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Frequently Asked Questions

 

 

What decision-making processes can the public participate in?

The public can be involved in taking the following key decisions in the field of nuclear energy:

- evaluation of the nuclear facility construction site assessment report;

- issuance of licences:

-for construction and operation of nuclear facilities;
-for decommissioning of the nuclear facility;
-for supervision of a closed radioactive waste repository (or repositories);

- issuance of permits:

-for first delivery of nuclear fuel to the site of a nuclear power plant, nuclear power plant unit or a research nuclear reactor (when this permit is issued to the holders of a joint license for the construction and operation of a nuclear power facility (facilities));

 

-for first delivery of nuclear or nuclear fuel cycle materials to the site of a nuclear facility, except for a nuclear power plant unit and a research nuclear reactor; for the first test while using nuclear and/or nuclear fuel cycle materials (so-called hot tests) in these nuclear facilities (when this permit is issued to the holders of a joint license for construction and operation of a nuclear power facility (facilities).

All decisions are referred to in Article 39¹ of the Law on Nuclear Safety.

The public can participate in the decision-making processes of the aforementioned decisions as of October 2017, after coming into force of Amendment of the Law on Nuclear Safety, transposing the COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 2014/87/EURATOM of 8 July 2014 amending Directive 2009/71/Euratom establishing a Community framework for the nuclear safety of nuclear installations (Amendment of the Nuclear Safety Directive), and Nuclear Safety Requirements BSR-1.1.5-2017 „Rules of Procedure for Public Participation in Decision-making in the Area of Nuclear Energy“.

How can the public participate in the decision-making process?

Public participation in decision-making in the field of nuclear energy is divided into the following stages/steps:

1) VATESI and the economic entity inform the public about the initiation of the decision-making process (e.g., regarding a license to construct or operate a radioactive waste repository, to decommission a radioactive waste storage facility or a nuclear power plant);

2) the public access the documents necessary for making the specified decisions and submit their comments, information, analyses or proposals regarding these documents to the economic entity in writing by a requested manner;

3) the public access the draft decisions of VATESI and submit their comments, information, analyses or proposals regarding the specified draft decisions in writing in the manner specified by VATESI.

In the case of a large number of proposals, in order to provide the public with more efficient and expeditious access to information, economic entity or VATESI can organize a public deliberation (optional) of the documents required for the decision-making submitted by economic entity or final drafts of the VATESI decisions.

Public participation in decision-making process sheme

Time limits for accessing the documents and submitting proposals

The public have the right to access the documents necessary for taking specified decisions and submit proposals to the economic entity within 1 month after informing about the start of process and when the documents are submitted according to a schedule – within 1 month after informing about the submission of the documents to VATESI.

Within 20 business days of receiving the proposals regarding documents necessary for taking referred decisions the economic entity shall inform the persons who submitted proposals in writing about the assessment of the proposals and about the reasons for not taking the proposals into account or for taking them into account only to a certain extent. The economic entity shall provide this information to each person who submitted the proposal or shall publish the information on the internet.

Public can access the draft decisions and submit proposals to VATESI in writing within 2 months on the evaluation of the nuclear facility construction site assessment report and issuance of licenses and within 1 month on issuance of permits (all are specified in question 1).

Information about the assessment of submitted proposals regarding draft decision and responses to it shall be published together with the final decision on the VATESI website.

 

What is the public deliberation?

A public deliberation is not mandatory, but it can be organized when there are many proposals in order to give the public more efficient and faster access to information related to the specified decisions.

Such deliberation may be organized on the initiative of the economic entity (regarding the documents required for making decisions) or VATESI (regarding the final drafts of decisions) before making the final decision. During the public deliberation, organizers present the content of the documents, the received proposals, discuss and explain why and which proposals will not be taken into account, and additional proposals are heard.

Time Limits for Decision Making

VATESI shall make referred decisions within these time limits:

- decision on the evaluation of the nuclear facility construction site assessment report – not later than within 12 months from the date of receipt of all duly executed documents. This time limit may be extended once for a further period of not more than 30 days;

- decision on issuance of licenses for construction, operation and decommissioning of nuclear facilities specified in question 1 – not later than within 24 months;

- decision on issuance a licence for supervision of a closed radioactive waste repository (or repositories) – within 12 months;

- decision on issuance of permits specified in question 1 – within 4 months from the date of receipt of all duly executed documents. This time limit may be extended once for a further period of not more than 30 days.


 

Updated: 2020-04-17