Notice of Transboundary Environmental Impact Assessment Public Consultation - Project Doel 1 & 2 Nuclear Power Plants, Belgium

Opendate_range28 Apr, 2021, 9:00am - 23 Jun, 2021, 5:00pm

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Transboundary Environmental Impact Assessment Public Consultation
Wednesday 28 April to Wednesday 23 June 2021

Decision on the extension of the operational life of the Doel 1 & 2 Nuclear Power; Plants, located near the Port of Antwerp, Belgium

Why is this consultation being undertaken?

Decision on the extension of the operational life of the Doel 1 & 2 Nuclear Power Plants, located
near the Port of Antwerp, Belgium.

In accordance with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context (the Espoo Convention) and Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (the Aarhus Convention), the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage received notification from the Belgian Minister for Energy, Environment and Sustainable Development, of the intended extension of the operational life of the Doel 1 & 2 nuclear power plants (NPPs) and the associated nuclear safety-related improvement works, inviting Ireland to participate in transboundary public consultation.


Doel 1 & 2 are two of Belgium’s seven nuclear power plants, and both have been in operation since 1975. In 2003, the Belgian Government passed a law stipulating that all nuclear power plants would be decommissioned 40 years after their industrial commissioning, meaning that Doel 1 & 2 were scheduled to cease operations in 2015. A subsequent law was passed in 2015 that extended the operational life of Doel 1 & 2 by 10 years, from 2015 to 2025. A ruling1 in the Court  of Justice of the European Union determined that the decision by Belgian authorities to extend the operational life of  the NPPs constituted a ‘project’ within the meaning of the EIA Directive (Directive 2011/92/EU), thus requiring that an environmental impact assessment take place, along with the associated transboundary consultation.


For practical reasons, Belgian authorities decided to prepare two separate Environmental Impact Reports (EIRs), but  have advised that they will need to be evaluated in conjunction. One report relates solely to the decision to extend the operational life of Doel 1 & 2. The second report concerns the nuclear safety-related improvement works which includes the construction of three new buildings on the site:
•      Two buildings for hosting the Containment Filtered Venting System of the nuclear plant;
•     One building housing the new fire extinguisher pump station.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as the appropriate body in Ireland with expertise on radiation policy, advised that Ireland should accept the invitation from Belgium to participate in the transboundary consultation because although Ireland is outside the 300km range set by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in its Ingestion and Commodities Planning Distance (ICPD) modelling, Ireland is within the 1,000km range set as Zone 1 for emergency response purposes by the IAEA. Zone 1 States are considered more likely to be affected and so direct liaison is established with these States by the IAEA in the event of an emergency.

A member of the public may make a written submission or observation in relation to the potential transboundary environmental effects of the project, by sending them to the Planning Authority, to be received by 5pm on Wednesday 23 June 2021. 

Submissions or observations should not be made to the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage.

Contact details for each planning authority are set out in the public consultation notice, which is available to view in the public consultation section of the website of the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage at www.gov.ie/housing.

The following information will also be available for viewing on the DHLGH consultation webpage at the following location www.gov.ie/housing.

Notifications received from Belgian authorities, digital copies of the environmental documentation provided by Belgium to facilitate this public consultation, that includes ;

  • Report on the justified safe continued operation of Doel 1& 2,
  • Environmental Screening report by the Federal Agency for Nuclear Control (FANC), Environmental
  • Impact Report
  • Extended Executive Summary concerning the nuclear safety-related improvement works, Non-Technical
  • Summary of the Environmental Impact Report concerning the decision to extend the operational life of

          Doel 1 & 2, EPA advice on the FANC screening report .

The public consultation notice together with a printed copy of the documents referenced above which will be available for inspection, or purchase at a fee not exceeding the reasonable cost of making a copy, during office hours at the office of the Planning Authority from Wednesday 28 April 2021 until 23rd June 2021 5pm. 

Due to social distancing measures introduced in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, viewing is currently by appointment only.  

In the interests of transparency, it should be noted that, following consultation with the Minister
for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, each planning authority will forward all submissions or
observations it receives through this public consultation to the Belgian Minister for Energy,
Environment and Sustainable Development and may also forward  a summary of the submissions or
observations to the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage.

Submissions or observations received, or a summary of same, may be published on the website of the Belgian Minister of Energy, Environment and Sustainable Development. The Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage will not publish any submissions or observations or summary of same.
1Case C-411/17. 

Contact details for submissions or observations

Planning Authority

Address

Consultation Portal Web Address

Phone Number

Westmeath

Planning Section

Westmeath County Council
Áras an Chontae
Mount Street
Mullingar
Co. Westmeath
N91 FH4N

https://consult.westmeathcoco.ie/en/

044 9332165

Making submissions or observations

A submission or observation in relation to the potential transboundary environmental consultation made in writing or electronically via the Public Consultation portal.  All submissions or observations must –

  1. be titled “Transboundary environmental public consultation – Doel 1 & 2 Nuclear Power Plants
  2. include the name and address of the person, authority or body making the submission or observations and the name of the person, if any, acting on behalf of that person, authority or body, and;
  3. include reasons, considerations and arguments on which the submission or observations is based.

 

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