Wednesday, October 03, 2012

EU bureaucrats' new strategy to close Czech nuclear power plant

Somewhat off-topic: Fred Singer has pointed out that Martin Fleischmann, a co-father of problematic cold fusion claims, died a month ago. RIP (although I don't believe that fusion can be cold). He was born in Czechia.
The Czech Republic whose population is, according to surveys, the most pro-nuclear-energy nation in the world is producing about 1/3 of electricity in nuclear power plants. Plans to move this figure closer to 1/2 are underway.

One is located in Dukovany (Southeast of the country) and produces about 13.4 TWh per year. A newer one, one in Temelín (South/Southwest of the country) produces 11.4 TWh per year.

Temelín – with its combined Russian-American design – was opened after the fall of communism, in 2002 (although the construction began in 1981), and it was a frequent target of attacks by the Austrian Luddite activists. However, Dukovany (constructed started 1974, opened in 1985-1987) which has apparently invited almost no opposition just came under a vicious assault by the EU bureaucrats.

The nuclear power plants are classified as safe in every meritocratic evaluation; the latest one appeared today. Many experts agree that Dukovany with its VVER-440 is one of the safest nuclear power plants in Europe.

Just an hour ago, the Czech media informed about a stunning development in the EU headquarters:
Brussels is going after the neck of [trying to close] Dukovany: because of Russian uranium (autom. translation,

ČEZ [the utility running the power plants] faces pressure to close Dukovany due to the uranium from Russia (autom. translation,

Reuters press digest
We are learning that the Europeans are not allowed to buy uranium enriched outside of the EU due to some strange paragraph agreed upon at the 1994 EU Corfu Summit (island in Greece). Holy cow. How many shocking ghosts of this magnitude does the EU have? We weren't members of the EU at that time and the citizens who were deciding about our EU membership in a referendum were not told that "Yes" could mean that some stunning assholes could get a weapon to close our nuclear power plants because of some silly sentence okayed by some drunk and corrupt jerks at an island belonging to a country that shouldn't have been in the EU at all. If this information were the case, I would consider the referendum to be fraudulent.

Moreover, ČEZ argues that it had signed the contracts about the purchase of the uranium with the Russians before we entered the EU – and this contract was approved by the ESA Euroatom's Supply Agency. Let's assume that at least the legality of this contract will be respected by the EU assholes. However, this contract only lasts through 2018 and although both sides are ready to sign a new contract that de facto extends the current one beyond 2018, the EU assholes could see a new opportunity to stop the purchase. They are already trying to create problems by saying that Finland which has a power plant (Loviisa) in a similar situation did manage to get an exemption – and we may just "fail" to get it because the anointed ones are no longer in a good nuclear mood.

I find the restriction on the nuclear suppliers to be an unbelievable violation of the basic rules of the free markets and economic freedom of the countries in general. Note that the Corfu Agreement I have never heard of bans not only Russian nuclear fuel but also, for example, the American one. By this declaration, the EU is trying to present itself as the world's self-sufficient and ultimate dominant leader in nuclear technologies which it's surely not. Europe just can't afford similar bans of business relationships with the world, especially when it comes to hi-tech industries in which it is arguably not the world's #1.

How many time bombs of this sort are there in the impenetrable laws and treaties that the EU has managed to sign at various random islands over the decades? I find it scary. Only if an interested citizen such as myself had the capacity to read a summary of all these contracts, I would view them as legitimate. If the European Commission is really serious about pushing this insanity, I want my country to leave the EU. It's not just about the billions of dollars per year that the EU wants to steal from a major Czech company – one that is clearly too big and too important to fail. It's about our right to provide ourselves with the basic needs for modern life such as electricity.


  1. Really strange. Hungary also has 4 vver 440 reactors and as far as I know we also buy fuel from Russia. I have not heard any objections to it from the EU. Though I better not give any ideas to parasitic bureaucrats in Brussels.

  2. Very interesting. Don't you still have some better-than-standard relationships in these matters with Austria from the times of Austria-Hungary? ;-)

    (Or is it some shared fate from the Second World War and its resolution?)
    We were in the same empire, just didn't appear in the name for technical reasons.

  3. Austrian demonstrations against Hungarian nuclear reactors were indeed milder than against Czech ones. I do not exactly know the reason for it though. I doubt your second world war explanation - Austria ended at the better side of the curtain after all, and I have hardly ever heard any Austrian express feelings of solidarity regarding the second world war.
    Maybe they just forgot we have the same type of reactors. Or the more likely explanation: Hungarian politicians provide abundant opportunity for criticism so it is just not necessary to bring up more obscure issues to bully us. The proposed new regulation regarding poultry slaughter is the current issue we find rather unfriendly from the EU...

  4. Your reasons are possible.

    Maybe I am too paranoic. Hungary only runs the Paks plant now, right? It's 200 km from Austria.

    Temelin is 50 km and Dukovany is 30 km from Austria.

  5. Yes, only 4 reactors in Paks. It is more or less in the middle of the country. And westerly winds are dominant in Hungary, so even that diminishes the chance of polluting Austria.

  6. Oh, I forgot the two research reactors in Budapest.

  7. How does the uranium get there? What happens if Czech just ignores the order?

  8. the guy from rhinocerosOct 4, 2012, 6:33:00 AM

    Dear Lubos,
    Below is a link to a relevant article.
    It is kinda scary when public policy is based more on Science as established by Hollywood (The China Syndrome, Al-Gore) than on scientific research. Between you and me, do you think that the EU bureaucrats will descend into the same lunatic condition as the American EPA and declare CO2 a health hazard and pollutant?

    ...Now it is official. There is a general perception that birth defects among the population in the high level natural radiation areas of Kerala are more than those in areas of normal background radiation. Scientists from the Departent of Paediatrics, Victoria Hospital, Kollam, Directorate of Health Services, Government of Kerala and the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai have demonstrated that there is no scientific basis for this perception.
    In an extensive study published in Journal of Community Genetics, the authors showed that there are no excess stillbirths or birth defects among the newborns in the high level natural radiation areas (HLNRA) of Kerala.

  9. Hi, I suppose the uranium gets here through railways via Ukraine and Slovakia, the same route on which Czechoslovakia realized most of its international trade just 25 years ago.

    What happens if Czechia ignores the "order"? In the past decades, this situation was known as the "reality" and if it is going to continue, it will mean that we will retain our basic freedom and sovereignty against the EU Nazis and scum like you. Thank you.

  10. The radiation research is interesting.

    Concerning EU officials, haven't they already done so long before the EPA? EPA is silly but I still believe that in this silliness, America is just a follower of the primary nutcases who mostly reside in Europe.

  11. like manufacturers of printers suggest to use original ink cartridges, the manufacturers of nuclear reactors suggest to use original fuel. But the latter really have a good reason for that :) Ukraine for political reasons has recently tried to transfer their VVER-1000's to American fuel from Westinghouse, ignoring protests of Russian institutions who constructed the reactors. And there is information that this experiment ended bad, with serious safety problems. So, if EU wants to do some nuclear experiments, they can try :)

  12. the guy from rhinocerosOct 4, 2012, 8:42:00 AM

    Ah, indeed the Waning of Empire! So, dear Lubos, you feel that America has passed the baton in primary nutcases to Old Europe. After having viewed Rem Koolhaus's exhibitionistic and vacuous tribute to the European Union, or perhaps more aptly styled, Experiment, I must admit you well may have the point. Do you know what medical label could describe the syndrome of megalomania, delusional paranoia, compulsive regulatory over-reach, and overwhelming incompetence? Might it be Brussels sprouts?

  13. the guy from rhinocerosOct 4, 2012, 8:46:00 AM

    Dear Lubos, Off subject again. Have you seen 'the relativistic baseball'? I truly think you'd enjoy it:
    If you are interested, I'll share my solution to avoid the penalty prescribed by Baseball Rule 608(b)

  14. Very true. Even if someone were trying to emulate the Russian fuel, I wouldn't trust him. There may be so many details that go wrong and that the Russians keep deliberately classified, or they're only known to some obscure Russian experts who never wrote their knowledge too clearly.

    The results may be similar to the Turkish counterfeited iPhones

    except that the safety consequences may be more dramatic.

  15. the guy from rhinocerosOct 5, 2012, 8:37:00 AM

    Sadly, an example of Malaysian activists aspiring to ape First World Environmentalism: and obtain political power by blocking development and prosperity.
    There is a generic term, Folk Marxism, that possesses some conceptual utility.

  16. I especially like the bit about EU taking over the leadership role in the world, especially after reading some good advice that Gunther Oettinger has been trying to give the collegues. From Benny GWPF:-
    The former Prime Minister of Baden-Württemberg asked, incidentally, if the European military was prepared for a future without U.S. “Rifle associations and fire bridges are stronger than the German army”,

  17. the guy from rhinocerosNov 9, 2012, 12:41:00 AM

    Sadly, an example of Malaysian activists aspiring to ape First World Environmentalism: and obtain political power by blocking development and prosperity.
    There is a generic term, Folk Marxism, that possesses some conceptual utility.