Environmental Impact Study on Temelin

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The Austrian and Czech foreign ministers have made public a procedural framework for the environmental impact study that is to decide the fate of the Temelin nuclear power plant in south Bohemia. The study is to be compiled by a four member team of experts from the Czech Environment and Industry ministries. It should be completed by April 15th , and is to be followed by a number of public hearings in the Czech Republic, Austria and Germany. The public will have 30 days in which to voice reservations with regard to the findings. Any reservations tabled will be incorporated into the final document, to be discussed by the Czech and Austrian heads of government in the second half of May .

The entire process will be supervised by representatives of the European Commission and Austrian and German nuclear experts have been invited to attend as observers.The Czech government has pledged to "fully respect" the outcome of the study .

Austrian anti-nuclear activists dissatisfied

The statement has failed to allay the fears of Austrian anti-nuclear protesters. The spokeswoman for the Austrian Green Party, Eva Glawischnig, said the procedural framework for the environmental impact study was "vague and inadequate" as regards several crucial points. "The very idea that such a study could be concluded in so short a time is totally unrealistic" Glawishnik told reporters. The Austrian anti-Temelin lobby insists that a proper environmental impact study cannot be undertaken while the plant is operational and that it would take at least a year to produce a satisfactory and trustworthy report. Moreover, the Austrian Greens say that Austrian experts should be directly involved in the work rather than having mere "observer status".