28 Jan 2021, 13:48
Julian Wettengel

German government concerned about Polish plans for new nuclear power plants

RND / Biznes Alert / Clean Energy Wire

Germany’s environment ministry is concerned about the possible effects of Polish nuclear energy plans and calls for intensive consultations among the governments, reports Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland (RND). The ministry wants to gain access to all details of the project, such as the planned reactor types and safety precautions, and has notified the Espoo committee about its concerns, writes RND. The Espoo Convention lays down the obligation of states to notify and consult each other on major projects that are likely to have a significant adverse environmental impact across borders. “We cannot exclude that Germany is affected by the Polish energy plans,” said Jochen Flasbarth, state secretary in the environment ministry. The German government will respect Poland's sovereignty over its energy and environmental policy and will only request consultations where Germany sees itself affected, Flasbarth said.
A study commissioned by the Greens’ group in German parliament, seen by Clean Energy Wire, says that the planned plant at the Baltic Sea would – in the event of a hypothetical major accident –constitute a potential source of radioactive transboundary pollution for many European neighbours, including Germany. Meteorological simulations indicated that victims outside Poland – mainly hit by radio-induced cancer and non-cancer diseases – would likely exceed the number of cases in Poland itself.
The Polish government criticised the study and said Germany has been included all along, especially in an environmental impact assessment of the plans, reports Biznes Alert. “Poland attaches great importance to cross-border consultations,” the climate ministry told the outlet.

Poland is considering the construction of one or two nuclear power plants at the Baltic Sea, writes RND. This is part of a larger plan to enter nuclear energy to replace climate-harmful energy like coal power stations. It is unclear whether the country will go through with the plans. Germany is set to close its last nuclear power plant by the end of 2022.

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