7 Dec 2022: Symposium "Nuclear power in the age of new threats"

The online symposium examined the situation of the war in Ukraine and other military and terror threats on nuclear power plants. The attacks on Zaporishia NPP shocked the world, because the unthinkable - intentional shelling of an operating NPP - actually took place. Other threats such as the cyberattacks on the Iranian NPP Busher showed that another taboo was broken when nuclear security and safety was used to build up negotiation pressure.
In our symposium we discussed the current situation and the wider circumstances.

The speakers:
  • Olga Kosharna: Independent nuclear power and safety expert, Ukraine, former PR-Director at Ukrainian Nuclear Forum Association
  • Nikolaus Müllner: University of Life Sciences, Vienna, Institute of Safety and Risk Sciences
  • Andrey Ozharovsky: Russian nuclear physicist, expert of Radioactive Waste Safety Program
  • Oda Becker: Independent consultant, Germany, is an expert in assessing nuclear safety and security
  • Patricia Lorenz: Campaigner, Friends of the Earth Europe

Watch the recording
Presentation of Olga Kosharna
Presentation of Nikolaus Müllner
Presentation of Andrey Ozharovsky
Presentation of Oda Becker
Read the report of the webinar
Download the Invitation
Article in the Wall Street Journal of 18 Nov 2022
2022-12 Article on Bulgarian spent fuel diversification by Emilia Milcheva

Nov 2022: Joint Project Statement for participation in the transboundary Environmental Impact Assessment first NPP Poland

One of the biggest risks of construction of nuclear power plants is that they're plagued with delays of up to several decades, and part of them are even abandoned. During this time, other energy projects are pursued with less vigor or even coal-fired power plants continue to operate. We therefore call for a Plan B consisting of the massive expansion of renewables and energy efficiency and the binding announcement of a date from which on this will be implemented, with more than 2 years being unacceptable: The climate crisis does not wait.
The public consultation is open between midth Nov and midth December 2022 depending on the country.
Poland wants to build its first NPP. In 2015, the EIA started with a scoping phase, now the next phase is conducted. The EIA Report and other documents in English language can be found here.
The Joint Project produced a statement.

Sept 2022: New study on Small Modular Reactors (SMR) in Estonia by Madis Vasser

The study gives a brief overview of the history of nuclear energy in Estonia - the Soviet era plans, the joint failure of the baltic states and the rise of the current private push for nuclear. It then details how the nuclear meme has entered into governmental planning documents. Following this, some fresh reports specifically on Estonian SMRs are unpacked in greater detail. The report ends with takeaways and generalizations of the Estonian experience for the wider CEE region - while every country is certainly different, the arguments for and against SMRs are often similar.
Download the report
Nuclear Infoportal of the Estonian Green Movement

ENSREG answers on our comment on the Topical Peer Review II on Fire Protection

The Joint Project participates in this second Topical Peer Review II because fire protection is very important for nuclear safety. A consultation was open until 27 May 2022 on the Terms of Reference, the Stakeholder Engagement Plan and the Draft WENRA Technical Specifications. Together with the expert Oda Becker we submitted a long list of questions and comments on the Technical Specifications. Concerning public participation we recommended to conduct an additional stakeholder meeting in the middle of the TPR to inform and discuss interim results, and to establish a Focus Group throughout the procedure where NGOs are included. Furthermore we argued for non-technical summaries of the reports and for additional translation of reports in the countries’ languages.

ENSREG answered our comment and explained if and when yes which changes resulted for the Terms of Reference and the Stakeholder Engagement Plan. Find the answers of ENSREG on the Stakeholder Engagement Plan here and on the technical aspects here.

More information

19 Sept 2022 Joint Project Webinar: The EPR – the future of nuclear expansion or rather a failed technology?

Taxonomy including nuclear, electricity prices soon to make new nuclear economic and the industry claiming nuclear plants are ready to battle the climate crisis shows a need for reorientation of antinuclear campaigns. Therefore we want to discuss one of the three currently available NPP designs – the EPR.
Well-known independent experts explained what the safety issue discovered in the French reactor fleet and the EPRs in France and China mean for the entire industry. The EPR design deficiencies have not been solved, however, new models are under way: the so-called EPR 2 was announced as featuring simpler safety features and the downscaling of a custom-made 1200-EPR for Dukovany is presented as a done deal.

The speakers:
  • Yves Marignac: expert on nuclear and energy issues with Association négaWatt, France, closely following safety issues in France
  • Oda Becker: Independent consultant, Germany, is an expert in assessing nuclear safety and security
  • Patricia Lorenz: Campaigner, Friends of the Earth Europe

Watch the recording
Presentation of Yves Marignac
Presentation of Oda Becker
Read the report of the webinar
Download the Invitation

15 Sept 2022: The public consultation period on Posiva's operation license application to the Finnish Government ended

Posiva is the operator of the future Finnish high level waste repository at the Olkiluoto site. The company submitted its application for the operation license for the HLW repository and an encapsulation plant in Dec. 2021. The public had time until Sept 2022 to comment on this application.
The Joint Project submitted a comment focussing on the copper corrosion problems and argued for implementation of a Rolling Stewardship management system.
Find a detailed statement of MKG, the Swedish NGO Office for Nuclear Waste Review here.

Sept 2022: Public consultation on the state aid procedure of the European Commission on the support of the Czech Republic for the construction and operation of a new NPP at the Dukovany site

On 30 June 2022, the Commission notified Czechia of its decision to initiate this procedure laid down in Article 108(2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.
Interested parties could submit their comments on this topic.
Joint Project supported the comment of Global 2000.
Furthermore, comments were submitted by Calla and South Bohemian Mothers in Czech language.
More information

8 July 2022: Joint Project Webinar on Taxonomy and Small Modular Reactors (SMR)

On July 6 the European Parliament voted to include gas and nuclear in the EU taxonomy. This leads to the inclusion of the so-called Advanced Reactors as a Green transitional technology.

In our webinar we discussed what the EP decisions will mean for nuclear technology and the SMR/Advanced Reactors in particular. After a talk of Paul Dorfman Gabriele Mraz introduced in her presentation results of the Joint Project survey on nuclear regulators on their SMR regulation.

Watch the recording
Report of the Webinar
Download the Presentation of Gabriele Mraz
Download the invitation

Survey among nuclear regulators:
List of questions
Answer from Czech Republic
Answer from Estonia
Answer from Finland, download the brochure Preconditions of the safe use of SMR
Answer from France
Answer from UK
Answer from HU

SMR literature
Thomas, Dorfman, Morris & Ramana 2019: Prospects for Small Modular Reactors in the UK & Worldwide
Presentation of Paul Dorfman at the Conference Climate Crisis - Why Nuclear is Not Helping, 2000
Krall, Macfarlane & Ewing 2022: Nuclear waste from small modular reactors.
Georgi Kaschiev 2021: The small modular reactors and the big ambitions
Ramana 2021: Small Modular and Advanced Nuclear Reactors: A Reality Check
2022: Briefing of SMR in Czech Republic by Edvard Sequens from Calla

Studies in German language:
Forum Wissenschaft & Umwelt 2021: Ökonomie der Small Modular Reactors
Öko-Institut 2021: Sicherheitstechnische Analyse und Risikobewertung einer Anwendung von SMR-Konzepten

19 May 2022: Public hearing in the Technical University of Graz/Austria: Environmental Impact Assessment on the life-time extension of NPP Krško, Slovenia

NPP Krško started its commercial operation in 1983. It is owned by Nuklearna elektrarna Krško d.o.o. (NEK). The current operating licence is valid until the end of 2023. NEK now wants to extend the life-time for 20 years until 2043.
More information for Austria and the EIA documents in German can be found here.

The Joint Project offered a template statement for participation.

18 May 2022, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. (Prague time): Nuclear Energy Conference: What Prevents Nuclear Energy Development in Europe?

The current war in Ukraine is turning the energy systems debate primarily to how to tackle the realistic risk of Russian natural gas cut-off. The list of possible solutions includes accelerated development of renewables and energy consumption reduction schemes. Czech political representatives, in turn, have supported long-term replacement of fossil fuels with investment in nuclear reactors. What are the economic risks associated with new nuclear units? Can we substitute for Russian natural gas and phase out coal combustion without them? Which energy future will be cheaper?

The objective of the international conference NEC 2022 “What Prevents Nuclear Energy Development in Europe?” was to discuss these very issues in detail with international and Czech experts.

The NEC 2022 took place online.
More information and presentations

6 May 2022: Joint Project Webinar on Actual status of Deep Geological Repository preparation and impact on EU Taxonomy

Nuclear waste management or rather the lack of it has been the nuclear industry’s Achilles’ heel. Now more than ever industry claims having found the solution, the first Deep Geological Repositories (DGR) might start operating in the next years. The EU Taxonomy which is supposed to bring in fresh funds for nuclear construction, brought the question of spent nuclear fuel (SNF) back into the limelight when introducing the condition of having a plan for an operating waste repository by 2050, which most EU countries will not be able to fulfill for reasons both technical and financial or regarding the necessary participatory processes.
Our webinar offered the chance to hear from leading independent experts who have in-depth knowledge of the real situation on the search of repositories. 36 people from 17 countries registered for our webinar.

Recording and report

Download the invitation

4 May 2022: New study "Russian Grip on EU Nuclear Power"

In today's online press conference, Patricia Lorenz and Vladimir Slivyak analysed the EU dependency on the Russian nuclear industry.
More information on the press conference and the study.

Russian companies in EU nuclear sector
Article of March 2022 download

22 April 2022: Nuclear energy? No thanks! Declaration of Bulgarian, Greek and Turkish Greens

Only recently, Bulgaria and Greece started talks about the jointly construction of NPP Kozloduy-7&8 in Bulgaria using Greek money.
Read the Declaration

21 April 2022: Joint Project Webinar: Environmental Impact Assessments on Lifetime Extension of Nuclear Power Plants: How to make use of the new rules for your campaigning

The Joint Project was preparing this webinar to provide support for NGOs and the public to initiate and join an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) procedure for the life-time extension of nuclear power plants (LTE) now that the Espoo Guidance has been decided.
In the webinar, about 20 participants from 13 countries took part.

  • Chair: Patricia Lorenz, FoEE/GLOBAL 2000: Introduction on strategic value of EIA LTE, ongoing EIA Krsko LTE
  • Priska Lueger, Environmental legal expert with ÖKOBÜRO and Justice & Environment: Legal Tools for Public Participation in LTE Processes
  • Martin Giersch, Federal Ministry for Climate Action: Lifetime Extension of Nuclear Power Plants: Technical Background for the Applicability of the Espoo Convention
  • Jan Haverkamp, Senior Expert with Greenpeace und WISE: Two cases how to use EIA procedures in practice – Borssele (Netherlands) and Tricastin (France)
  • Gabriele Mraz, Austrian Institute of Ecology: NPP Lifetime Extension: Examples for transboundary Environmental Impact Assessments (Ukrainian NPP and Loviisa 1&2/Finland)
  • Discussion
Recording and report
Additional information

Jan 2022: Briefing Paper on Dukovany

The Czech Government and the Czech majority state-owned energy company ČEZ have undertaken several steps incl. state aid proposal advancing the preparation of the construction of one (or two) new nuclear unit of up to 1200 MW at the area of the current nuclear power plant Dukovany. The Czech state intends to provide up to a 100% loan to ČEZ for the new reactor and also will guarantee the purchase of electricity for above-market price for up to 60 year and other benefits. A new law about the above described state aid was approved in 2021. The new coalition government writes in the coalition agreement: “We support the construction of a new nuclear unit in Dukovany on the condition that it they will not build by Russian or Chinese companies.” A tender is expected to be launched in 2022. The new government also intends to reopen preparation of two new nuclear units at the site of Temelin nuclear power plant.
Download Briefing Paper

Nuclear Waste Management in the EU - Updated Assessment Report on the implementation of the Nuclear Waste Directive

Nuclear waste from NPPs remains an unsolved and highly dangerous problem, as spent fuel must remain isolated from the environment for a million years.
In an attempt to solve the nuclear waste problem, an EU-wide directive was introduced in 2011, the “Council Directive 2011/70/Euratom establishing a Community framework for the responsible and safe management of spent fuel and radioactive waste”. This directive tried to force EU member states to address the issue seriously, after this had been neglected for decades – thus immediately proving that nuclear waste has never been effectively dealt with.
The Joint Project has been active for years in monitoring the implementation of the Nuclear Waste Directive, especially with regard to transparency and opportunities for public participation. In January 2022, we completed a comprehensive update of our Assessment Report.

Open until 18 Nov 2021: Environmental Impact Assessment on the life-time extension of Loviisa 1&2, Finland

NPP Loviisa consists of two units, Loviisa 1 and 2. Loviisa 1 started commercial operation in 1977 and Loviisa 2 in 1980. The NPP is owned by Fortum Power and Heat Oy. The current operating licence issued by the Finnish government is valid until the end of 2027 and 2030, respectively. Fortum wants to extend the life-time for approximately 20 years.
In the EIA Report, two main alternatives are assessed: life-time extension or direct start of decommissioning.
Statements can be submitted in the transboundary EIA procedure, more information can be found here.
For final disposal of the high radioactive waste resulting from operation and possible lifetime extension of Loviisa 1&2 the Finish authorities are knowingly presenting an unproven technology which is undergoing criticism. Another significant short coming of this EIA procedure is the lack of alternative solutions to the life-time extension of an old nuclear power plant, which means exposing large areas of Europe to a fully avoidable risk. Therefore we demand the shut-down of Loviisa 1 and 2.

The Joint Project offers a template statement for participation.

Statements or opinions may be submitted from 20 September to 18 November 2021 on the website, by e-mail to or by letter to the Registry of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment. The address of the Registry of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment is PO Box 32, FI-00023 GOVERNMENT. The visiting address is Ritarikatu 2 B, 00170 Helsinki. Please include the register number VN/20577/2021 in all statements and opinions.

If your country does not participate in the transboundary EIA, you can sign a common statement - please get in contact here.

9 June 2021: Alarming results on geological risk at the Paks NPP site

The results of the peer reviewed report “NPP Paks II: Paleo-seismological assessment of the Siting Report and the Site License with respect to fault capability” showed that evidence for a capable fault at the site was swept under the carpet. According to the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) guidelines, the Western European Nuclear Regulator’s Association WENRA’s rules as well as the Hungarian regulations, the site license for Paks II should not have been granted in 2017.

Documentation of the event:
Find here the two studies that were presented:

The European Greens submitted Parliamentary questions on this Paks issue to the European Commission. Here you can read the questions and the answer of the EC.

Find more information on Paks NPP on Energiaklub's website.

Until 15 June 2021: Participation in the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) on NPP Doel 1&2/Belgium life-time extension

NPP Doel 1&2 were put into operation in 1975, it is located on the left bank of the River Schelde approximately 3 km from the Dutch border.
Doel 1&2 should have been shut-down after 40 years of operation already in 2015. But with the so-called nuclear phase-out law a 10-year life-time extension was decided in 2015 without conducting an EIA. In 2016, NGOs filed a suit against this law with the Belgium Constitutional Court which asked the European Court of Justice (ECJ) for a preliminary ruling. On 5 March 2020, the amended 2015 nuclear phase-out law was annulled by the Belgium Constitutional Court on the basis of the ECJ ruling. However, the Constitutional Court decided to maintain the law’s effect until a new law will be in force to ensure supply security. For this reason the necessary EIA needs to be completed until 31 December, 2022.
Joint Project has prepared a statement for the EIA.

Here you can submit your statement until June 15, 2021:
in Dutch
in French
in German
There is no English version of this website available, but you can send your comments in English.
If you are from another country than Belgium, you will be forwarded to your country’s participation website.
If your country is not participating in the trans-boundary EIA, you can send your comment by post to the Belgium responsible authority (the address can be found at the above websites).

Don't nuke the taxonomy

The European Commission is currently establishing an EU-wide classification system, the so-called "taxonomy", which will be used in the future to classify economic activities on the basis of their ecological sustainability. Within this framework, the question of whether an investment in nuclear power can be classified as sustainable is being hotly debated.

New website launched

We invite you to visit our new pop-up website for recent information on the debate on taxonomy and nuclear .

15 June 2021: Taxonomy and Nuclear - Critical Review on the JRC Assessment published

The EC commissioned the Joint Research Center (JRC) to produce an assessment on the sustainability of nuclear energy and nuclear waste. This assessment was ready in March 2021. In the following months, it was evaluated by the Euratom Art. 31 expert group and the SCHEER committee.

On 15 June 2021, we introduced our Critical Review on this JRC assessment report in a press conference. Find more information here.

The Critical Review, written by Gabriele Mraz and Patricia Lorenz, is available for download here.

It is not foreseen that the public will have a say in the decision if nuclear is included in the taxonomy as sustainable or transitional activity. We sent a letter to the European Commission to introduce the Critical Review and - once again - request public participation.

Here our detailed position paper from 2020 on taxonomy and nuclear can be downloaded.

The first delegated draft act was open for consultation until December 2020. Here our template statement can be downloaded.

3 - 11 March 2021: Joint Project's Anti-nuclear Action Week: Documentation

10 years after the Fukushima nuclear accident we took a look at the situation in Czech Republic, Hungary, Bulgaria, Poland and the EU. Our anti-nuclear network has a huge knowledge and experience to offer – we invite you to explore the documentation of our Action Week and find out how nuclear energy is trying to survive and how we can stop it
Programme of the Action Week

Panel discussion and Open House on financing of nuclear power plants – how come? (5 March)
Nobody wants to finance a nuclear power plant – absolutely nobody? Despite enormous up-front investment needs, notorious costs overruns and renewable energies already cheaper, new nuclear power plants still find funds. How come? The Joint Project’s event provides answers. Fresh intelligence on the nuclear industry’s own plans of finding fresh money will be followed by our campaigners explaining how the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland make nuclear power plants possible.
Panelist: Karel Polanecký/Calla, CZ, Todor Todorov/Za Zemiata, BG, Dorottya Egres, Marcin Harembski, Common Earth/PL, hosted by Patricia Lorenz
Presentation Marcin Harembski/Common Earth
Presentation of Dorotty Egres/Energiaklub

Critical perspective on Czech government plans for Dukovany NPP state aid (3 March)
Presentation and Q&A with Steve Thomas, Emeritus Professor of Energy Policy, University of Greenwich, organized by Calla, Czech Republic
Video (mostly in English)

Round Table discussion: The Functional Anomalies of Nuclear Energy (4 March)
The Round Table with Dr. Kodácsy Tamás, Dr. Papp László and Pásti Lajos was hosted by Energiaklub’s experts Béla Munkácsy and Dorottya Egres.
More information (in Hungarian)
The presented booklet “Operational Anomalies of Nuclear Energy” will be translated into English and published in May 2021.

Online film package for schools
The South Bohemian Mothers offer an online film package with the following two films and links to podcasts for schools: Website Chernobyl festival (in Czech) and More information on facebook

Film screening and discussion on the consequences of nuclear accidents (11 March)
Za Zamiata presented five short films about Fukushima with subtitles in Bulgarian, together with an discussion with Todor Todorov from Za Zemiata.
Videos and discussion on facebook (in Bulgarian)

Round Table discussion: The Environmental Burdens of Nuclear Energy (11 March)
The Round Table with Dr. Dőry István, Dr. Kóbor József, and Dr. Béres Tamás was hosted by Energiaklub’s experts Béla Munkácsy and Dorottya Egres.
More information (in Hungarian)
A new Energiaklub study “The Environmental Burdens of Nuclear Energy” (now also available in English) was presented.

12 March 2021: Cities for a Nuclear Free Europe: Fukushima Nuclear Catastrophe – Ten Years Later. Lessons for networks of nuclear-free cities and regions.

This event focused on the state of the Fukushima site 10 years after an earthquake and tsunami overwhelmed the reactors, leading to meltdown of three of them.

- Newest Greenpeace report on the real situation in Fukushima now
- Reports from two Mayors for a Nuclear Power Free Japan
- Maps showing consequences of serious nuclear accidents in Europe
- Nuclear emergency management - does it work?

Find a report on the event and the presentations here.

13-15 Jan, 2021: Aarhus Convention & Nuclear (ACN): European Roundtable on information and public participation in the field of Radioactive Waste Management (RWM)

The Round Table was organized by the European Commission (DG ENER) and Nuclear Transparency Watch (NTW). The objective was to gather concerned stakeholders in Radioactive Waste Management (operators, regulators and institutional representatives, experts and researchers, NGOs, civil society representatives) in order to discuss concrete implementation of the Aarhus Convention principles (public information and participation).
Gabriele Mraz and Patricia Lorenz have presented an updated version of the findings of the Joint Project's Report on the Implementation of Directive 2011/70/Euratom.
The programme and presentations are available at the NTW Website.
Our updated report is available for download here.

Consultation on lifetime extension of the French 900 MW nuclear power plant fleet open until 22 Jan 2021

The 32 reactors of the 900 MW fleet were originally designed for 40 years operation. The scope of the lifetime extension program concerning core melt accidents is not in compliance with current safety requirements – even after performing the envisaged lifetime extension program, a considerable gap between the safety level of the 900 MW reactor and new reactor types like the EPR will persist.
When regarding this unacceptably high risk, it is not enough to offer a voluntary consultation only on technological safety aspects like the ongoing ASN consultation is about.
Our comment on the consultation can be downloaded here.

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) on lifetime extension of Rivne 1&2/Ukraine - Austrian procedure open until 15 January 2021

The license for Rivne 1&2 has been prolonged in 2010 after 30 years of operation until December 2030 without having conducted an EIA.
This violation of the Espoo Convention resulted in a complaint at the Espoo Implementation Committee (Case “EIA/IC/CI/4 Ukraine”).The Espoo Convention has decided in 2014 that for the lifetime extension of Rivne 1&2 an EIA has to be conducted, but the EIA is still ongoing - 10 years after the lifetime extension started!
The Joint Project made a statement for the transboundary procudure that can be found here.

8 Oct, 2020: Joint Project Webinar on the Environmental Impact Assessment for Lifetime Extension NPP Loviisa 1&2/Finland

The Joint Project held a webinar on the EIA Scoping procedure.
Presentation Gabriele Mraz
Presentation Oda Becker
Presentation Patricia Lorenz
Here you can read the report of our webinar.

It is very important that many NGOs participate in the EIA for lifetime extension. We offer you a template for the scoping statement.

Here you can download the invitation and possibility for registration.
Our first Loviisa information can be downloaded here.
More information from Fortum can be found here.
Information on the EIA procedure in Austria can be found here.

6 Oct and 3 Nov, 2020: Nuclear Energy Conference in Prague

The topic of this year's Nuclear Energy Conference is "Nuclear Power in a Time of Global Climate Change". The Joint Project's new Working Paper on Impacts on Climate Change on Nuclear Safety and Supply Security was presented by Oda Becker in a talk in section I. The presentation is available in English and Czech. Find more information here.
The NEC will be held online.

30 Sept, 2020: Last day for registration for the Environmental Impact Assessment NPP Sizewell C/UK

At the Sizewell site in Suffolk, UK, a new NPP – Sizewell C – is planned. The proposed NPP comprises two UK European Pressurised Reactors (EPR) units with a net electrical output of 1,670 MW per unit. Documents are available at the website of the National Planning Inspectorate. Registration to take part in the UK procedure is possible here until 30 Sept., 2020. A template for the Representation can be downloaded here.
An Austrian expert statement in English is available here.

22 Sept, 2020: EUCJ judgement on Hinkley Point C State Aid decision

Today, the Court of Justice confirmed the Commission decision approving United Kingdom aid for Hinkley Point C nuclear power station. The Court’s argumentation is largely based on the EURATOM treaty, seeing it as lex specialis even precluding the Lisbon Treaty. This leads to the rather peculiar interpretation that nuclear power is “different” from other electricity and thus can be treated separately – and receive state aid.
Read more.

July 2020: Dukovany II Financing Model

Our new factsheet provides an overview of the financing model the Czech government came up with after years of preparations. In short: Guaranteed electricity price, a state loan and an option of purchase by the state mean zero risk for ČEZ.
During the Corona crisis the government put forward the framework contracts. According to plan the contracts between the government and the utility ČEZ were signed on 28 July 2020. Negotiations about the developed state aid mechanism were ongoing with the European Commission since last November and will be continued officially now starting in July 2020.

July 2020: Updated report on the implementation of the Nuclear Waste Directive 2011/70/Euratom

Since the very first steps, the Joint Project is keeping a close watch on the implementation of the Nuclear Waste Directive. We continuously monitor the implementation on national level and EU level and participate in Strategic Environmental Assessments (SEA). We also organized events for the interested public and a discussion with European Commission representatives.
In our regularly updated assessment report we inform not only on the status of implementation of the Nuclear Waste Directive, but also on problems with transparency, on limits of public participation and on many other problems that became obvious during the first years of implementation. Version 4 of our report can be downloaded here.

June 2020: Comment on NECPs

Joint Project sent a statement on the nuclear plans as part of the National Energy and Climate Plans (NECP) to Kadri Simson (Commissioner, DG ENERGY) and Frans Timmermans (Executive Vice President, DG CLIMA EC). We welcome the EU Commission’s efforts in combating climate change. Also the Green Deal is an ambitious task put forward and we very much hope that it will succeed. Under this aspect we also assessed the NECP of some of the countries we are active in and would like to point out some of the most serious risks to CO2 reduction, which is the planned construction of nuclear power plants. Read more.

3 June 2020: Webinar "Impacts on Climate Change on Nuclear Safety and Supply Security"

Currently nuclear energy promoters are trying to make use the climate crisis for their goals by claiming that nuclear energy is a solution. But can nuclear energy contribute to a decarbonized future? Rather the contrary: climate change poses new challenges and risks to the operation of nuclear power plants, increasing nuclear risk and challenging supply security. In this Joint Project – Nuclear Risk & Public Control webinar we presented our new working paper “Impacts of Climate Change on Nuclear Safety and Supply Security”. A report of the webinar can be downloaded here.
Three presentations covered the topic from several angles:
  • Climate change impacts on nuclear power plants: Oda Becker, independent expert for the risks of nuclear facilities, Hannover/DE, presented her findings on how climate change phenomena influence the risks posed by new and old NPP and takes a look at planned nuclear power plants.
  • Hot Danube water for Paks: Eszter Mátyás from Energiaklub/HU and PhD student at CEU, shared her knowledge about climate development in Hungary in the recent decades and describe how the increasingly hot temperatures limit the operation of the nuclear power plant Paks.
  • Operating and new nuclear power plants under pressure: Patricia Lorenz provided examples how water scarcity impacted the planning of new reactor units at Dukovany site in the Czech Republic, and on new water regulations that are under way for the Swiss NPP Beznau.

Apr 2020: Taxonomy

The European Commission is currently establishing an EU-wide classification system, the so-called "taxonomy", which will be used in the future to classify economic activities on the basis of their ecological sustainability. Within this framework, the question of whether an investment in nuclear power can be classified as sustainable is being hotly debated. The final report of a technical expert group (TEG) of March 2020 contains the following assessment of nuclear energy in the annex: „[…] it was not possible for TEG, nor its members, to conclude that the nuclear energy value chain does not cause significant harm to other environmental objectives on the time scales in question. The TEG has therefore not recommended the inclusion of nuclear energy in the Taxonomy at this stage.” Among other things, the unresolved nuclear waste issue was cited by the TEG as a reason for this assessment.
Even though nuclear energy has not yet been seen as a sustainable activity in the sense of taxonomy, it is the declared aim of some Member States and lobby organisations that this should be changed by the time the final version of the criteria and the associated delegated act are finalised. In the next months, several consultations will be held. The first one, the consultation on the roadmap is open until 27 April 2020. The comment of Friends of the Earth Europe and the Austrian Institute of Ecology can be found here.
An open letter to the EC signed by many European NGOs can be downloaded here.

March 2020 Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for New Reactor Units at the Dukovany Site/CZ

The EIA for Dukovany II was completed with the so-called expert report (posudek) and the positive Final EIA Statement issued by the Czech Ministry of Environment (MZP) in June 2019, which has to be taken into account in the subsequent procedures. More information can be found in the Statement on behalf of Ökobüro and Gobal 2000 for the Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee meeting March 2020.
The most important problems of the project that became obvious during the EIA can be read here.

Feb 2020: Consultation on the French Multiannual Energy Plan

France offered a voluntary consultation for its Multiannual Energy Plan, and the Joint Project submitted a comment.

Dec 2019: Letter on Belene to EC

Za Zemiata together with lawyer Albena Belyanova wrote a letter on Belene which was sent to four EC Commissioners in Dec 2019. The letter points to various alleged violations of EU competition rules relating to the Belene nuclear power plant. Read more.

Nov 2019: Facts on Alternatives. Benefits of Renewables versus Nuclear. Argumentarium

Inspired by the findings and conclusion from a number of public hearings in the course of the Environmental Impact Assessments processes for NPPs, the Vienna Ombuds Office for Environmental Protection (WUA) has asked the Austrian Institute of Ecology to compile this Argumentarium. During these hearings some typical statements have been identified, which can be called outdated or misleading, but are frequently used in the public debate on nuclear energy as well. In the Argumentarium a fact check was performed for the most common of these statements.

Nov 2019: New paper on legal aspects of Plant Lifetime Extension (PLEX)

Patricia Lorenz and Priska Lueger wrote a paper on "Environmental Impact Assessment on Lifetime Extensions of Nuclear Power Plants after EJC Judgement C-411/17". In this paper, the question what changes are "major changes" according to the ESPOO Convention is discussed together with the resulting obligation of a transboundary Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).

07-08 Oct 2019: Conference in Vienna: Climate Crisis - Why nuclear is not helping

The climate crisis is the biggest challenge we humans face. At the same time, nuclear energy is trying to make a come-back. While nuclear lobbyists have stopped claiming new plants would be competitive long ago, they now hope to receive new subsidies by arguing their technology can contribute to a low CO2 electricity system.
This international conference, which takes place at the same time as IAEA’s very first climate conference, will examine the hard evidence-base, the facts and figures – in order to prepare strategies to halt fresh money for the outdated technology that is nuclear.
Eszter Mátyás from Energiaklub and Gabriele Mraz will hold a workshop on 08 Oct on the Joint Project's working paper in progress „The impacts of climate change on nuclear risk and supply security”. The working paper shall be presented in detail at the next Nuclear Energy Conference in Prague.
More information on the Conference at Global 2000's website.

Open until 16 Sept 2019: Call for feedback on the Technical Experts Group’s (TEG) report on the EU Taxonomy

The European Commission proposed a new taxonomy regulation in May 2018. It defines which technologies fall under Green Financing. The EC tasked a Technical Experts Group (TEG) to develop a proposal for implementing the taxonomy regulation. Amongst others, the TEG came to the conclusion that nuclear energy is not sustainable and doesn’t fulfill the criteria mainly because the nuclear waste issue is unsolved.
Until 16 Sept. 2019 the TEG report is open for feedback.
The Joint Project expressed its support of the TEG report’s assessment of nuclear energy being a non-sustainable technology.

August 2019: New Report on Radiation Protection in the Joint Project countries

In 2018, the Joint Project sent a questionnaire to the national authorities responsible for radiation protection in our countries. We asked about the implementation of the Radiation Protecion Directive 2013/59/Euratom (BSS-Directive), the implementation and interpretation of Council Regulation (Euratom) 2016/52 and about intervention levels and countermeasures in case of a radiological accident. We received answers from Romania, Czech Republic, Hungary, Austria and Poland. In this report, all questions and answers are listed and evaluated.

20 May 2019: Environmental Impact Asssessment Paks II/Hungary - Complaint to the Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee

Today several environmental organizations and individuals filed a complaint to the United Nations Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee (ACCC) on irregularities in the approval of the Hungarian nuclear power plant Paks II. The complainants from five different EU states accuse the Hungarian government of having violated their international obligations during the transboundary Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the planned nuclear power plant project and thereby infringed international law. For this reason, the Czech environmental NGO Calla, the German energy cooperative Greenpeace Energy, the Foundation Terra Mileniul III from Romania, the Austrian Institute of Ecology (Österreichisches Ökologie-Institut), the Munich Environmental Institute (Umweltinstitut München) and the private individuals Brigitte Artmann and Jan Haverkamp submitted a communication to the Aarhus Compliance Committee in Geneva.
Communication to the ACCC
Press release

Workshop “Risk of lifetime extension of old NPP”

The Joint Project workshop on risk of lifetime extension and ageing took place on Tuesday, 7 May 2019 in Linz. Oda Becker, one of the authors of the new study of the International Nuclear Risk Assessment Group (INRAG) “Risk of lifetime extension of old NPP”, gave a presentation on some results of the study. The workshop offered the possibility to discuss topics that are of special interest for NGOs.
Also available for inputs and questions were Patricia Lorenz, who is negotiating the issue of PLEX / EIA under the ESPOO Convention, and Gabriele Mraz, co-author of the INRAG study with the focus on transparency and participation.
Report of the workshop
Presentation of Oda Becker

Nuclear Energy Conference 2019: LIFETIME . EXTENDS . DANGER

May, 8th 2019, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm
Linz Ursulinenhof, Upper Austria
For more information and the presentations click here.

2018: ENSREG Topical Peer Review Ageing

On 4 October, ENSREG approved the report on the first topical peer review "Ageing management of nuclear power plants and research reactors". The Joint Project assessed this report and the whole procedure. This assessment can be found here.

Dec. 2018: Petition against uranium mining in Hungary

In the heart of the Mecsek hills a uranium mine is planned. Mecsek is a bird protection area with unique plant community and wild life. The Western-Mecsek Landscape Protection Area is protected precisely in order to conserve these treasures. According to the law, industrial and mining activities are prohibited in this area.
In order to stop uranium mining in this region together with their partners from Pécs Energiaklub has started a petition.

Austria: Strategic Environmental Assessment for the national programme for nuclear waste management is finished

Austria is a nuclear energy free state and took part in many neighbouring states’ EIA and SEA processes with the goal of making nuclear waste disposal strategies as safe and transparent as possible.
Therefore Austrian NGOs had high expectations that the Austrian national programme could be used as good practice example. But these expectations were not fulfilled, the programme was three years late and lacked detail in important sections. Austrian NGOs were successful in improving parts of it, but a lot of work still has to be done.
The Austrian nuclear waste management program was finalized in September 2018. Information and an assessment of the final national programme (in German only) can be found here.

Participation NPP Wylfa/UK

For participation in the application procedure for the planned new NPP Wylfa Newydd in Wales statements for Bulgaria and Poland were written and submitted to the Infrastructe Planning Inspectorate until 13 August 2018.
The transboundary EIA in Austria is ongoing until 24 August 2018, more information and a statement for Austria can be found here.
Also the UK process under the Planning Act is ongoing. The Joint Project monitors the procedure.

12 July 2018: European General Court decided ...

that EURATOM makes nuclear state aid for Hinkley Point C possible. European NGOs call upon EU governments to abolish the EURATOM Treaty, Austria mostly likely to appeal the court`s decision.
For more information click here and also read this.

19 June 2018: Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Dukovany II/CZ - International hearing in Třebíč

Třebíč is situated approximately 30 km northwest of Dukovany. NGOs from Austria and the Czech Republic participated and asked many critical questions. A detailed report on the hearing and also on the EIA Dukovany can be found here.

May 2018: New study: "Knowledge preservation for nuclear repositories"

Spent fuel and other high radioactive nuclear waste have to be isolated from the environment for one million years or longer – an unimaginable long period. We do not even know if the human species will exist that long.
Until now, neither a convincing concept exists to prevent radioactive substances from leaking out of a repository, nor a concept to preserve all necessary knowledge on nuclear waste and future repositories hidden in a geological barrier, and how to inform future generations to handle a possible leakage.
In this study, existing ideas for knowledge preservation were researched and assessed. The study was written by the Austrian Institute of Ecology and supported by the Viennese Ombuds-Office for Environmental Protection.
In a workshop on 10 April 2018 in Prague the study was discussed with interested NGOs and members of the public.
More information and the study can be found here.

NPP Belene: restart of the project?

The Belene NPP project in Bulgaria was started in 1970, construction started in 1987, was stopped in 1990 and restarted in 2002. An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) was conducted and finished in 2004, two reactors were allowed to be built in 2005. But in 2012 the project was stopped again. Now, on 27 June 27 2018, the Bulgarian Government cancelled its decision from 2012 to stop the Belene NPP project.
The EIA decision from 2004 should no longer be valid due to Bulgarian law which defines that the project implementation has to start in the first five years. Bulgarian Government argues that some buildings have been erected, therefore the EIA decision is still valid - but these were non-nuclear buildings (information centre and mensa).
The Austrian Ministry of Sustainability and Tourism was asked to ask for official information from Bulgaria and to call for a new transboundary EIA if the project should proceed.The response from BMNT can be read here.

Nuclear Energy Conference 2018 on 11th April, 2018, Praha

The NEC 2018 had the topic "Nuclear waste: Unwanted legacy of nuclear power". Gabriele Mraz gave a presentation on problems that became obvious during implementation of the Nucelar Waste Directive 2011/70/EURATOM. All other presentations can be found here.
A radio report by Freies Radio Freistadt on the NEC can be heard here (German only).

22 Jan 2018: Nuclear power plant Paks II – Austria announced law suit against the EU Commission state aid decision on Monday 22 January

Update: Austria started the law-suit on 22 Feb 2018.

On December 2017 the EU Commission published its decision in the EU official journal. After being exposed to heavy lobbying the new Austrian government today confirmed they will follow-up the announcement already made by its predecessor government.
The background on this issue was presented today at a press conference in Vienna. GLOBAL 2000 and Benedek Jávor/MEP Greens welcomed the decision and underlined the importance of this law suit for the common electricity market which should not be distorted by state subsidies for nuclear power plant. “NPP cannot not be built without state subsidies. Also the legal basis applied – the EURATOM Treaty – is not correct and we hope the European Court of Justice will clarify this issue.” If state subsidies will become “legal”, a small nuclear renaissance mainly in former Soviet satellite states might become a reality: Hinkley Point C and Paks II might be the first, the planned NPP Dukovany could follow as early as summer 2018 with a similar financing model in the Czech Republic. Romania has announced the intention of building NPP Cernavoda 3 and 4 with some kind of state financing model earlier, Belene in Bulgaria could be the next in line.
One more issue regarding Paks II is still open: The justification given by the EU Commission for accepting that Hungary never tendered the NPP units, but simply gave the contract to the Russian reactor manufacturer Rosatom: The “technical exclusivity”, claiming that only Rosatom could deliver what is needed on the specific site is still on the table; Energiaklub and Benedek Jávor are following this up.
The decision concerning Hinkley Point C is expected to being announced in the next weeks, however, most likely the decision will be appealed and this will take another year or more.

Plant Lifetime Extension Kozloduy 5

On 3 Nov 2017, Kozloduy 5 got a 10-year-lifetime extension. European Greens demand full EIA for PLEX.

2nd Conference of the Danube Region Nuclear-free: Public Participation in nuclear project - opportunities and challenges.

This conference took place on 22 Sept. 2017 in St. Pölten. Presentations can be found here.

New study: "Health effects of ionising radiation and their consideration in radiation protection"

The health effects of low radiation doses are still discussed highly controversially in radiation protection. Low doses result from nuclear installations during normal operation, from accident situations in nuclear facilities for workers and the public, from the nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but also from medical exposure and natural background.
Based on new insights in health effects it can be concluded that the dose limits and levels in the BSS-Directive (Council Directive 2013/59/Euratom) and in the Food Level Regulation (Council Regulation Euratom 2016/52) are too high, they do not provide enough protection, especially for the embryo/foetus, children, pregnant women and young adults.
The study and the extended summary can be downloaded here: study, extended summary. The study was supported by the Vienna Ombuds-Office for Environmental Protection.

New working paper on Nuclear Security & 24 Apr 2017: Joint Project Workshop on Nuclear Security

The risk of terrorism is increasing, but especially old NPPs and interim storages for spent fuel have not been designed against possible terrorist attacks. To improve NGO´s knowledge of nuclear security issues the Joint Project commissioned the independent nuclear consultant Oda Becker to prepare a working paper. Oda Becker has presented this working paper at a workshop at the Joint Project Workshop in Linz. The full working paper can be downloaded here.

25 Apr 2017: Nuclear Energy Conference in Linz/Austria

In 2017 EURATOM will celebrate the 60th year since its foundation and therefore 60 years of promoting nuclear industry. EURATOM is an obstacle for the European nuclear phase-out and a stumbling block for a nuclear free Europe. 60 years after its implementation the time has come to abolish EURATOM or at least subject it to a thorough reform process which has been demanded for years. For more information and registration click here.

06 March 2017: EU Commission decided that state subsidies for Paks II are not illegal – legal challenges will follow both from the Austrian government and electricity utilities

At the end of 2015 the EU Commission started two infringement procedure concerning the NPP Paks. They were looking into the state aid for the construction of two units by Rosatom and the fact that this deal was agreed without a tender thus breaching European competition rules and excluding other competitors from delivering the plant or components.
However, today´s decision did not answer those serious problems but using wrong arguments declared this political deal legal. The EU Commission applies the wrong legal basis, because nuclear power is not a Common Interest of the EU member states. The EURATOM Treaty does not have any state aid regulations and therefore this issue is to be assessed under the TFEU, the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. If those two units will be built and connected to the grid, Hungary could increase the nuclear power share up to 86 percent. This is a severe economic disadvantage to the renewable energy production e.g. in Austria.
„The case is similar to the Hinkley Point NPP subsidy scheme, the EU Commission is obviously trying to introduce a special nuclear economic zone to make at least some nuclear new built possible. We welcome that some member states like Austria will challenge this decision in court, as some energy utilities will, because we are afraid, that some other member states might be willing to put public money into the construction of nuclear power plants,“ explained Patricia Lorenz.
For further information:

Our brand new background paper on state aid for nuclear newbuilt provides an overview over the Paks project and the possible consequences of this decision in other countries in the EU… read more.
Joint press release

Nuclear waste - problems solved?

Joint Project conference in Budapest on 15 Dec., 2016

Our one-day conference with international experts has focused on the Euratom directive on management of spent fuel and radioactive waste (Council Directive 2011/70/Euratom). We examined the status of implementation in EU member states and whether this directive will „solve“ the issue of waste disposal. To illustrate the effectiveness or non-effectiveness of this directive we looked at Hungary as an example of a country (not the only one) still considering the export of spent fuel to the infamous Mayak facility in Russia. This conference also provided up-to-date information on the situation at Mayak and the Hungarian plans for spent fuel from Paks I and Paks II. Here you can download the programme.

A report of the conference can be downloaded here.

Gabriele Mraz, Austrian Institute of Ecology
Massimo Garribba, DG ENER
Vladimir Slivyak, Ecodefense, RU
Zsuzsanna Koritár, Energiaklub
Additional Text to presentation Z. Koritár in English

Audiofiles of the conference:

07 Feb. 2017: Conference "Transparency and future of radioactive waste management in Europe"

This conference was organized by Nuclear Transparency Watch and Members of the European Parliament, Brussels
For the Joint Project, Gabriele Mraz gave a presentation at this conference.
More information can be found here.

Factsheet on health effects of low level radiation

Health consequences are a key issue for nuclear energy. Health effects, especially of low-level radiation, are often difficult to prove scientifically, which leads to disagreements of members of pro and anti-nuclear communities and scientists that are still ongoing in 2016, the year of the 30th anniversary of the Chernobyl accident and the 5th of Fukushima. The Joint Project collected and assessed up-to-date epidemiological studies and publications on health effects of low-level radiation and produced a factsheet. An updated version of the factsheet (it was included in a new study) can be found here.

2016: Joint Project report: Radioactive waste and spent fuel - transparency and public participation in national programmes

After about a year's experience with available national waste management programmes based on Directive 2011/70/Euratom, the Joint Project produced a report about status of national programmes and SEAs in the JP countries. We analysed several aspects of transparency and public participation in these programmes and compared them to good practice. The report can be downloaded here.

06 July, 2016: National Reports and National Programmes for Management of Spent Fuel and Radioactive Waste are public

In response to a request by Nuclear Transparency Watch from March 2016, the European Commission gave access to all national programmes and implementation reports on management of spent fuel and radioactive waste. You can download them here.

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