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Berlin wants to have a say in plans to build a nuclear power plant in Poland

The German government is seeking the right for German citizens to vote on the plant if it could contaminate the areas they live in

editor: REMIX NEWS
author: Filary Biznesu/Deutsche Welle

According to Germany’s RND media, the German Ministry for the Environment has filed a notice to the Espoo Convention concerning the possibility that the power plant may affect Germany. This was confirmed by the ministry’s Secretary of State Jochen Flasbarth. He said that the Ministry of the Economy in Berlin was consulted regarding the notice.

The Espoo Convention is an international agreement that obliges countries to evaluate the effects of different projects on the natural environments of neighboring countries. The convention’s regulations have applied to Poland since 1997.

Flasbarth added that the attempt to gain the right to vote for German citizens may also concern other elements of the Polish energy strategy for 2040. He stated, however, that the German government will respect Poland’s right to decide about its own energy and environmental policy. Germany will file a request to negotiate only in the cases in which Germany feels affected by some of the projects. One of these will be the nuclear power plant.

German press stated that the Ministry for the Environment wants to have insight into the details of the project, including information about the kinds of reactors being used and security measures being taken.

German journalists pointed out that upon filing the power plant’s construction plan with Espoo, Warsaw was convinced that it would not affect neighboring countries.

Germany believes differently.

The German Ministry for the Environment bases its concerns on an expert document from the Greens in the Bundestag, which was prepared by specialists on nuclear energy and environmental protection.

According to the document, in the case of a catastrophe at the Polish nuclear power plant, Germany could be radioactively contaminated  — even more so than Poland. This would depend on the weather conditions on the day of the catastrophe. In the worst-case scenario, 1.8 million Germans could have to be evacuated for a year.

The next step the German government must take to gain the right to vote for their citizens and insight into the project is to convey appropriate information to the Polish government.

The aim is to make it so that every German citizen or German organizations will have a right to file official questions and their reservations to Polish institutions.