On October 7th, 2015, public hearing for the project “Construction of new nuclear power plant units Paks II” was held in the Aarhus Center of the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources of Ukraine. Hungarian delegation visited Ukraine within the procedure of holding public hearings in adjacent states and preliminarily shared EIA results for studying, commenting, and remarking.
EPL experts have found a number of weaknesses in the materials and the project, and have made several proposals for their overcoming, which were announced during the public hearing. In particular, in the documents there was absent a description of key alternatives for the place of location and technologies, including an alternative of refusing from the activity. Ignoring the provisions of the Espoo Convention (article 5, appendix II), which indicates the necessity of key alternatives description, the Hungarian colleagues answered that this is not obligatory information for other states.
The second weakness was that EIA materials lack data about final burial of radioactive waste after the temporary waste repository. During the hearings it was announced that low and medium radioactivity waste would be transported through the territory of Ukraine to Russia for burial.
Representatives of CSOs were also concerned about the issue of insufficient study of the thermal load on the Danube River. In the EIA materials there were no details about prompt actions in case of emergency abnormal thermal contamination. There was no clear answer provided.
Other NGOs claimed that climatic prognoses of the Hungarian experts were based only on the meteorological data of the year 2011, which is a biased sample and cannot reflect the situation objectively.
It is remarkable that the construction of nuclear units in Hungary has the clear Russian link. In 2014, Hungary and Russia renewed a treaty about the cooperation in the area of peaceful nuclear power using. By virtue of the treaty, the authoritative body of Russia as a general constructor will build two new nuclear units, 1200 MW each. For this purpose Hungary will get from Russia the interstate loan. EPL considers this arrangement to be risky and insecure, as in 2010 Ukraine had also a treaty with Russian Federation about cooperation for loan and building technologies of nuclear units #3 and #4 at Khmelnytska nuclear power plant. Nevertheless, because of the breach of a treaty related to the loan by Russian government and because of the political reasons the treaty between Ukraine and Russian Federation was denounced on September 16th, 2015. We consider that the construction of such a critical nuclear object cannot be based on the cooperation with the Russian Federation, which is under economic sanctions of the European Union for the illegal aggression in the territory of Ukraine and reckless disregard of international agreements that undermine global security.