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Temelin nuclear power plant, Czech Republic

The growth of nuclear power capacity in the Czech Republic at Temelin and Dukovany near the Austrian border gave rise to transboundary conflicts (including border blockades) since 2000.


Temelin protests started in 2000 from the side of Austria. There had been some resistance in Bohemia (Czech Republic) in 1996 and 1997. -Between 2000 and 2006, the plans to build up Temelin nuclear power plants caused strong protests in Austria:  opponents of the Temelin nuclear power plants, which are located in Bohemia some 50 km from the Czech-Austrian border, blocked  border crossings and otherwise protested in many ways. On one occasion in 2006 the activists hindered traffic with some ten tractors parked at the Wullowitz-Dolni Dvoriste crossing. Austria is a nuclear-free country , and many of its citizens opposed the launch of the new power plants at Temelin. Such protests had started in 2000 when it was reported that Austrian environmental activists blocked the highway not far from the Czech-Austrian border for several hours in protest against the Temelin nuclear power plant in South Bohemia. Around forty activists blocked the highway 500 metres from the Wullowitz-Dolni Dvoriste border crossing, and blocked traffic for several hours. The issue ofTemelin strained relations between the Czech Republic and Austria, which is a nuclear-free country.[3]  In 2000 there were much stronger protests, and  the Austrian prime minister had given support to the border blockade. [4]. Austrian protesters demanded that the Temelin plant be shut down immediately and would maintain their  blockade for five days..The head of the campaign against the Temelin plant, Josef Purdingher, said he was not satisfied with the results of talks between the Austrian and Czech governments. Austrian environmentalists insisted (in 2000) that the plant should be shut down immediately until the safety inspection takes place. The Czech authorities say the Soviet-designed plant complies with European safety standards and expect it to be working at total capacity within four months.. Austrian demonstrators had blockaded the main crossing points on the border with the Czech Republic for over a week, when Temelin began operations in 2000. They blocked up to 15 crossings, prompting Czech calls for EU intervention to guarantee freedom of movement. [4].

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Temelin nuclear power plant, Czech Republic
Country:Czech Republic
Location of conflict:Temelin
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict: 1st level:Nuclear
Type of conflict: 2nd level :Nuclear power plants
Specific commodities:Electricity
Project Details and Actors
Project details:

The Czech Republic has six nuclear reactors generating about one-third of its electricity. Its first commercial nuclear power reactor began operating in 1985. Government commitment to the future of nuclear energy is strong, and was reaffirmed in mid-2015 energy policy. However, plans to expand capacity at Temelin were stalled. There has been a dispute between the Czech Republic and Austria regarding the nuclear power plants all of them situated near the border with Austria, at Dukovany and Temelin. [1] There are three power plants at Dukovany of approximately 470 MW each (built in the mid-1980s) and two at Temelin of 1027 MW each (built in 2000 and 2003) with a total of 3932 MW [1]. Expansion is foreseen at Temelin and Dukovany. The Temelin nuclear power stations gave rise in the early 2000s to strong conflicts with Austrian anti-nuclear activists.

Type of populationSemi-urban
Start of the conflict:2000
Conflict and Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:International ejos
Local ejos
Local scientists/professionals
Transboundary opposition and blockades of border crossings between Austria and the Czech Republic
Forms of mobilization:Blockades
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Media based activism/alternative media
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Impacts of the project
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Groundwater pollution or depletion, Other Environmental impacts
Other Environmental impactsRadiation
Health ImpactsPotential: Accidents, Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…)
Socio-economical ImpactsPotential: Militarization and increased police presence
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Under negotiation
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:Despite protests mainly from Austrian groups, the expansion og nuclear power in the Czech Republic (often halted because of the protests or because of financial reasons) continues in 2018.
Sources and Materials
Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

[1] Nuclear Power in Czech Republic. (Updated August 2018)
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[2] Czechs risk wrath of EU over nuclear power project. Prague is hoping Brussels will loosen its requirements for picking a nuclear project. Otherwise it may pursue a deal with Russia. By Nicholas Watson. 2/22/18
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Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

[4] BBC. 2 November, 2000, Austrian protesters block Czech border
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[3] Radio Praha. Environmentalists block highway in protest over Temelin. Vladimír Tax. 25-06-2001
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Other documents

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Meta information
Contributor:AS & JMA, EnvJustice team
Last update12/10/2018
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