WRITTEN QUESTION No. 598/99 by Ilona GRAENITZ Closure of the Bohunice, Kosloduj and Ignalina nuclear power stations

Official Journal C 325 , 12/11/1999 P. 0123


by Ilona Graenitz (PSE) to the Commission

(3 March 1999)

Subject: Closure of the Bohunice, Kosloduj and Ignalina nuclear power stations

The nuclear power stations at Bohunice (V-1) in Slovakia, Ignalina in Lithuania and Kosloduj (Reactors 1-4) in Bulgaria are among the most dangerous in Europe. In its communication to the Council and the European Parliament on nuclear sector related activities for the applicant countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the New Independent States (COM(98) 0134 final of 31 March 1998) the Commission states that they cannot be upgraded (Chapter 5, section A, page 10).

1. Does the Commission still believe that these nuclear power stations cannot be upgraded and must be removed from the grid as soon as possible?

2. Over what period are these three nuclear power stations likely to be closed?

3. What measures will the Commission take within its terms of reference to bring forward the final closure of these nuclear power stations?

4. Is there are intention of possibly making the accession of these countries to the European Union conditional on the closure of these power stations, as Commissioner Papoutsis's spokesman has said, referring to Ignalina (see European Voice, 11-17 February 1999, page 9)?

5. Does the Commission consider it necessary to have EU-wide uniform safety standards, particularly with a view to enlargement?

6. If so, does it think it possible for such standards to be adopted in the next few years?

Answer given by Mr Van den Broek on behalf of the Commission

(31 March 1999)

1. The Commission continues to consider that the reactors of Ignalina 1-2, Kozloduy 1-4 and Bohunice V1 are of a type which cannot be upgraded to a safety level in line with Western safety objectives and practices at a reasonable cost and that they should be closed and decommissioned.

2. The Commission considers that the dates for the closure of these reactors should be consistent with the priorities of the accession partnerships and the requirements of the nuclear safety account agreement and be part of comprehensive energy strategies to be developed and implemented by these countries.

3. The Commission is in discussion with the governments of the countries concerned to assist them to develop the necessary energy strategies and is in close co-ordination with the international financing institutions to help develop financing schemes on which international financial support could be based. It will specify its financial participation when satisfactory agreements have been reached.

4. The Commission will ensure that the promotion of nuclear safety continues to be given a high priority. In its dialogue with the governments of the applicant countries in the framework of the accession partnerships, but also of the Europe agreement, the Commission will also encourage the governments to take the necessary actions in this area.

5. and 6. A comprehensive set of general nuclear safety guidelines has been developed and is regularly updated by the International atomic energy agency (IAEA). This set of requirements constitutes a basis for any individual country to prepare the necessary national rules and standards. The Commission promotes the introduction of national safety rules and practices to the highest level possible and assists candidate countries in building their own nuclear regulatory regimes compatible with the best Community practice.