| Sustainable Energy News. - No. 15 November 1996 |
In a surprise announcement on October 3, the Dutch Board of Electricity Producers (SEP, the highest electricity board) announced that the closure of the 27-year-old, 50-MW Dodewaard nuclear reactor is slated for March 1997 instead of for the year 2004 as originally planned. From this date, the Netherlands will only have one nuclear reactor operating.
This decision was welcomed by many. Even the Minister of Environment De Boer praised the decision. Wijers the Minister of Economic Affairs, said, "Such a decision is only logical, taking into account the political and social forecasts for nuclear power." The decision has widely been interpreted as a victory for, and a result of, the long-standing anti-nuclear resistance.
Since 1980, the plant has been the symbol of resistance against nuclear energy in the Netherlands. A large number of demonstrations and blockades have taken place around the reactor.
On November 2, a celebration party in front of the reactor took place. Preparations are made for a larger gathering in March when the reactor is finally closed.
More information. LAKA Foundation, Ketelhuisplein 43, 1054 RD Amsterdam, Holland Ph: +31-20-6168294, fax:+31-20- 6892179,
The European Union (EU) directive on electricity markes will probably be formally approved at the EU Energy Ministers' Council on December 3 of this year. It is currently the subject of a hearing in the EU Parliament, to which NGOs, including EUROSOLAR and the INFORSE member APERE, have given some input. One of the NGO proposals suggests more favorable conditions for renewable energy producers who can feed electricity into the grid.
Following the EU Commission's White Paper on Energy, the Commission is developing a new strategy for renewable energy to replace the current ALTENER programme, which ends by the end of 1997.
A new set of guidelines for the Trans-European Energy-Networks (TENs) is being drafted. The new list of proposals will probably include a project for developing the natural gas connections between Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Russia, and the Baltic States.
On December 8, 1996, the population in the Kos~aoma District of Russia will have a chance to vote on whether or not they want a nuclear power plant (NPP) constructed in their region. A local environmental group, "In the Name of Life," has collected enough signature on the issue to call for a referendum. The question that the people will be asked is: "Do you agree with the siting and construction of the nuclear power plant in the Kostroma district?"
This is the first regional referendum of its kind in Russia, and as such is an historic test case. If successful, it could begin a series of similar referendums around the country, which could block the future development of nuclear power stations in Russia.
According to the Kostroma Energy Efficiency Fund the energy-saving potential of the regions is 20%, equal to 3 million KWh of power supply. The proposed NPP would provide 2 million KWh. The investment in the energy-saving is smaller and also more profitable than it is in an NPP. More information: Eduard Gismatullin, Greenpeace Russia, Moscow.
Ph/fax: + 7-095-9783173/-2519088 email: email@example.com.
New NGO Groups for Environment for Europe
At the recent NGO meeting Towards Sustainability in Europe; ECOs Cooperation from Sofia to Aarhus, in the NGO activity around the Environmental Ministers' Conference in Sofia, 1995 was evaluated, and new groups were formed to follow the next steps of the "Environment for Europe-process leading up to the Environmental Ministers' Conference in Aarhus, 1998.
The new NGO issue groups are:
· A group on public participation. It will follow on going negotiations towards a European Convention on Public Participation in Environrnental Decision-making.
· A biodiversity group to follow the European Biodiversity Strategy.
· A group to follow the work on the Environmental Action Plans For
the Central And Eastern European Countries.
· An energy and climate group.
· A traffic group.
· A group on consumption issues.
· An Agenda -21 group.
· A A group economic instruments to reduce environmental problems.
Energy & Climate Group
The 'Energy and Climate Group' will follow the development of the European Energy Conservation Strategy and other energy issues of the Environment for Europe Process. Presently, the group consists of eight NGO representatives. The coordinators are Gunnar Boye Olesen of INFORSE - Europe and Toni Vidan of Green Action Zagreb. The group is open to interested NGO representatives, and will primarily communicate via an e-mail list.
More information: INFORSE- Europe.