regulatory authority. Following the debate last year in the Parliament on the idea of an international donor conference, neither the Czech Government, nor Member States have signalled any interest in the provision of financial assistance related to an early closure of the Temelin plant. In any case there are no compelling technical reasons for such a closure. Therefore, the Commission sees no need for committing Community funds to this purpose.

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