BiH can initiate a Dispute over Trgovska Gora

Several problems have been identified regarding Trgovska Gora and the disposal of nuclear waste in Croatia on the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina, but there are also tools stemming from international conventions to address the issue, it was said at a press conference ahead of the Round 99 online session on Sunday.

Zvjezdan Karadzin, professor at the Faculty of Mining, Geology and Civil Engineering at the University of Tuzla, and Emir Dizdarevic, deputy director of the State Regulatory Agency for Radiation and Nuclear Safety of BiH, spoke on the topic “Trade Mountain and Elimination of the Danger of Nuclear Waste at the BiH Border”.

Karadzin said that professors from his faculty got involved in this issue in 2016, when Croatia conducted a strategic assessment, a study for a national program for the implementation of a strategy for the disposal of radioactive waste from spent sources, spent nuclear fuels for the period 2025-2060. He also referred to the selected location Čerkezovac, in the area of ​​the so-called Trgovske gora, in the immediate vicinity of BiH.

“Immediately in response to the initiative, the so-called Regional Forum for Environmental Cooperation and Security was formed and the Working Group of this forum compiled an expert opinion. What is well related to this forum was composed of experts, activists from both entities and Croatia.”, said Karadzin.

Karadzin added that a five-kilometer circle was covered, which looked at what the impact would be, and BiH was not included in that circle, so the impact was not considered.

Earlier, the Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations of Bosnia and Herzegovina Stasa Kosarac requested from the Expert and Legal Team for Trgovks Gora information on the work done so far, sessions, conclusions and tasks performed, in order to timely submit reports on the work of these bodies to the BiH Council of Ministers and Foreign trade and economic relations of BiH. 

The request was sent based on the decisions of the Council of Ministers of BiH of October 29, 2020 on the appointment of an Expert Team to monitor the situation and activities related to the disposal of radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel at Trgovska Gora and the Legal Team for drafting a legal protection strategy in connection with this question. 

In accordance with the adopted decisions, the Expert and Legal Team are obliged to report every three months, through the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations of BiH, to the Council of Ministers of BiH on the work and implementation of tasks and activities. 

Minister Kosarac expects that the members of the Expert and Legal Team meet the defined deadline and submit reports on the work of the past period to the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations of BiH, so that the Council of Ministers of BiH will be informed about the undertaken activities. 

After the Expert and Legal Team submits reports on its work, Minister Kosarac, as announced, will organize a meeting with the chairmen of these working bodies and members of the Coordination Body for Disposal of Radioactive Waste and Spent Nuclear Fuel on Trgovska Gora. 

According to him, it is crucial to defend the unified position of the competent institutions at all levels of government in BiH on the challenge of Trgovska Gora as a potential location for storage of radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel, based on scientific and professional analyzes of the Expert and Legal Team. 

”We are especially concerned about the frequent shaking of the ground in Croatia, with an emphasis on the devastating earthquake whose epicenter was in Petrinja, only 44 kilometers from the Trgovska Gora site. The turbulence of this area is an additional alarm due to which we must intensify efforts to defend the interests of the citizens of the Republika Srpska and the Federation of BiH so that radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel are not disposed of at the location in question,” concluded Minister Kosarac.

He expressed his commitment to continue building good neighborly relations with Croatia, and said that it was necessary to seek a diplomatic solution for the benefit of 250,000 citizens, who are endangered by the construction of a radioactive waste disposal site and spent nuclear fuel on Trgovska Gora.

”That is the reason why I again appeal to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of BiH to make additional efforts and fully activate the diplomatic-consular network in resolving this issue. It is inadmissible for Trgovska gora to be the subject of politicization, because we must not calculate with the health of our citizens and the preservation of the natural environment,” concluded Kosarac.

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