The Arguments
Against Temelin

Political and Legal

Political and Legal

1) Local Opposition - official: An association of towns and villages in the region around the NPP was set up by CEZ to support Temelin. With time this group turned against the plant and 54 of the 60 mayors have sent a letter to Czech PM Klaus requesting the project be halted. Both former environmental ministers and the former PM of CSFR have publicly expressed their opposition to the plant.

2) Local and national opposition - grassroots: There have been several petition drives against Temelin in the CR. The largest gathered over 60,000 petitions nationwide to stop the plant in 1991. A more recent national petition demanding an EIA for the plant collected about 8,000 signatures, and the most recent collected 5,000 (see TIS Nos 10 and 13). There was a regional petition gathered last summer of about 2,000 signatures, it also gathered information on those people in favor of the plant - in almost all villages and towns the opposition out numbered those in favor several times to one.[Copies of many of the petitions have been presented to the ExIm Bank] There are protests numbering in the thousands at Temelin every Chernobyl anniversary since 1990. Nation-wide the feeling is more pro-nuclear, with polls showing about 60% in favor of Temelin, 20% opposed and 20% undecided.

3) Public Participation: Though required by both US and CR EIAs law, this has been absent. (neither public hearing nor referendum). The Czech govt justifies this by saying the decision to build the plant was made under the previous (communist) govt and that the approval process was complete. They agree that all future projects of this type or scale would require public participation, but have thus far refused to release any documents referring to Temelin.

4) Votes in CR Government/Parliament: There was a vote in the Czech government on Temelin in 1992: 18 in favor, no opposed, 1 abstention (by the Minister of Environment). The govt has blocked a vote in the Czech Parliament, though it is very likely they would win if there was a parliamentary vote. The reason for blocking it is probably that they do not want to answer questions by the parliamentary opposition to the plant and there could be restrictions placed on the plant (or more likely radwaste storage plans).

5) Lender Liability: In the event of an accident it is not clear who is liable. Westinghouse (WH) has a "hold harmless" clause in their contract with CEZ [See Halliburton NUS study]. The ExIm Bank says CEZ and the CR govt will take all the risk [See letter from ExIm Prez Brody to US Senator Leahy]. PLAGE contends that WH is liable under Austrian law, but WH has sent only one letter, basically delaying their response to the inquiry. The Czech Republic, Austria and the US have all not signed the Paris and Vienna conventions on nuclear liability [See AAI book on IAEA]. Anti-nuclear US lawyers are not optimistic that there is a lender liability case which can be brought against ExIm or Westinghouse, in general it is only possible to get judgements on liability issues when there has already been damage. The World Court will not hear a case relating to the CR, because the CR is not a member of the court.

6) CR Energy Laws: The Czech Republic has a draft atomic law in the Parliament, but it is in the very early stages. The promises by the CR govt that it will be voted on in mid 1994 are likely incorrect. The CR govt has promised to sign the relevant conventions after the law is passed, and this probably is true. A higher govt priority has been given to the CR Energy Law, which as currently formulated gives a tremendous amount of regulatory power to the Ministry of Industry.- this type of "policy law" over "regulatory law" approach is preferred by the govt for it gives them more flexibility.

7) Law Suits against CEZ: The association of towns and villages has brought a law suit against CEZ for not having the proper permits to consume the water needed for the plant. Temelin will consume over 100 million liters of water each day. Another suit is being investigated by Czech environmental groups around the need to relicense Temelin because of WH design changes.

Economic Arguments

1) Not least cost: CEZ was required by the World Bank (WB) to write a "least-cost" study to apply for a loan for Temelin. CEZ hired Tractebel (from Belgium), which compared only new generating capacity to Temelin, with a very high cost of discontinuing Temelin unfinished. Under these assumptions, Temelin was the least cost. However, in the Tractebel report was a chapter on Demand Side Management (DSM), this showed that the "realistic" energy savings capacity was 1200 MW at a cost far below Temelin (Temelin is 1600 MW net installed capacity, in the official forecasts). [Tractebel Summary by EVA] The WB has been pushing gas conversion of Temelin, but the CR govt contends Russia is an unreliable provider.

2) The power is not needed: The Tractebel energy demand forecast shows that under the middle and low energy forecasts Temelin is not required [EVA graphic]. This takes into account the planned phaseout of N. Bohemia coal stations, other studies (like Cousteau for EBRD and WB) collaborate these findings.

3) Development Banks' Rejection: The WB, EBRD and European Investment Bank (EIB) have all rejected applications by CEZ to fund Temelin [CR Min of Industry and Min of Economy report on Energy Policy to CR Govt Sept. 30, 1993]. These rejections appear to have come on the staff level (rather than decisions by the Board), probably without a formal application from CEZ. EBRD senior management has said its reasons for rejection are the same as the WB: 1) The plant can not be upgraded to western standards 2) Poor investment.

4) WH poor performance: WH built 52 PWRs in the US, on average they were 420% over the original contracted price and 5 years late [US DoE info, see table]. WH claims this is because of litigation in the US, but their international record is little better (Bataan/Philippines bid at US$ 500 mil for two reactors, one unfinished block cost US$ 2.2 bill). WH is US$ 6 billion in debt and has lost US$ 1 billion or more every year and last year the Board of Directors fired the WH President.

5) Ignoring Energy Efficiency: WB, EBRD (done by Equip Cousteau), SEVEn (Czech energy experts), Tractebel, IIEC and Austria have all done reports on energy efficiency showing it is cheaper than nuclear in the CR and that the available capacity exceeds Temelin's capacity (1600 MW net). Energy efficiency is also more labor intensive (the ExIm mission is to create/ maintain US jobs).

6) CR Debt limit: The CR has a law which limits the total amount of govt guaranteed lending to 8% of the federal budget [See Min of Ind/Econ Energy report]. Temelin is consuming a significant portion of this limit making other projects, like WB Energy II to clean N. Bohemian Coal stations impossible.

7) Temelin is for Export: CEZ has already sold 15% of Temelin's capacity to Italy and Switzerland, they hope to sell more. There is strong opposition in the CR to energy exports while the N. Bohemia coal problems persist. The subsidised electricity price within the CR makes exports one of the few ways that the construction of Temelin can be profitable for CEZ (assuming the cost forecasts for construction are correct).

Technical Arguments

1) Western Safety Standards: Though there is some debate over this, there appear to be areas where meeting western safety standards will be quite difficult and possibly financially impossible. The original core design suffers from a positive temperature coefficient of reactivity, the IAEA is requiring a new core design [Nucleonics Week, Jan. 27 1994]. Part of WH contract is for a new fuel assembly. The Halliburton NUS Audit found a number of procedural problems (poor oversight, improper pricing, licensing problems, staff mismatch to project, low safety culture) but concluded the plant could be upgraded to meet western standards. Halliburton NUS won the PSA contract for Temelin and started it in Sept. 1993.

2) Steam Generator problems: The original steam generators for VVER 1000s have had serious operating problems (36 of 64 have failed in the field, long before their design life ended). However Temelin's generators were built in the CR (with superior engineering practices, it is claimed) rather than the others which were built in Russia. [ExIm press release on Temelin]

3) I&C Testing failures: The Instrumentation and Control system (I&C) is being replaced by WH as required by the IAEA. The same software is being installed at Sizewell B in the UK. Rolls Royce ran almost 50,000 tests on the Sizewell B system, which failed 52% of the time [See Computer Week Article]. WH claims that 90% of the failures were due to the software being improperly hooked to the reactor simulator. Current plans are to train CEZ operators on a simulator of the wrong reactor (old VVER 1000/320 - without WH control systems)

4) CEZ operating record: Besides the operational problems mentioned in Technical Argument 1) CEZs operational history at Dukovany is not encouraging. Chronic emergency shutdowns and blockages (16 in 1991 and 15 in 1992) [See Calla study] probably result from trying to continue to operate the plant with insufficient funds. CEZ also tends to underrate the significance of the accidents (the recent Dukovany fire was rated INES level 0, when the activation of emergency systems insures it was at least level 1).

5) Untested Hybrid: This type of upgrade has never been done before and the aggressive schedule of CEZ (commercial operation of the first block by Dec. 1995) means a rigorous testing regime will likely not be implemented. ExIm uses the Finnish Loviisa plant as a model of the success of this type of East/West hybrid, but Loviisa was very long in coming (11 years of design and construction) and was a hybrid from the beginning rather than starting a retrofit in the middle. It is also significant to note that Finland rejected the Temelin model (VVER 1000) in a subsequent analysis for technical and political reasons.

6) Stendal Case: Unified Germany choose not to upgrade and complete the Stendal VVER 1000 for technical and economic reasons. Stendal was estimated to cost between 3.7 and 4.5 billion DM for Block A to upgrade and complete. The Tractebel Study estimates the cost of upgrading both reactors at 2.1 billion DM. The level of completion of Temelin blocks is 50% and 10% according to a GRS June 1992 estimate (CEZ estimates are dramatically higher for the same date) and the Stendal blocks were at a relatively higher level of completion (as estimated by the Stendal NPP management).

7) VVER 1000 Generic Problems: The original VVER 1000 has a number of technical problems, many relating to the small reactor vessel (4.5 m), which will likely lead to accelerated aging and maintenance problems. CEZ has also claimed that Temelin will follow peak, rather than simply be base load (Temelin and Dukovany NPP combined represent about 25% of the total capacity of the CR).The containment is sub-western standard and will not be upgraded. Problems of Xenon flux and negative temperature coefficient should be dealt with by WH. There may be problems with the Emergency Core Cooling System (ECCS).

Environmental arguments

1) No Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA): The US requires an EIA for all the international development banks (and agencies) it works with (WB, IMF, US AID, EBRD, etc.), but ExIm bank is exempt because it is not a development bank. This loophole will likely be closed after Temelin. [For CR govt position on an EIA for Temelin see political argument 3)]. ExIm contends that sufficient environmental reviews have been completed [ExIm press release on Temelin]. Much of the environmental analysis for Temelin predates the revolution, and almost none of it was conducted by organisations independent of the CEZ or the government.

2) Effect on N. Bohemia: ExIm and CEZ claim Temelin will be a net environmental gain, by permitting CEZ to phase out N. Bohemia coal fired stations [See ExIm press release]. CEZ is required by CR law to clean up or close down all N. Bohemian coal stations by 1996 (this has not happened). 800 MW of installed capacity is planned to be phased out [The Min of Industry/Economy report to govt] when Temelin goes on line. The actual situation is a bit different, Temelinīs consumption of scarce loan guarantees [See Economic Argument 6)] is halting two WB loans to directly improve the N. Bohemian environment. WB Energy II would add pollution controls to three large lignite stations and convert 3 others to fluid bed combustion (US$200 million). WB CR Environment would help reclaim strip mined properties and provide environmental technical assistance (US$ 150 million). Last year N. Bohemian lignite stations (and Dukovany) generated 1.2 billion DM for CEZ. More than half of this money went into Temelin construction.

3) No Radwaste Solution: Contrary to ExIm statements the radwaste storage problem in the CR is acute. CR used to send its Dukovany waste to Russia and Slovakia. Now spent fuel storage at Dukovany is being more densely packed (original capacity was reached in April 1994 - see TIS Nos 2 and 3) and the government's very preliminary work on central off-site storage, which was recently announced, has met with fierce local opposition. The 3 sites in advanced consideration in the ExIm document are in truth 20 sites in very preliminary consideration. No intermediate or low level waste storage plans have been announced.

4) CEZ Environmental Record at Dukovany: Especially in the early years, Dukovany had a very high number of fires, basically monthly. It still has enough emergency shutdowns and power blockages to classify as an NRC problem plant, were it in the US. Dukovany also is releasing increasing quantities of both radioactive and conventional toxins into the air, water and soil surrounding the plant. By CEZ's own admission, they are nearing the CR legislated release limits for radioactive materials. Independent monitoring of Dukovany radioactive pollution has just started.

5) Discourages Energy Efficiency and Conservation: CEZ is using the currently subsidised electricity rates to try to convince Czechs to switch to electric heating (highly fuel inefficient). Although CEZ has announced rate increases for electricity of over 100% for the coming 18 months. CEZ has commissioned its own study (by Ontario Hydro) of energy efficiency in the CR (having been unsatisfied with the results of Tractebel). With the highly restrictive assumptions used, only 300 MW capacity can be saved in the next 5 years(almost all other studies show many times this capacity).

6) Untapped renewable resources: Before WWII, over 17,000 micro hydro power plants produced 400 MW (with current technology these facilities are estimated to be able to produce 800 MW). There are now fewer than 200 of these plants operating. CEZ has recently put up a single symbolic windmill with 300 KW capacity, this was built by a vendor with a very poor record and the plant is not yet functioning. Renewable energy analysts estimate the CRs economic wind potential at 1000 MW.


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