1) What is the environmental impact assessment, and what steps is it composed of?
The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is one of the tools of the environmental policy for the provision of the sustainable development. The environmental impact assessment is given by the Act No. 24/2006 on Environmental Impact Assessment. The purpose of such assessment is to provide the complex identification, description and assessment of the supposed environmental impacts of the proposed activity, i.e. the project of the new nuclear power plant in the Jaslovské Bohunice site.
The EIA process includes the comparison of the impact of the proposed activity with the existing status of the environment in the area of this activity performance as well in the area of its supposed impact. The EIA process is regulated by the Act No. 24/2006 Coll. on Environmental Impact Assessment, as later amended. This act provides the full compatibility with the legislation of the European Union as well as with international agreements binding for the Slovak republic.
The performance of the assessment is composed of several steps: Elaboration of the Preliminary Study and its commenting; determination of the scope of the assessment and time schedule of the subsequent assessment; elaboration of the Assessment Report and its commenting; public hearing; elaboration of the expert opinion and issue of the final standpoint. This specified process results in the expert basis to issue the decision on permitting the activity under special regulations.
2) Who are the participants in the process?
• Competent Authority is a body of the state administration fulfilling the obligation in the area of the environmental impact assessment (it controls and organizes the whole process of the assessment and elaborates the Final Statement in cooperation with health protection authority). The competent authority is the Ministry of Environment of the Slovak Republic (hereinafter only as “the Ministry”), District Office of Environment in the corresponding region (hereinafter only as “District Office”), It is the Ministry of the Environment of the Slovak Republic (hereinafter referred to as the Ministry), the district environmental office in the seat of the region (hereinafter referred to as the district office),
• Customer is a legal or physical entity intending to perform the activity which is to be assessed pursuant to the Act,
• Department Authority is the authority of the state administration to the competence of which the proposed activity belongs,
• Licensing Authority is the municipality or the body of the state administration competent for the issuing of the decision on permitting the proposed activity pursuant to special regulations,
• Concerned Body is a body of the public administration whose appointment; standpoint or expression issued pursuant to special regulations condition the permission of the proposed activity,
• Community Concerned is the community in the cadastral area of which the proposed activity is to be performed as well as the community which could be impacted by the proposed activity,
• Public in the most extended sense is one or more physical persons or legal entities, the corporations, organizations or groups,
• Engaged Public is the public, which has interest or may have interest in the procedures of the environmental decisions (citizens’ initiative; citizens association, nongovernmental organizations)
• Qualified Person is a physical or legal entity registered in the list of qualified persons for the environmental impact assessment,
• Other participants are experts from the different areas of science, technology and practice.
3) What is the PRELIMINARY STUDY and what is the purpose of it?
The PLAN is the first document processed in the process of assessing the environmental impacts of the proposed activity pursuant to Act No. 24/2006 Coll. on environmental impact assessment as amended. Its purpose is to provide, in accordance with the law, in particular the basic characteristics of the proposed activity, basic data on the current state of the environment of the area where the activity is to be carried out, as well as on the state of the area that will be affected by the proposed activity. The purpose of the PRELIMINARY STUDY is not to give detailed or comprehensive information on environmental impacts of the proposed activity but to present the proposed activity; concerned area; the status of the environment in the concerned area and to identify the potential impacts of this activity to the environment and human health, including the cumulative and synergic impacts
The PRELIMINARY STUDY provides basic data on the supposed impacts of the proposed activity; the basic assessment of the variants of the proposed activity (if the variant solution is not excluded) . The PRELIMINARY STUDY also provides proposals for the exclusion or mitigation of negative impacts of the proposed activity in the stages of its construction, operation and operation termination.
The detailed assessment of the impacts of the proposed activity to the environment and public health is provided in the Assessment Report of the proposed activity.
The elaboration of the Environmental Impact Assessment Report of the NPP is directly related to the GOAL submitted on 5. 3. 2014 to the Ministry of the Environment of the Slovak Republic, which subsequently on 29. 5. 2014 published the required RANGE OF EVALUATION of the proposed activity determined pursuant to Section 30 of Act No. 24/2006 Coll. on environmental impact assessment.
The SCOPE OF THE ASSESSMENT is available in the electronic form in the web portal of the Ministry www.enviroportal.sk on the address http://enviroportal.sk/sk/eia/detail/novy-jadrovy-zdroj-v-lokalite-jaslovske-bohunice or in our web portal on the address http://www.jess.sk/sk/home/o-spolocnosti/dokumenty.
4) What is the REPORT and what is the purpose of it?
The EIA REPORT is a detailed searching document containing the detailed assessment of the impacts of the new nuclear power plant to individual components of the environment and to the health of the population on the basis of the performed detailed analyzes. The content and the structure of the ASSESSMENT REPORT of the proposed activity is defined in the Attachment No. 11 of the Act No. 24/2006 Coll. The content and structure of the REPORT on the assessment of the proposed activity is regulated in Annex No. 11 to Act No. 24/2006 Coll.
The EIA REPORT describes in details data on the proposed activity. Furthermore, it specifies in more details the direct impacts of the activity to the environment including health. This includes e.g. the requirements for inputs (such as land occupation; water consumption; consumption of raw materials; requirements to transport, infrastructure and manpower) and data on outputs (pollution of atmosphere; waste water; wastes, noise; radiation and other physical fields, odor and other outputs and complementary information).
The EIA REPORT assesses the environmental impacts via comparison of the existing status and the assessment of the supposed impacts. That includes the following assessed areas: population, atmosphere and climate, noise, ionizing radiation and other physical or biologic agents, surface water and groundwater, rock environment and natural resources; fauna, flora and ecosystems, countryside, fixed assets, cultural heritage, transport and other infrastructure and hazards and accidents. After the complex assessment of the contemporary environmental status the assessment of the supposed impacts of the proposed activity to the environment including human health and estimation of their significance will be started. Following impacts are to be considered: direct, indirect, secondary, cumulative (cumulative with existing facilities on the site), synergic, short-term and temporary, long-term and permanent as well as those induced during the erection and realization works. The Report also specifies the proposed measures and monitoring and the proposal of the inspection of fulfilling the specified conditions.
At the same time the concerned municipalities publish the report in a usual manner (internet portal of the municipality, public notice board etc.). Any standpoint to the REPORT may be submitted in written within 30 days from the publishing.
The EIA REPORT was transmitted to the Ministry of Environment of the Slovak Republic on 25th of August 2015 and is published on the web portal of the Ministry of Environment. 2015.
5) What is the selected methodic approach to the environmental impact assessment? What is the envelope method? What is the envelope method?
The basic methodic approach in the area of the environmental impact assessment and in the area of the nuclear energy sector is the focus on assessment safety. The elaboration of the PRELIMINARY REPORT and subsequently of the ASSESSMENT REPORT of the proposed activity is subordinated thoroughly to the conservative approach. Any possible environmental impacts of the new nuclear power plant are assessed from the point of view of the most unfavorable parameters. This enables to assure that the assessment processes will affect all impacts of the proposed activity at their potential maximum.
In the practice the application of the conservative approach, e.g. from the point of view of environmental parameters selection, means that from the parameters of the equipment of all potential suppliers those least favorable parameters will be selected (e.g. the highest consumption of water; the largest radioactive releases; the largest dimension for the assessment of the impact to the countryside etc.). Within the frame of the conservative approach the selected data are subsequently rounded upwards. As a result there is the Plant Parameters Envelope developed by described method and subsequently it is used for the impact assessment. In this way the assessment results include a reserve for all equipment of potential suppliers.
6) What is the subject of the proposed activity?
The proposed activity includes the construction of one Pressurized Water Reactor unit (PWR) of generation III+ with net electric output power up to 1700 MWe in the Jaslovské Bohunice site including all related areas, civil structures and technology equipment. The activity includes the power plant unit and its infrastructure (via electricity grid and water management) connection. The proposed activity also provides solution for the generally accepted demand for this type of power plant (as a nuclear power plant) expressed in the relevant strategic documents of the Slovak Republic – The Energy Policy of SR 2014.
The new nuclear power plant in the Jaslovské Bohunice site with the declared installed capacity is in accordance with the Government Decision No. 948/2008, with the Energy Policy of SR 2014 and with the Land Use Planning Documentation of Trnava Self-Governing Region 2014. At the same time, the requirements for of the Scope of the Assessment are respected for elaboration of the assessment of the proposed activity for the variant “one reactor unit with pressurized water reactor of generation III+ with maximal net installed output power up to 1700 MWe” .
From the point of view of the technology solution, only the source with pressurized water reactor of the generation III+ is considered. This type represents the best available up-to-date technology, with a number of safety advantages as well as long-term operational experience with this type in the conditions of the Slovak Republic On the basis of the approved strategic documents of SR, there is no other realistic variant solution available for new nuclear power plant in the Jaslovské Bohunice site than the proposed one; it means neither another site nor another technology. This fact was confirmed also by the standpoint of the Ministry issued in relation to the application for refraining from variant solution.
In accordance with the requirements of the Act on environmental impact assessment so called zero variant, it means the variant that the proposed activity would not be realized, is also considered in the EIA process for the new nuclear power plant in the Jaslovské Bohunice site.
The operational lifetime of the power plant will be 60 years. The project will be designed in order to assure fulfillment of all relevant legislative regulations and safety standards and in accordance with regulations and requirements of ÚJD SR, IAEA a WENRA in the course of the whole lifetime cycle of the power plant.
7) Where will the proposed activity be located?
The extent of the areas for location of all components of the proposed activity is specified conservatively in the REPORT (by maximal possible scope) and the real scope will be rather smaller. The proposed activity will be situated in the area immediately connected with the existing site of the nuclear facilities Jaslovské Bohunice. The released areas of this site will be partially exploited as well.
The area of the location and construction of the new nuclear power plant respects the border line specified in the proposal of the Land Use Planning Documentation of Trnava Self-Governing Region and it concerns the cadastral area of the municipalities Jaslovské Bohunice, Radošovce, Ratkovce, Pečeňady and Veľké Kostoľany.
In principle, the corridors of the related infrastructure (electric power and water management interconnection) will respect the routes of the existing infrastructure of nuclear facilities in the Jaslovské Bohunice site and in the cadastral area of the municipalities Jaslovské Bohunice, Ratkovce, Červeník, Madunice, Pečeňady, Veľké Kostoľany, Dubovany, Drahovce and Piešťany.
8) Which technology is intended to be used in the NNPP project?
The new nuclear power plant will be realized with the utilization of the reactor of generation III+. This generation comes out from the well-proven types of the generation II and it represents the best available technology up-to-date. The summary of the features.
Summary of the features of the reactor of generation III+:
• Simplified (but more robust at the same time) design allowing the easier operation and higher operational reserves.
• Simplified (but more robust at the same time) design allowing the easier operation and higher operational reserves.
• Higher availability (90% and more), higher net efficiency (up to 37%) and longer lifetime (at least 60 years).
• Lower accident risk with serious damaging of the core (significantly less than 10-5/year).
• Higher resistance against external impacts.
• Equipment of the power plants with specific systems for prevention and mitigation of the severe accident consequences.
• Allowing of the higher utilization of the nuclear fuel (higher burn-up up to 70 GWd/tU) and decreasing of the amount of the produced radioactive waste.
• Prolongation of the time between outages for refueling by using the burning-up absorbers (up to 24 months).
• Improved economy of the operation.
General advantages of the nuclear reactors of PWR type:
• Stability in the consequence of the negative feedback (increasing of the temperature will cause the decreasing of the reactor power).
• Equipped with the passive system of the emergency reactor scram. The regulation rods are hold in the upper position by electromagnets and they are inserted into the reactor core by their own gravity in the case of need. The safe stop of the nuclear reaction will arise after the insertion of control rods into the reactor core. The control rods are held in the upper position by electromagnets and, if necessary, retracted into the reactor core by their own gravity. Once they are inserted, the nuclear reaction is safely stopped.
• Separation of the primary and secondary circuits. The secondary circuit is separated from the primary circuit (by the steam generator), thus water in the secondary circuit practically does not content radioactive substances. This fact limits the possibility of leakages of radionuclides into the environment. The secondary circuit is separated (by a steam generator) from the primary circuit, so that the water in the secondary circuit does not contain radioactive substances, limiting the possibility of radionuclides escaping into the environment.
9) What are the basic technical requirements / conditions of NNPP?
Type: pressurised water reactor (PWR)
Total electric installed capacity: one reactor unit with maximal net installed electric capacity up to 1700 MWe
Operational lifetime: 60 years
The project will be designed in order to assure fulfillment of all relevant legislative regulations and safety standards in accordance with regulations and requirements of ÚJD SR, IAEA and WENRA in the course of the whole lifetime cycle of the power plant.
10) Who will be the supplier?
Several reputable manufacturers around the world can supply the power plant with reactor units PWR of generation III+. The supplier of the power plant will be selected subsequently in the following stages of the project preparation. The selection of the supplier itself is not a subject of the environmental impact assessment. The environmental and safety requirements for all types of reactors are identical and their impacts are considered in their potential maximum (it means that the parameters used for the impact assessment cover the parameters of all equipment types from all suppliers under consideration – the envelope method). Reference projects.
Considered reference projects:
Project AP1000 (Westinghouse Electric Company LLC, USA, net electric capacity of the reactor unit about 1100 MW)
Project EU-APWR (European model of the pressurized water reactor of the company Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI), Japan, net electric capacity of the reactor unit about 1600 MW)
Project MIR1200 (consortium of the companies Škoda JS/JSC Atomstroyexport/JSC OKB Gidropress, Czech republic/Russia, net electric capacity of the reactor unit about 1114 MW)
Project EPR (AREVA NP, France, net electric capacity of the reactor unit about 1660 MW)
Project ATMEA1 (common enterprise of the companies AREVA NP/Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, France/Japan, net electric capacity of the reactor unit about 1125 MW)
Project APR1400 (Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (KHNP), South Korea, net electric capacity of the reactor unit about 1400 MW)
11) What is the actual status of the environment in the proposed region?
The proposed activity is located in the area related to the existing site of the nuclear facilities Jaslovské Bohunice. The population density in the concerned area is not high. The relation of the built-up residential area (towns and villages) has been consolidated for a long time and the distance of the built-up area from the site of nuclear facilities or from the area for siting of the new nuclear power plant is sufficient. The air quality is satisfactory. No overpassing of the legislative limits is indicated in the concerned area. The noise situation is given by overlapping of noise from various activities (transport, industry, agriculture) adequately to the character of the landscape. The dominant noise source is the road transport in the built-up area of the villages. The site of the nuclear facilities, regarding more than satisfactory distance, has no acoustically significant impact here.
From the point of view of natural sciences, the concerned area is mainly characterized by areas of the agricultural activity poor in species with the shrub and tree herbage islands between the areas of the agricultural land which are predominantly made up of by the line accompaniments of watercourses and roads. The area for the siting of the proposed activity is created partially by mentioned poor in species agricultural system and partially by the industrial areas in the connection to existing power plant site. The same applies to other components of the activity, especially water management and power corridors.
The site does not affect any protected areas either at national or at European level (protected landscape area; national park; protected area; natural reservation; natural heritage; protected landscape element; area of the European importance; protected bird area). The site does not affect any elements of the nature protection (protected trees; protected landscape elements; marshlands; biosphere reservation and locality of the world cultural or natural heritage UNESCO).
12) What will be the demands on manpower?
Supposed number of the permanent employees of the power plant is 650 persons with an increase by 1000 external workers present during the regular outages of the power plant.
13) What are the anticipated impacts to the environment and to the public health?
The assessment of the anticipated impacts of the new nuclear power plant to the environment and to the public health is a part of the prepared report. The support study “The assessment of health risks and the impact of the project to public health” was elaborated as the base document for the REPORT. For assessment of the actual status of public health in the surrounding area of the nuclear facility Jaslovské Bohunice, 27 indicators were selected. These indicators in the complex view describe the condition of the population from several points of view. All health indicators are assessed during different time period of the years 1993 to 2012. No negative impact of the nuclear facilities on the health conditions of the population (in comparison with the similar sites in more distant areas that could not be impacted by any nuclear facility) was identified in any of those 27 indicators.
Significant impacts on flora and fauna are not anticipated with respect to the actual status of the territory. The areas affected by the construction do not interfere directly to any area of the national or European system of protected areas or elements of the landscape system of ecological stability.
The noise impact is to be supposed predominantly at the local level (inside the power plant site or in its nearest surrounding). The operated structures of the new nuclear plant will be located in such distance that the noise impacts for the nearest or the most affected built-up area are possible to be solved satisfactorily. In relation to the increase of the transport intensity, the acoustically non-significant increase of the noise level is anticipated in most of the cases. The noise increase in the most affected area is at maximum by 2dB. In case that such situation is identified by the proposed monitoring, the owner of the communication is able to take several measures for decreasing the noise load (e.g. measures in the traffic organization, speed limitation for vehicles, exchange of the road surface, exchange of windows in affected structures etc. The new nuclear power plant will not be a significant source of atmosphere polluting substances. No green-house gases are discharged into atmosphere during the operation of nuclear power plants. With regard to the imission load level in this region, it is possible to calculate that the stationary sources of the pollution including the evoked car transportation, will not significantly change the load of the region. Reliable fulfillment of all imission limits for all monitored pollutants is expected. With regard to the operation of the power plant, the nuclear energy belongs to almost zero producer of the green-house gases.
As it is clearly shown by the assessment of radiological impacts at the cumulative effect of the new nuclear power plant and the existing facilities, the risk of the health detriment is very low, insignificant in comparison with the natural background and, it complies with the strictest internationally recognized criteria. This fact is confirmed by assessment of health condition of the population in the concerned area. The health condition of the population is after almost 50-year operation equal or better in comparison to regions geographically, socially and economically similar regions with no nuclear facilities as well as in the comparison to the national average of the Slovak Republic.
The realization of the NJZ project will have a positive impact from the point of view of local, regional and national economy and employment. It will help to economy development of the whole region. The anticipated increased creation of the social product creates the presumption of the improvement of the prosperity in the concerned area.
14) What are the guaranties of the new generations reactor?
The reactors of the generation III and III+ are safer than the reactors of the previous generations. The development of new reactors was motivated by the effort to improve the operational and reliability parameters of the reactors of category II and, at the same time to continue in the improvement of the safety characteristics. The license holder is responsible for the nuclear safety in the relevant nuclear facility – it means the operator of the relevant nuclear facility. The regulatory authority in the area of the nuclear safety in the territory of Slovak Republic is Úrad jadrového dozoru (ÚJD SR = Nuclear Regulatory Authority of SR). The authority controls whether all activities of the license holders are in accordance with the rules of the provision of nuclear safety. The UJD SR provides the supervision of the nuclear safety in the nuclear facilities in order to assure that the nuclear energy in Slovak Republic is used safely and to avoid public health risk, property damage and environmental risks.
The basic safety characteristics of the reactors of generation III and III+ in relation to the previous generations:
• Lower frequency of creation of the emergency conditions (including severe accidents),
• They manage severe accidents including capture and cooling of eventual core melt (corium) and they are equipped with the means for severe accident management as a part of the design solution,
• They will manage the Station Blackout (loss of all sources of electric power supply),
• Probability of Core Damage Frequency (CDF) is at least by decade order lower than at the existing operated nuclear power plants (the CDF value is significantly lower than 1.10-5/year),
• Probability of early or large effluents of radioactivity (LER) is at least by one decade order lower than at the existing operated nuclear power plants (the LER value is significantly lower than 1.10-6/year),
• Reactors utilize passive elements for the safety systems in larger extent. The basic physical principles are used for their function and thus they are less dependent on the electric power supply and other supporting systems,
• They have higher redundancy of the safety systems,
• They manage more serious external events (e.g. airplane crash, earthquake). The means for the management of such events are a part of the standard design,
• They have better fire protection,
• They have prolonged the time for which any intervention of the operator is not required in case of an accident.
15) What will be the subsequent procedure of the investment preparation?
The new nuclear power plant will be subject to the standard procedures for siting and licensing of the civil structure as well as to the specific procedures for nuclear facilities. In each stage of the assessment process before the issue of the relevant permission pursuant to the Atomic Act permission the operator shall submit documentation that contents the safety assessment elaborated in details appropriate to the level of the status of the preparation of the nuclear power plant project.