Grasshopper no 5, Winter '94


NGO Action Needed to Stop Precedent Setting Decision of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to Support the Mochovce Nuclear Power Plant

In the coming weeks the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will make a decision about funding for the completion of the Mochovce Nuclear Power Plant in Slovakia. This decision will dramatically affect the future of nuclear power and energy policy in Central and Eastern Europe. Funding for this project will enable completion of a dangerous soviet designed nuclear reactor. Lower cost energy efficiency projects and alternative energy sources exist in Slovakia and instead need the support of the EBRD. The actions of environmental NGOs can ensure that the EBRD does not fund the completion of Mochovce and supports instead existing energy efficiency alternatives.

Located one hundred and twenty kilometers east from Bratislava, Mochovce is a partially built VVER 440-213 reactor whose construction was halted in 1991 because of a lack of funds. The Slovensky Energeticky Podnik (SEP) and a consortium of western firms, headed by Electricite de France (EdF), have formed a joint venture company to complete two of the four reactors. To complete the reactors, however, the companies need about $850 million from the EBRD and Euratom as well as other western banks. The EBRD was established to help facilitate the economic transition in Central and Eastern Europe and is committed to "promote in the full range of its activities environmentally sound and sustainable development." On December 8, 1994 an official public participation process begins that will allow all environmentalists and people concerned about the expansion of nuclear power and the need for alternative energy strategies to present their comments about the project. A project description, information on planned safety improvements, an economic study of the project and alternatives, and an Environmental Impact Assessment of the project will be available from SEP, in Slovakian Embassies in Budapest, Warsaw, Vienna, Prague, Kiev and at 5 locations in Slovakia.

Environmentalists in Slovakia, Poland, Hungary; Austria have been active for months in opposing EBRD funding for the project and promoting instead the available energy efficiency options and alternatives to Mochovce. The completion of Mochovce can only be achieved with the support of western partners and founders. Your help is needed in the effort to stop the wasteful funding for this dangerous and inappropriate project.

What can you do?

Write to both the President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and Slovensky Energeticky Podnik to express your opinion about the project. A sample letter is attached with the necessary addresses.

Lobby the EBRD director for your country. The EBRD is composed of directors representing each member country. A letter to the director from your country opposing the project will have. a powerful influence in expanding the opposition to the project. The address for the director is the same as the president.

Lobby the government department responsible for EBRD director for your country. Each country has an Ministry to which the EBRD director must report. Lobbying of the Ministry responsible for the EBRD director (usually the finance Ministry) will help ensure that the director opposes the project.

Encourage other NGOs in your country to join the international effort to stop this project.

Encourage media in your country to write stories about the project.

A sample letter to the EBRD

President Jacques de Larosiere
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
One Exchange Square
EC 2A 2EH London
Great Britain

Dear Mr. de Larosiere

We are writing to inform you of our concern about possible financing by the EBRD of the Mochovce Nuclear Power Plant in Slovakia.

As the nuclear accident at Chernobyl demonstrated, the dangers of nuclear accidents are not confined to the country in which they occur. Completion of the Soviet designed reactor at Mochovce presents direct danger to the people of my country. In addition to our concerns about safety, we believe that the use of international funds, for completion of this reactor is inappropriate given that energy saving and other alternative energy options are available and cheaper for Slovakia.

We sincerely hope that the EBRD rejects funding of this nuclear power plant and works instead to ensure the energy needs of the people are realized through assistance in developing energy savings potential and lower risk and lower cost energy options.

Yours Sincerely,

Name and Organization

The address for Slovensky Energeticky Podnik is:

Karol Bodorik, SEP
Hranicna 12
827 36 Bratislava

Slovakian and international environmental NGOs are working together to stop this project. If you require more information or ideas on what you can do to stop this project please contact:

Philip Weller Global 2000
Flurschutzstrasse 13 1120 Vienna
Tel.: 43/1/812 57 30
Fax: 43/1/812 57 28

Lubica Trubiniova
Greenpeace (Bratislava)
P.O. Box
814 99 Bratislava 1 , Slovakia
Tel. and Fax: 42/7/313 968

Tomas Kolenka
Children of the Earth Andrejay Hlinku 11 96001 Zvolen, Slovakia
Tel.: 0042/855/24178
Fax: 0042/855/20027

The Mochovce decision is an important precedent. Please do all you can. Thank you.

In Poland contact:

Polish Ecological Club
"EJ Mochovce"
ul. Piłusudskiego 8, 31-109 Kraków

Green Federation - Cracow Group
"EJ Mochovce"
ul. Sławkowska 12, 31-014 Kraków

Grasshopper no 5, Winter '94 | Contents