Tuesday, 14 July 2020

Croatia-Slovenia Commission on Krsko Nuclear Power Plant Meets

ZAGREB, July 14, 2020 - The Croatian-Slovenian commission overseeing an agreement between the two countries on the regulation of relations concerning the jointly owned Krsko nuclear power plant met in Zagreb on Tuesday and approved the third revision of decommissioning and radioactive waste disposal programmes.

The commission, meeting for the 14th time, discussed the work of the plant and the funds raised for decommissioning and waste disposal, the Croatian Environment and Energy Ministry said in a press release.

Croatian Environment and Energy Minister Tomislav Coric and Slovenian Infrastructure Minister Jernej Vrtovec said they were pleased with the final approval of the programme revision.

"I thank the Slovenian side for the good cooperation," said Coric.

"The programmes approved a key for maintaining (the plant's) excellent and safe work," said Vrtovec, thanking Croatia "for the achievements."

The commission's 15th meeting is planned for the first half of next year in Slovenia.

The Krsko plant, located in Slovenia, is to stop working in 2043. In 2018, Croatia adopted a national radioactive waste disposal programme which defined the former military complex Cerkezovac in the Dvor municipality as the location for a waste disposal centre.

Wednesday, 1 April 2020

Location for Radioactive Waste Management Centre Taken Over by Fund

ZAGREB, April 1, 2020 - The fund for financing the decommissioning of Krško Nuclear Power Plant and the disposal of its radioactive waste stated on Tuesday that it had received the approval from the Energy and Environment Ministry for the use of former Čerkezovac barracks for establishment of a Radioactive Waste Disposal Centre.

The former Čerkezovac barracks are at Trgovska Gora in the municipality of Dvor on the left bank of the River Una.

The Zagreb-based Fund says in its press release that during the implementation of the project it would permanently cooperate with the local community and the general public as well as with stakeholders across the border, that is nearby municipalities in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Bosnia and Herzegovina municipalities that are located on the border with Croatia and gravitate towards the River Una fear that radioactive waste from Trgovska Gora would pollute the environment on both sides of the border and harm the health of local residents.

Establishing the centre, Croatia will manage the radioactive waste in a safe, systematic and tested way, said the fund.

The Krško nuclear power plant is jointly owned by Croatia and Slovenia and is located in the Slovenian town of Krško.

Croatia's national programme for the implementation of a strategy for the management of radioactive waste has been submitted to the European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM), which is expected to evaluate it, and Bosnia and Herzegovina is seeking guarantees that the programme will not have a negative impact on the country.

More energy news can be found in the Business section.

Tuesday, 1 October 2019

No Consensus Yet on Storage of Krško Nuclear Waste

ZAGREB, October 1, 2019 - The Slovenian-Croatian commission on the Krško nuclear power plant failed at a meeting in Bled on Monday to reach a consensus on building a joint radioactive waste storage facility in Vrbina near Krško, Slovenia, and Croatia continues activities aimed at building its own facility.

The meeting discussed the successful operation of the co-owned power plant and possibilities for storing medium- and low-level radioactive waste from Krško, but a consensus on a joint storage facility in Vrbina has not been reached for now, Croatian Environment and Energy Minister Tomislav Ćorić and Slovenian Infrastructure Minister Alenka Bratušek said at a joint press conference.

The meeting was presented with the third review of the Programme for degradation and the Programme for disposal of radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel. The documents will be forwarded to the Slovenian government and the Croatian parliament for consideration, after which they should be confirmed by the joint commission at a meeting planned for December or January.

Slovenia plans to build a radioactive waste storage facility in Vrbina near Krško and proposes that Croatia stores its share of waste from the Krško plant there. "Currently there is no consensus on a joint solution, but we remain open to talks with Croatia in accordance with the agreement between the two countries," Bratušek said.

Ćorić said that the Slovenian proposal was problematic to Croatia for several reasons, one being that in Vrbina it would be possible to store only radioactive waste from the Krško plant.

This is not a long-term solution for Croatia because it has institutional waste at a number of locations. If Croatia agrees to a joint storage facility in Vrbina, it will have to build a facility to store medical and other radioactive waste in its own territory, which would not make sense, Ćorić said. "We want a final solution to cover all types of waste," the Croatian minister said.

Ćorić said that Croatia was ready for an alternative scenario, citing the Čerkezovac site on Mount Trgovska Gora at Dvor, near the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina, but added that it should be seen how talks with Slovenia would proceed. "Regardless of that, our preparations for Čerkezovac continue," he added.

Responding to questions from the press, Ćorić said that Croatia was aware of protests from Bosnia and Herzegovina and its Una-Sana Canton, and stressed that the matter would be discussed with Bosnia and Herzegovina during the preparation of an environmental impact study.

Asked why other types of Croatian medium- and low-level radioactive waste could not be stored in the planned facility in Vrbina, which might be acceptable to Croatia as a long-term solution, Bratušek said that under the existing agreement only radioactive waste from the nuclear power plant itself could be stored within its grounds. She added that the matter should be resolved by 2025, after which it would not be allowed for Croatian nuclear waste to be stored within the power plant complex.

During the meeting, a small group of Bosnian environmental activists protested outside the Bled hotel saying that the Čerkezovac site was unacceptable because of the soil composition and because of local population on both sides of the border.

More news about Krško nuclear plant can be found in the Business section.

Monday, 29 July 2019

No Decision Yet on Nuclear Waste Storage Facility near Bosnia Border

ZAGREB, July 29, 2019 - Environment and Energy Minister Tomislav Ćorić said on Monday that it had not been decided yet on whether a nuclear waste storage facility would be built on Mount Trgovska Gora near the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina, and if such a decision were made, the neighbouring country would be able to raise its concerns.

Ćorić made the statement after being asked by the press in Zagreb whether a decision had been made to store medium and low radioactive waste from the Krško nuclear power plant at Trgovska Gora and whether in that case Croatia should consult with the Bosnian authorities.

The Krško plant is located in Slovenia and is co-owned by Slovenia and Croatia.

"As for Trgovska Gora, Croatia is considering that site, and as for opinions and signals from Bosnia and Herzegovina, it is fully justified for any country to think about what is happening in its neighbourhood and I don't see any problem with that," the minister said.

He pointed out that disposal sites like that that existed across Europe were made according to the highest standards and posed no threat.

Ćorić said that if Croatia decided to dispose of its radioactive waste in the Trgovska Gora area it would contact Bosnia and Herzegovina and the neighbouring country would be able to raise its concerns then. He said that concerns could not be raised based on hearsay evidence but should be clearly founded, adding that he expected all parties involved to behave responsibly.

Ćorić said that the site of the nuclear waste storage facility would be decided after careful consideration. He added that the Croatia-Slovenia commission on this matter was meeting in September or October.

Asked what would happen if the Bosnian authorities continued to oppose the idea, Ćorić said that sometimes it was impossible to reconcile all views and that there were always those that were discontented. "I'm not prejudging the decision and I can't answer 'what if' questions."

A protest rally was held outside the Croatian Embassy in Sarajevo on Monday against Croatia's plan to build a radioactive waste storage facility near the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina.

More news about the Krško nuclear power plant can be found in the Business section.

Thursday, 11 April 2019

Protest Held Against Future Nuclear Waste Disposal Site

ZAGREB, April 11, 2019 - A protest was held in Dvor near the Bosnian border on Wednesday against plans to build a site for the disposal of nuclear waste from the Krško nuclear power plant at the Trgovska Gora location.

The rally drew hundreds of locals, members of ecology associations and representatives of neighbouring municipalities and towns from Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Dvor mayor Nikola Arbutina welcomed the citizens' initiative against disposing nuclear waste at Čerkezovac, a former military barracks at Trgovska Gora, saying the municipality had done everything to stop nuclear waste from being disposed there.

He said the protesters should protest in Zagreb because decisions were made there and not in Dvor, whose authorities, he said, had no say in the matter.

"Only the state can decide where the nuclear waste will end up. Only by uniting the right and left banks of the Una river can we do something. If we carry on as we have until now, scoring political points on this problem, then we'll achieve nothing," Arbutina said, adding that today's protest was in the service of elections for ethnic minority councils and European Parliament elections.

Mario Crnković, president of the Green Team association, said the nuclear waste disposal site was a common problem and interest of the Croatian and Bosnian communities along the Una river and that only by uniting could the people oppose the project. "We mustn't trade with Trgovska Gora."

The Una river, which the two border regions share, does not deserve to be polluted with hazardous waste, said Miroslav Drljača, head of the Bosnian municipality of Novi Grad.

Bosnian MP Jasmin Emerić said the nuclear waste would destroy the most beautiful European region.

Dušan Bjelajac, deputy head of the Croatian county of Sisak-Moslavina, also warned about the danger of the disposal site.

Petrinja mayor and Croatian MP Darinko Dumbović said he had spoken about this problem in the Croatian parliament a number of times, "yet many MPs wouldn't listen... because they raised their hands for the Trgovska Gora location." He added that he was referring to the ruling Croatian Democratic Union, the opposition Social Democrats, the Independent Democratic Serb Party (SDSS) "and other ethnic minorities."

Dumbović called out SDSS president Milorad Pupovac, saying he had betrayed his people in the Banovina region because of the ruling coalition, of which the SDSS is part. He added that Arbutina was deluding his people.

After one hour, the protesters dispersed peacefully.

More news about the nuclear energy can be found in the Business section.

Friday, 22 March 2019

Bosnia and Croatia At Odds Over Radioactive Waste Disposal

ZAGREB, March 22, 2019 - The Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina on Friday decided to ask Croatian authorities to give up their plan to build a radioactive waste storage site at Trgovska Gora, near Dvor, a town on the River Una on the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina, announcing that it would internationalise the problem in order to protect the country's interests.

"Bosnia and Herzegovina is asking the Republic of Croatia not to designate Trgovska Gora, a location in the municipality of Dvor, on the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina, for the storage of radioactive and nuclear waste and to find on its territory another adequate location for that purpose, which is not near the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina," reads a conclusion adopted by the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina on Friday.

A press release said Presidency Chairman Milorad Dodik would send a letter to Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović to formally inform her of Bosnia and Herzegovina's request.

The Presidency also entrusted the Foreign Ministry to inform through its diplomatic and consular network EU member states and international organisations specialising in environmental protection of the issue and of Bosnia and Herzegovina's position.

Trgovska Gora, that is, the former Čerkezovac barracks located there, is one of the sites that are being considered as a location for the disposal of radioactive waste from the Krško nuclear power plant, which Croatia owns and operates with Slovenia.

Croatia's national programme for the implementation of a strategy for the management of radioactive waste has been submitted to the European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM), which is expected to evaluate it, and Bosnia and Herzegovina is seeking guarantees that the programme will not have a negative impact on the country.

Bosnia and Herzegovina municipalities that are located on the border with Croatia and gravitate towards the River Una fear that radioactive waste from Trgovska Gora would pollute the environment on both sides of the border and harm the health of local residents.

More news on the relations between Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina can be found in the Politics section.

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Croatia and Unites States Cooperate on Nuclear Safety

ZAGREB, September 19, 2018 - Representatives of the Croatian Institute for Radiology and Nuclear Safety (DZNS) and the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (USNRC) in Vienna on Wednesday signed an agreement regulating cooperation in nuclear safety and the exchange of technical information.

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Krško Nuclear Power Plant – Another Croatia-Slovenia Dispute

ZAGREB, April 25, 2018 - The Slovenian and Croatian co-owners of the Krško Nuclear Power Plant – Slovenia's GEN Energija and Croatia's HEP power provider – did not manage to reach agreement on appointing the plant's new two-member management board on Wednesday, however, they agreed to resume talks on the matter after the completion of the regular overhaul of the plant.

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Official Confirms Threats Received from HNS President

ZAGREB, April 25, 2018 - A member of the Krško nuclear power plant (NEK) management board Hrvoje Perharić on Tuesday dismissed claims by Croatian People's Party (HNS) leader Ivan Vrdoljak that the criminal report Perharić filed against Vrdoljak for threatening him was based on false claims, that Perharić did not respect an international agreement and that he was in a conflict of interest.

Friday, 20 April 2018

HNS President Charged with Issuing Threats

ZAGREB, April 20, 2018 - Ivan Vrdoljak, the leader of the Croatian People's Party (HNS), a junior partner in the ruling coalition, said on Friday that the allegations made by Hrvoje Perharić, the Croatian member sitting on the Krško nuclear plant's management board, were groundless and accused the executive of working for the interests of Slovenia and causing two billion kuna worth of damage to the Croatian state budget.

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