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11. 6. 2008 9:34

June 11, 2008: Parliamentary Commission “Temelín“ Declares Its Mission Completed

The Governments of the Czech Republic and Austria should ensure financing for research projects to evaluate seismic risks in the locality of the Temelín nuclear power plant. This is one of the conclusions of a bilateral parliamentary commission “Temelín“ which resolved some of the disputed matters involving the safety of the Temelín nuclear power station.

The Austrian side has appreciated the preparedness of the Czech experts in submitting all the required data and information. The Austrian and Czech specialists have solved the issues concerning calculations of the radiological consequences of exceptional accidents or instructions for coping with serious accidents. Only a partial solution has been found to the seismicity issue in the locality since the Czech and Austrian experts are still processing the results of the relevant research project. The commission’s conclusions imply that the Governments of both countries should exert maximum efforts to secure necessary funds primarily for the performance of research projects likely to help in harmonizing the scientific bases to be used for assessing seismic risks in the locality of the Temelín nuclear power plant. The commission has also agreed it has accomplished its mission and that both sides will now brief their respective Parliaments and Governments, and ask them to ensure compliance with the follow-up tasks.

However, in spite of all the efforts expended by the commission, there are still some unresolved issues which should - in the opinion of the commission - be further followed throughout the operation of the Temelín nuclear power station. The commission has also discussed the legal matters ensuing from the 2000 Melk Agreement and the Brussels Protocol from 2001, but no agreement has been reached on the legal nature of those documents. The Austrian side insists on the interpretation that the agreements are binding instruments governed by international law. The Czech side has repeatedly stressed that these are bilateral treaties that are being fully complied with. Throughout the negotiating process the Austrian side has repeatedly expressed its fundamental opposition to nuclear energy. Yet, both sides respect that sovereign states are entitled to choosing their own energy policy at their own discretion. At the same time, agreement always prevailed between the two sides on the legitimity of the interest displayed by neighbouring countries in the nuclear safety in their neighbours.

The bilateral parliamentary commission “Temelín“ was established pursuant to a motion by the Federal Chancellor Alfred Gusenbauer of the Republic of Austria and Premier Mirek Topolánek of the Czech Republic. It discussed implementation of the Conclusions of the Melk Process and the follow-up measures, the so-called Brussels Protocol. The commission met at four different sessions held on July 11, 2007 in Prague, on September 17 and 18, 2007 in Vienna, on December 17, 2007 in České Budějovice and on June 9, 2008 in Melk.

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