The fight against the Croatian nuclear waste landfill continues on BiH state level

The fight against the Croatian nuclear waste landfill continues on BiH state level

The problem about the intention of Croatia to dispose off the nuclear waste in the area of Trgovska Gora, near the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina, lasts for a few years now, but BiH federation level authorities have failed to react in time since the very beginning. The battle against nuclear waste landfill fell on the back of the Republika Srpska and its government. In the last few months, when Croatia confirmed its intention, BiH federation level woke up and realised that it is necessary to do something to protect both the people and the nature in far West of the country.

BiH Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations Mirko Šarović considers unacceptable the disposal of any kind of waste at a border with a neighbouring country, stressing that Croatia’s intention to dispose of its nuclear waste at the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina cannot be called a friendly gesture.

“I think we have a difficult period ahead of us where BiH wants Croatia to hear its voice”, Šarović stated, addressing the participants of the international conference “Issue of a radioactive and nuclear waste disposal site at Trgovska Gora”, on Monday, organized by Green Club. Šarović said that BiH does not have many options left.

He hopes BiH institutions will take a more active role in solving the problem and that they should seek international support to change Croatia’s intentions to dispose of and store radioactive and nuclear waste at the very border with BiH.

Commenting on an idea that international arbitration is required to resolve the issue, Šarović recalled that Croatia would have to agree to arbitration.

FBiH Minister of Ecology and Tourism Edita Đapo warns that a radioactive waste disposal site at Trgovska Gora would have far-reaching consequences for the BiH population in case of an earthquake, fire, flood or a human-caused accident, especially for the people living in the border area where they mainly engage in agriculture, bee keeping or tourism.

“If Croatia is willing to suffer a loss of 4,000 residents in Dvor, BiH cannot pay the price of having a radioactive waste disposal site at its door, because the waste will not be disposed for 10 or 15 years and then be re-cultivated. It will be a disposal site that will stay there for 250,000 years”, Minister Đapo told the press.

Saša Magazinović, head of the Green Club, says that the Trgovska Gora issue is not an anti-Croatian hysteria but an attempt to build dialogue and resolve the problem in the spirit of good neighbourly relations. He warns that the site where Croatia intends to dispose of and store its radioactive and nuclear waste is only a few hundred meters away from the Una and border with BiH, less than three kilometres away from central Novi Grad and a few hundred metres away from a water intake facility from which BiH residents take their drinking water. According to him, two thirds of a potentially negative, adverse effect would affect BiH, and one third would affect Croatia.

Mayor of Novi Grad Miroslav Drljača expressed his satisfaction that Sarajevo was hosting a conference about the Trgovska Gora issue and that its participants confirmed the view of residents and authorities of his town, saying that the site was not acceptable because of its vicinity to the border and its failure to meet the technical requirements for the disposal of radioactive waste.

The Mayor of the Croatian town of Petrinja and Croatian MP Darinko Dumbović says the area where the authorities are planning to dispose of the radioactive waste deserves a different type of treatment.

“This part of Pounje is one of the most beautiful areas for a healthy life, organic production and everything we should have in the future”, Dumbovic said and added that Trgovska Gora was not safe because of the risk of landslides there.

The conference gathered representatives of BiH authorities, embassies and international institutions, as well as the NGO sector from BiH and Croatia./ibna