It is almost ironic that it took a tsunami on the other side of the world to get the European Union to start looking more seriously at safety of the nuclear power plants in its territory, but what initiated the increased activity is not so important.
Attention has therefore turned to countries like Slovakia, which still operate or are currently decommissioning outdated Soviet V1 type nuclear power plants. Slovakia’s neighbour Austria has been screaming for various nuclear power plants across its borders to be shut down, but economy minister Juraj Miskov has brushed these demands aside, saying its reactors are safe.
Miskov announced yesterday that Slovakia was about to initiate complex safety checks on its Mochovce and Jaslovske Bohunice nuclear power plants in an effort to appease its Austrian neighbour, as it has even filed a lawsuit against Slovakia over the issue. He made the announcement following a meeting with his Austrian counterpart Reinhold Mitterlehner on Monday.
Yesterday the European Parliament adopted a resolution that will look into just how effective the EU funding into decommissioning is being spent, while calling on the European Commission to put pressure on Slovakia to speed up the decommission of its reactors at the Jaslovske Bohunice plant as they do not meet the safety requirements laid down by the EU. Slovakia agreed to the decommissioning as part of its pre-accession negotiations.
The European Parliament is not happy with how the decommissioning process is being dealt with, saying it has been badly co-ordinated, slow and inefficient. Slovakia will thus have to improve the procedure if funding is to be continued.