Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Greenpeace wins Romania nuclear plant case

(AFP)

BUCHAREST — Environmental group Greenpeace won a court case in Romania on Monday that could force the authorities there to make public a list of potential locations for the construction of a nuclear power plant.

The economy ministry must "communicate the requested information to the claimant," a ruling published on the Bucharest court's website said.

The ministry is to pay penalties if it does not obey the ruling but can appeal against the court's decision.

Greenpeace had applied to the court after asking the ministry in vain for a list of the 100 locations under review for the construction of Romania's second nuclear plant, which is expected to start after 2020.

"The ministry's refusal to make public the list of potential sites.... is a serious violation of the Constitution", Greenpeace said in a press release.

It stressed the need for transparency "considering the major impact on the environment" of this project.

The economy ministry declined to comment after the ruling.

Romania intends to build a second plant on top of its existing one in Cernavoda in the southeast in order to ensure energy independence.

In September, Pompiliu Budulan, the manager of the Nuclearelectrica company, said the site will be chosen in early 2010.

Three locations are currently under review, Alexandru Sandulescu, director of energy policy at the economy ministry told AFP then.

"The name of the location will not be made public immediately after the decision has been taken in order to prevent property speculation and protests" from environmental activists, he added.

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