Reflections After Meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Finland

On February 15, at the initiative of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Finland, Pekka Haavisto, a meeting with the Russian NGOs was held at the Consulate General of Finland in St. Petersburg. 

It took place in the evening after a busy schedule of afternoon meetings with the Russian authorities, including the Governor of the Leningrad Region.

In an hour and a half discussion over a cup of tea, representatives of two environmental and two human rights non-governmental organizations shared their ideas on possible areas of cooperation in which both Russia and Finland might be interested.

The author of these article briefly presented his vision on three issues that need to be discussed with the participation of the authorities, the expert community and the public of Russia, Finland and other countries of the Baltic region.

  1. Safe decommissioning of nuclear power plants, radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel management.

The first power units of the Leningrad NPP with RBMK-1000 reactors were finally shut down. Decommissioning of the LNPP will last 40 years, until 2060. This is a complex engineering, socio-economic, environmental and moral problem that will be addressed for the first time not only in Russia. In Finland, Sweden, Lithuania, Germany, more than 30 power units will be decommissioned, which are shut down or are close to developing their design resource.

It is advisable to organize a Baltic conference on the exchange of experience in the safe decommissioning of nuclear power plants with the participation of nuclear experts and environmentalists, authorities and the public. We need to find a common «Baltic approach» to assess the security and protection of our common Baltic Home.

Mr. Haavisto received analytical reports “Conclusion of public expertise on the “Concept of decommissioning power units of the Leningrad NPP with RBMK-1000 reactors” (Rus.) , as well as “Radioactive Graphite Handling in Decommissioning of RBMK-Type Reactors» (Eng.) 

 

  1. It is necessary to accelerate the implementation of marine spatial planning (MSP), so that when making decisions on the location of industrial and infrastructure projects on the shores of the Baltic, recreation zones and specially protected natural areas do not suffer.

On the Russian southern coast of the Gulf of Finland, industrialization has undermined the reproduction of renewable fish resources — a national treasure of Russia. Industrial fishing ceased. Four fish processing plants were closed. The traditional way of life of the indigenous population associated with fishing and fish processing has been destroyed, and thousands of jobs associated with this industry have disappeared.

In St. Petersburg and on the Baltic coast, which recently exported fish, they now bring fish from Kamchatka and other places thousands of kilometers away.

Similar problems exist in neighboring Finland and Estonia (Rus.)

It is important to jointly seek a solution to these problems for all interested parties: government, business and the interested public with the participation of the expert community.

The nearest opportunity to discuss this common for the Baltic region countries will be in St. Petersburg at the “Baltic Sea Days” (Eng.), where a round table discussion on MSP is planned.

 

  1. Stop the confrontation between Russia and NATO and the militarization of the Baltic region.

NATO approached Russia’s borders. The use of nuclear weapons against Russia in the Kaliningrad region is possible

The conduct of hostilities on the Baltic coast, where more than 30 nuclear power plants are located in Russia, Finland and other countries, can lead to their destruction. This could mean the collapse of traditional lifestyles for 90 million people in 9 countries.

The efforts of citizens and regional politicians in the cross-border regions of Russia, Finland, Estonia and other Baltic countries are needed to prevent such a scenario. Neighbors in the common Baltic House should not be enemies!

We need community groups on both sides of borders to promote a world balanced with the nature of development.

Ulla Klotzer (NGO Women for Peace in Finland) announced a public call to establish a “Ministry for Peace and Sustainable Development” in her country. It would be great if such a ministry appeared not only in Finland and Russia, but also in all the countries of the Baltic region.

The very warm atmosphere of the meeting with Minister Pekka Haavisto demonstrated the great interest of Finnish politicians to expand the circle of traditional contacts by including not only national-level politicians, but also those who live in the immediate vicinity of the Russian-Finnish border.

This is not something new in the format of discussion of Finnish partners. During the Russian-Finnish conference in St. Petersburg “Our Common Environment St. Petersburg 1992”, when Pekka Haavisto, the leader of the Green Party of Finland, was one of the creators of this atmosphere of trust and openness during the discussion.

Photo: Greenworld studio, 2014

 

Militarization of the Baltic sea region: Current challenges and possible solutions

On September 2, in St. Petersburg, Russia, an international online conference “Militarization of the Baltic Region. Modern Challenges and Possible Solutions ”. It was dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II.

Panelists from Russia, the Baltic region, Norway and the United States discussed the deepening crisis and military confrontation between NATO and Russia in the Baltic region.

The discussion was based on the report of the veteran of the German peace movement Dr. Horst Leps. In this report, the author analyzed possible scenarios of confrontation in the Baltic Sea region, including the use of nuclear weapons. The participants in the discussion noted the role of civil society, goals and possible mechanisms for promoting peace initiatives.

International online conference dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II.

Organized by the Public Council of the southern coast of the Gulf of Finland with the support of the Institute of Regional Press (St. Petersburg) and the Panacea Medical Clinic, Sosnovy Bor, Leningrad Region.

Oleg Bodrov, Chairman of the Public Council of the Southern Coast of the Gulf of Finland, Member of the Council of the International Peace Bureau, St. Petersburg, Russia Greetings from the organizers.

 

 

Dr. Horst Leps, Hamburg, Germany, veteran of the German Peace Movement, presentation of the Russian-language version of the report Militarization of the Baltic Sea Region

 

 

Sergey Osipov, General Director of the Panacea Medical Clinic, Sosnovy Bor, Leningrad Region, Russia, A military doctor’s view of militarization and confrontation in the Baltic region.

 

 


Prof. Markku Kangaspuro,
Chairman of the Finnish Peace Committee, Helsinki, Finland, NATO-Russia Confrontation in the Baltic. View from Finland.

 

 

Ingeborg Breines, Oslo, Norway, Consultant, Former Co-President of the International Peace Bureau and Former Secretary General of the Norwegian National Commission, Director of UNESCO The Militarization Of The Baltic Sea Region. Norway — Baltic region — ecology, non-violence and cooperation.

 

Dr. Joseph Gerson, President of the Campaign for Peace, Disarmament and Common Security, Vice President of the International Peace Bureau and member of the No to War / No NATO Steering Committee, Cambridge, USA, Confrontation between Russia and the United States.The view of a representative of the US peace movement.

 

 

Video: Record of international conference

 

 

 

Russia is not a nuclear waste dump!

Russian-German coalition demands to stop nuclear waste movement from Germany to Russia! 

The appeal to the authorities of Russia and Germany was signed by 47 national, regional and municipal non-governmental associations of Russia, Germany and the Netherlands.  The appeal is signed by regional and municipal deputies of the nuclear regions of Russia, as well as by experts and citizens who live along the rail route of dangerous cargo (about 2,500 km) from the port of Ust-Luga in the Leningrad Region to the Closed Administrative Territorial Unit of Novouralsk (Sverdlovsk Region).

On June 15, 2020 at 05:33 the cargo vessel Mikhail Dudin once again delivered another 600 tons of depleted uranium hexafluoride (UF6). Under the contract, 12,000 tons of UF6 – chemically aggressive radioactive material – may be transferred from Germany to Russia by 2022.  

Olaf Bandt, Chairman of the Organization for Environment Protection and Nature Conservation of Germany (BUND): “The federal government stands by while part of the unresolved nuclear waste problem moves quietly and secretly to Russia. German nuclear waste should not be disposed of in other countries, putting lives of people in danger. Germany must finally complete the nuclear phase-out. Germany must finally complete the abandonment of nuclear energy, but as long as the uranium enrichment plant in Gronau and the fuel cell plant in Lingen are allowed to work, this is out of the question”.

Mathias Eikoff, Muenster Alliance Against Nuclear Facilities: “The federal government allows Urenco and its shareholders RWE and E. ON to take nuclear waste abroad: it’s very cost-effective, but extremely irresponsible — manufacturers and profiteers have no personal responsibility. Therefore, we demand from the federal government a mandatory and complete freeze on the export of uranium waste and enriched uranium from Gronau and fuel cells from Lingen.»

Oleg Bodrov, Chairman of the Public Council of the South Coast of the Gulf of Finland, Decomatom network: “If the German nuclear industry does not have an economically and socially acceptable technology for processing depleted uranium hexafluoride, it means it is waste. According to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal of 22 March 1989, the German economy must find a solution to safely store these materials in the territory of Germany. Export of depleted uranium hexafluoride to Russia is export of the problem, but not a solution to this problem”.

Andrey Talevlin, Chairman of the regional environmental organization ZA PRIRODU (FOR NATURE), Chelyabinsk, Coordinator of Decomatom network: “Russia should sign the Aarhus Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters and ratify the Espoo Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context. In this case, it will be possible to ensure equal safety standards for Russia with the countries whose businesses are trying to implement joint nuclear projects in our country”.

Vitaly Servetnik, Co-chair of the Russian Scio-Econlogical Union: “It is irresponsible and unfair to move such a problem to a country with lower environmental standards and public control. Rosatom must stop increasing their profits by turning a huge Russian territory into a dump. This crime against future generations of Russians must stop immediately”. 

Marina Ljubushkina, Head of the public reception office of the Spravedlivaya Rossiya (Justice Russia) political party in Kingisepp District, Leningrad Region: “The reloading of toxic radioactive substances to rail cars in the port of Ust-Luga and their transportation through the radiation-contaminated «Chernobyl» territories of the Leningrad region creates additional health risks for thousands of residents along the train route. This is illegal and not fair! Public discussions should be organized with participation of the public concerned and the municipality of Kingisepp District to justify the license for handling radioactive materials during the transshipment in the port of Ust-Luga!” 

Nikolay Kuzmin, Chairman of the Permanent Commission on Ecology and Nature Management of the Legislative Assembly of the Leningrad Region, Sosnovy Bor, Leningrad Region: “Additional regional legislative norms should be adopted in order to ensure the radiation safety of the inhabitants of the Leningrad region and provide for the real participation in decision-making of the elected deputies and the interested public representatives”.

Russian environmental and human rights organizations speak out against the import of uranium radioactive waste into Russia. More than 30 organizations signed a collective statement in November 2019. 

In January 2020, environmentalists the signatures of 70,000 Russians against the importation of uranium radioactive waste to the German Ministry of the Environment

In March 2020, residents of the coast of the Gulf of Finland who live in close proximity to the transshipment and transport facilities of hazardous cargo near the port of Ust-Luga expressed their protest against transportation of nuclear waste through the Leningrad region.  

The text of the Public Appeal to the German and Russian Authorities in Russian is attached.

We thank our colleagues from Germany and the Russian Socio-Ecological Union for their effective cooperation and support.

 

 

Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany 

Vladimir Putin,  President of the Russian Federation

German Budestag Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation

 Raffael Grossi, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency

 

Public Appeal 

 

Dear Mrs. Chancellor, 

Dear Mr. President, 

Dear deputies and members of the parliaments of Russia and Germany, 

Dear Mr. Director General of the IAEA,

 

A year ago, transportation of thousands of tons of depleted uranium hexafluoride (DUHF), a by-product of uranium ore enrichment, which had been stopped in 2010, was resumed from Germany to Russia. 

These shipments of hazardous radioactive materials do not stop even during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic!  

The cargo vessel Mikhail Dudin with another 600 tons of DUHF from Gronau (Germany) arrived on June 15, 2020 at the Russian port Ust-Luga in the Baltic Sea. The cargo will be carried by rail to the Urals region of Russia through the territories of the Leningrad Region that had been contaminated with radiation after the Chernobyl disaster. 

We consider it a threat to the safety of the residents of the Baltic region, as well as the regions along the route of transportation of the dangerous cargo, especially for the people living in the final destinations – the Urals and Siberian regions, which are already the most radioactively contaminated areas. 

More than 1,200 thousand tons of these highly toxic materials have already been accumulated and stored in open air containers in closed nuclear cities in Russia! 

Under the existing contracts, in the best scenario only a tenth of pre-enriched uranium hexafluoride can return to Germany. The uranium hexafluoride remaining in Russia after enrichment is even more depleted as there is no socially and environmentally acceptable technology for its further use. 

We, who have signed this appeal, demand that the German and Russian authorities stop the colonial policy of moving dangerous cargo from Europe to the Siberian and Urals regions of Russia!  This is contrary to the sustainable development goals of the United Nations and the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal. 

We appeal to Mrs. Angela Merkel, German Chancellor, to follow a policy of not exporting nuclear waste and not transferring responsibility for it to other countries and peoples. 

Germany is a high-tech country and in the course of phasing out all its nuclear power plants it must take care of the byproducts of nuclear power generation on its territory!

 

Russia is not a dump! 15 June 2020

Non-governmental organizations of Russia:

  1. Artemova Tatiana, Co-chair, Association of Environmental Journalists of Saint-Petersburg, Saint-Petersburg, Russia; 
  2. Bodrov Oleg, Chairman of the Public Council of the South Coast of the Gulf of Finland, interregional environmental movement of the Leningrad Region and Saint-Petersburg; member of the International Peace Bureau Council (IPB), Sosnovy Bor, Leningrad Region, Russia, Bodrov(at)greenworld.org.ru ;
  3. Bochkareva Lyudmila, Saratov City Society for the Protection of Animals, Saratov, Russia;
  4. Vinogradova Anna, All-Russian Society for Nature Conservation, Balakovo Branch, Saratov Region, Russia;
  5. Garapov Albert, Anti-Nuclear Society of Tatarstan, Kazan, Tatarstan Republic, Russia;
  6. Zabelin Svyatoslav, International Socio-Ecological Union, Moscow, Russia;
  7. Ivanov Yuri, Coordinator, Kola Ecocenter regional association, Apatity, Murmansk Region, Russia;
  8. Kayumov Askhat, Dront environmental center, Nizhny Novgorod, Russia;
  9. Kotovets Valeria, Co-chair, Ecological Parliament of the Volga Basin and the Northern Caspian Sea, interregional non-governmental association, Volgograd, Russia;
  10. Kutepova Nadezhda, human rights activist and lawyer, NGO Planet Hope, Closed Administrative Territorial Unit of Ozersk – Paris, (Russia – France);
  11. Laletin Andrey, Chairman, Friends of the Siberian Forests Council, Krasnoyarsk, Russia;
  12. Maryasov Fedor, Chairman, board of the Krasnoyarsk Regional Radioecological Center, head of the public protest “We are against repository.rf” (Мы-против-могильника.рф), Closed Administrative Territorial Unit of Zheleznogorsk, Krasnoyarsk Region, Russia;
  13. Pinchuk Andrey, Centre for Promotion of Environmental Initiatives, Saratov, Russia;
  14. Pitsunova Olga, Russian Socio-Ecological Union – Friends of the Earth in Russia, Saratov Branch, Saratov, Russia;
  15. Rodin Boris, NGO Samozaschita (Self-Defence), Saratov, Russia;
  16. Servetnik Vitaly, «Russian Socio-Ecological Union – Friends of the Earth in Russia, Saint-Petersburg, Russia;
  17. Slivjak Vladimir, Co-chair, Ecozaschita (Ecodefense), Moscow, Russia;
  18. Talevlin Andrey, Chairman, regional environmental organization ZA PRIRODU (FOR NATURE), Coordinator of Decomatom network, Chelyabinsk, Russia;
  19. Yamschikova Valentina, Co-chair, regional environmental movement “In the name of life”, Kostroma, Russia.

Non-governmental organizations of Germany and the Netherlands:

  1. Aachener Aktionsbuendnis gegen Atomenergie (Aachen Alliance for Actions against Nuclear Energy), Aachen, Germany;
  2. Aktionsbuendnis Muensterland gegen Atomanlagen (Alliance for Actions against Nuclear Facilities in Muensterland), Muenster, Germany;
  3. Anti Atom Berlin, Berlin, Germany; 
  4. AntiAtom Bonn, Bonn, Germany;
  5. AntiAtom-Bündnis Niederrhein  (Anti-Atom Alliance of the Lower Rhine), Germany;
  6. Arbeitskreis Umwelt — AKU, (Environmental working group AKU), Gronau, Germany;
  7. Arbeitskreis Umwelt — AKU Schuettorf (Environmental working group AKU), Schuetthorf, Lower Saxony, Germany;
  8. Buergerinitiative Umweltschutz Luechow-Dannenberg (Civil Initiative for Environment Protection), Luechow-Dannenberg, Germany;
  9. Buergerinitiative “Kein Atommuell in Ahaus” (Civil initiative “No to nuclear waste in Ahaus”), North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany;
  10. Olaf Bandt, Vorsitzender “BUND — Friends of the Earth Germany”, Берлин, Germany;
  11. BUND, Regionalgruppe Muensterland, (BUND regional group), Muensterland, Germany;
  12. BUND, NRW — Landesarbeitskreis Atom (BUND State Working Group on Nuclear Issues), Germany;
  13. BUND, Kreisgruppe Steinfurt, Germany;
  14. Bundesverband Buergerinitiativen Umweltschutz -BBU (Federal Association of Civil Initiatives for Environment Protection), Berlin, Germany; 
  15. Franz Moll, chairman and founder, Nuclear Free Future Foundation, Munich, Germany; 
  16. Kieler Initiative gegen Atomanlagen (Kiel Initiative against nuclear facilities), Germany;
  17. Laka Foundation, Amsterdam, Netherlands;
  18. SOFA — Sofortiger Atomausstieg, (Immediate abandonment of nuclear energy), Muenster, Germany;
  19. Stop Tihange Deutschland e. V., Ahen, Germany.

Deputies of regional parliaments, members of municipal councils and representatives of political parties in Russia:

  1. Artemov Andrey, head of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation fraction in the Council of Deputies of the municipal entity Sosnovoborsky urban district, Leningrad Region, Russia;
  2. Vakhtina Elena, deputy, Council of Deputies of the Central District of Chelyabinsk, Russia;
  3. Kuzmin Nikolay, Chairman, Permanent Commission on Ecology and Nature Management of the Legislative Assembly of the Leningrad Region, Sosnovy Bor, Leningrad Region, Russia;
  4. Lyubushkina Marina, head of the public reception office of the Spravedlivaya Rossiya (Justice Russia) political party in Kingisepp District, Leningrad Region, Russia.

Experts and citizens of Russia:

  1. Desyatov Vladimir, Saint-Petersburg, Russia;
  2. Kuznetsov Vladimir, Ignalina NPP Veterans Association, Visaginas, Lithuania;
  3. Serebryakov Boris, PhD in Mathematics and Physics, Moscow, Russia;
  4. Uglev Vladimir, PhD in Chemistry, Krasnodar, Russia;
  5. Chernaya Lyudmila, Luzhitsi Village (Ust-Luga Port district), Kingisepp, Leningrad Region, Russia.

Leningrad NPP is a cloud generator

Leningrad NPP is a cloud generator. Every day, 50,000 tons of water steam (one of the greenhouse gases) and fine droplets of brackish waters of the Gulf of Finland Baltic Sea are emitted into the atmosphere. This year, emissions will reach 100,000 tons / day after the launch of the second VVER-1200 power unit. Ejected droplets may contain water pollutants as well as blue-green algae toxins. Radioactive releases through cooling towers are also possible if old RBMK-1000 LNPP reactors accidentally drop radionuclides into the Gulf of Finland into the water intake area of ​​cooling towers of new VVER-1200 reactors.

An interesting socio-ecological experiment puts Rosatom …
We are waiting for the results ….

Decommissioning Russia’s old nuclear power reactors Status update on key processes 2019

Russia’s fleet of nuclear power reactors is aging. In fact, 23 out of 35 operating reactors have passed their designed lifetime, which means 66% of the reactors are overdue. Chapter 1 tells about the current status of nuclear power reactors in Russia.
Plans and information on decommissioning is missing. A law from February 2019 requires all Russian nuclear power plants must have a decommissioning concept. But when we have asked operators of the nuclear power plant to provide these concepts, and to inform about when they plan to end operation, we don’t get satisfactory answers, as shown in chapter 2. This can provide an example of the difficulties to work with nuclear and other environmental issues in Russia.

Request for support from Russia

Dear friends and colleagues!

On May 12, at 8:00 (CET), the ship Mikhail Dudin arrives in the Russian port of Ust-Luga (The Gulf of Finland Baltic Sea) with 600 tons of nuclear waste from Germany.

They will be taken by train to the Ural Region of Russia.

This is the tenth (!!!) ship-transfer from Germany with waste since May 2019!

At least 1 million tons of these uranium tailings have already accumulated in the closed nuclear cities of the Urals and Siberia. There are NO transparency, NO democracy in this cities.

No more than 10% of the imported depleted uranium hexafluoride can be used.

Up to 98% is non-recyclable waste.

In fact, Russian state corporation Rosatom sells the health of the Urals and Siberia by placing nuclear waste imported from Germany.

We call on each of You to protest against the pollution of our Planet.

Please use Facebook Twitter…

On May 12, from 8 am to 10 am (CET), post a selfie with a poster in your hands on your social media pages.

Poster on a standard sheet of A4 paper.

Possible versions of selfies in the attached files. Post Hashtags:

#NoUraniumTails!

Together-We Are Power!

Thank you and good luck!

The Public Council of the South Coast of the Gulf of Finland (Oleg Bodrov) is lobbying for the adoption of the new regional Law of the Leningrad Region

March 26, 2020.
Legislative Assembly of the Leningrad Region, Russia.

The Public Council of the South Coast of the Gulf of Finland (Oleg Bodrov) is lobbying for the adoption of the new regional Law of the Leningrad Region «On the powers of the state authorities of the Leningrad Region in the field of radiation safety of the population and the use of atomic energy.»

Nikolay Kuzmin, Chairman of the Standing Commission on Ecology and Nature Management of the Legislative Assembly of the Leningrad Region, Russia
The draft law was prepared by Ph.D. Andrey Talevlin, public movement «For Nature», Chelyabinsk. The mission of the new law is to destroy the monopoly of the state corporation Rosatom when making decisions on the placement of nuclear facilities in the Leningrad Region and in the management of radioactive waste. If the law can be adopted, then regional legislators and the public will have the opportunity to really participate in the decision-making process on nuclear projects.

Over the past year, since the beginning of the discussion of the draft law, important events have occurred that confirmed the relevance of adopting such a regulation:

1. The first of four power units of the Leningrad NPP was finally stopped. Without discussing the feasibility study with the regional authorities and the public, a project for its decommissioning is being developed.
2. The model of long-term isolation of hundreds of thousands of tons of radioactive waste that will appear during the decommissioning of a nuclear power plant, as well as those waste that has already been accumulated over 60 years and «temporarily stored on the shores of the Gulf of Finland,» is not discussed.
3. The Leningrad Region without public discussion became a corridor for importing from Germany nuclear waste (depleted uranium hexafluoride) through the port of Ust-Luga on the southern coast of the Gulf of Finland near the border with Estonia. At the same time, residents living near Ust-Luga in territories contaminated after the Chernobyl disaster were not informed about the new risks.

We hope that the decision to adopt a new law will be made in the coming month. In this case, decisions on nuclear projects on the Russian coast of the Baltic will be more balanced, taking into account the interests of residents of the Leningrad region and the entire Baltic region.

Russian-Lithuanian group of experts published a report about radioactive carbon 14C and NPPs:

CURRENT CHALLENGES AND POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS FOR RADIOACTIVE GRAPHITE HANDLING IN DECOMMISSIONING OF RBMK-TYPE REACTORS

The world faces a new stage in operation of nuclear power reactors. Its specifics are related to a growing number of decommissioned power units that either reached the end of their operating lifecycle or their operation is becoming economically not viable, environmentally unsafe or politically unacceptable.

Radioactive isotope of carbon 14C that was formed during the operation of uranium-graphite reactors (UGR) requires a particularly careful approach in selecting technology for long-term isolation from nature and wildlife. To date, the total radioactivity of accumulated reactor graphite in the world is almost 3 times greater than that generated by nuclear and thermonuclear explosions from 1945 to 1960.

Thus, the safe long-term isolation of reactor graphite accumulated in the world is a global challenge.

 Read report

Video summary of a public meeting with representatives of the Ramsar Convention on the topic of the gas pipeline in the Kurgalsky reserve

Elizaveta Mikhailova, the project coordinator of the Public Council of the South coast of the Gulf of Finland, together with partners from Greenpeace Russia and independent experts from St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region, prepared the video results of the meeting with the representatives of the Ramsar Convention.

The Ramsar Advisory Mission arrived in St. Petersburg in November 2019 in response to complaints from the environmental community about the state of natural ecosystems in the corridor of the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline in the Kurgalsky nature reserve.  The expert and scientific communities in the video summary give theirs recommendations to the authorities and NordStream 2 AG on minimizing the impact on the ecosystems of the reserve during the further construction of the gas pipeline and its operational period.

The video results see here

Ramsar Advisory Mission arrived with environmental inspection to Kurgalsky Peninsula Nature Reserve

On November 12, 2019 experts from the Coalition Clean Baltic (CCB), Greenpeace Russia, WWF Russia, the Public Council of the South Coast of the Gulf of Finland and other environmental organizations met with the representatives of the Ramsar Advisory Mission (RAM), Nord Stream 2 AG, the Ministry of Natural Resources of the Russian Federation, etc. 

The reason for the arrival of RAM is the complaint of the environmental community about the natural ecosystems conditions in the passageway of the gas pipeline NS-2.

Photo by the author. Foreword A. Filippova before the presentation of the environmental community
Photo by the author. Representatives of authorities, business, the public at the “round table” talks

The RAM team will focus prominently on these issues:

  1.  Assess possible effects of the trench box pipeline construction method across the onshore part (sandy beach, swamp forest, relict dune, peat bog dome) and the offshore pipeline laying in the shallow waters, notably regarding possible habitat alterations, disturbance to habitats and species, spread of invasive species, alteration of bog hydrology and related possible ecological changes. 
  2. Review and evaluate the environmental monitoring programme for the operational phase of the pipeline, developed and implemented by the constructor.
Photo by the author. Some issues of the Ramsar Advisory Mission in the Kurgalsky Peninsula nature reserve


3. Evaluate the measures proposed by the pipeline constructor as part of its Biodiversity Action Plan to support the operations, survey and management of the Kurgalsky Regional State Nature Reserve, including measures to manage tourist and recreational access, increase public awareness on environmental concerns and natural values, and support local education programmes.

4. Make specific recommendations regarding the points listed above, as well as the needs and ways how to improve the scientific knowledge of the Kurgalsky Peninsula and to support and increase together with regional authorities (Committee for Natural Resources of Leningrad Region and Directorate of Specially Protected Natural Areas of Leningrad Region) local capacities and knowhow for sustainable reserve management.

The environmental community and scientific experts were notified of the meeting a few days before it. Therefore, it was necessary to cooperate as soon as possible, jointly determine the most important points of the report on the conditions, violations and acute problems in the Kurgalsky Peninsula nature reserve.

We managed to divide the report into three blocks and made an extremely intelligible, logically structured presentation:

The current impact of the gas pipeline on natural ecosystems and advisory measures to minimize it (speaker — Anastasia Filippova, regional expert, Greenpeace Russia);

Photo by the author. A. Filippova reports the first part of a joint presentation of the environmental community

General problems of the Kurgalsky Peninsula nature reserve (speaker — Anna Loseva, theriologist, CCB expert);

Photo by the author. A. Loseva highlights other pressing issues of the Kurgalsky Peninsula nature reserve

The general situation with the development of the Russian coast of the Gulf of Finland in the Russian Federation and recommendations on the ecological development of the territory (speaker — Evgeny Usov, press secretary of Greenpeace Russia).

Photo by the author. E. Usov tells RAM representatives about the general ecological situation in the Russian part of the Gulf of Finland

On November 13, representatives of RAM were taken to the place of the gas pipeline NS-2 and in the village Bolshoe Kuzemkino to meet with locals. As we learned from verified sources, the delegation was met by local deputies. RAM experts were driven along the track and told that «the animals are very satisfied, they have already found a detour.» And «the local population is just so happy that a gas pipeline has appeared — they greet and thank Nord Stream.» As always, «window dressing» …

In any case, the holding of the Ramsar Consultation Mission in the Kurgalsky Peninsula Nature Reserve is a big step forward, and it’s good that Tobias Salathe participated in it (in the center on photo) — senior European adviser to the Ramsar Secretariat, a professional of the highest level, who seeks to solve the challenges constructively.

Photo by the author. Randy Milton and Tobias Salathe are representatives of the Ramsar Advisory Mission

In a few months, RAM will make recommendations to the Russian authorities and the Nord Stream 2 AG company on a further action plan for the conservation of biodiversity in the Ramsar site — Kurgalsky Peninsula Nature Reserve. We are waiting and monitoring the situation.

For the presentation from the environmental community, the Public Council of the South coast of the Gulf of Finland provided photos from the place of the construction of the NordStream2 gas pipeline, made during its annual bike-conference “Our Coast-2019” http://decommission.ru/2019/07/31/velo_2019_itog/

Elizaveta Mikhailova
Project coordinator
Public Council of the south coast of the Gulf of Finland
Participant of the meeting

 

Выступление Олега Бодрова на круглом столе в ООН (Нью-Йорк, 5 мая 2019) по проблемам разоружения, роли гражданского общества в этом процессе и необходимости системного анализа безопасности военных и гражданских ядерных технологий:

Выступление Олега Бодрова на круглом столе в ООН (Нью-Йорк, 5 мая 2019) по проблемам разоружения,  роли гражданского общества в этом процессе и необходимости системного анализа безопасности военных и гражданских ядерных технологий:

 

 

Decommissioning Russia’s old nuclear power reactors — Status update on key processes 2018

This report sums up the situation for Russian nuclear power plant decommissioning, and the main changes in 2018. The report is part of the project “From closed rooms to openness”. The report contains summary of an expertise on Leningrad nuclear power plant’s decommissioning plan, and a summary of the report “Resource development of the Arctic region and NGO’s opinion”.

  Edited by Kjersti Album, contributions by Oleg Bodrov, Yuri Ivanov, Dag Arne Høystad, Daria Matveenkova, Olga Senova, Vitaly Servetnik and Andrey Talevlin, 2018 

See the report here: http://decommission.ru/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Status_update_on_key_processes_2018.pdf

Christmas gift to planet Earth

THE WORLD’S OLDEST REACTOR OF THE CHERNOBYL SERIES IS STOPPED! NEW ERA OF THE RUSSIAТ NUCLEAR INDUSTRY

Friday, December 21, 2018 at 23:30 finally stopped the world’s oldest reactor RBMK-1000 (Chernobyl series) at the Leningrad nuclear power plant (LNPP). It functioned 45 years and will be decommissioned for about the same number of years.

A new era of nuclear industry of Russia has begun,where about 75% of NPP reactors work longer than design limits. Their decommissioning will require tens of billions of euros. Mainly taxpayers of Russia will pay these costs.

Decommissioning of nuclear power plants is a multifactorial complex of problems:

  • technological– in the world there are no technologies for long-term isolation (for a hundred thousand years) or socially-environmentally acceptable technology for the processing of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste, for example, about 7 thousand tons of radioactive graphite on the 4th reactors LNPP. The graphite (Carbon-14) with a half-life 5.700 years;
  • social– about a third of 6,000 employees of LNPP can expect to participate in the decommissioning program. The rest will look for another job;
  • economical – the cost of the decommissioning of 4 power units the operator of the Leningrad NPP estimated by operator at 725 million euros. For comparison, the cost of decommissioning only 2 similar units of Ignalina NPP (Lithuania) after 10 years of the decommissioning is estimated in 4 times more;
  • environmental– as a result of the synergetic effects of radiation and chemical pollution in the area of the nuclear cluster on the southern coast of the Gulf of Finland, it seems that the limit of the ecological capacity of the habitat has been reached.The percentage of cytogenetic damage in seeds and pine needles in the area of the nuclear cluster is 3 times, and in the city of Sosnovy Bor (67,000 residents, 4 km from nuclear facilities) is 2 times higher than on the border with St. Petersburg. (40 km from the nuclear cluster).
  • moral – the transport of spent nuclear fuel from the SOSnovy Bor (South Coast of the Gulf of Finland, Baltic Sea) to the coast of Yenisei river to the temporary storage of spent nuclear fuel to the close nuclear city Zheleznogorsk (Krasnoyarsk territory) is perceived by the residents of the Krasnoyarsk territory as a demonstration of the colonial policy of European Russia towards Siberia. About 130,000 signatures have been collected against such a strategy https://www.change.org/p

In order to ensure an environmentally and socially acceptable scenario for decommissioning nuclear power plants, it is necessary to have effective interaction between three social partners: the authorities, the NPP operator and the public concerned.

Russian NGO “Public Council of the Southern Coast of the Gulf of Finland”in cooperation with Association of veterans of Ignalina NPP (Lithuania)made an examination of the «Concept of Decommissioning of Leningrad NPP Units with RBMK-1000», developed by the operator of this power plant (Concern Rosenergoatom).

The group of experts included experienced experts from Russia and Lithuania, independent from Russian nuclear industry.

Experts noted that the “Concept…” describes mainly some technical details of the decommissioning process. In the same time there are no description of the final solution for the spent nuclear fueland radioactive graphite – biologically significant C14.

There is practically no description of solutions to ensure social stability (and social adaptation) in case of loss of jobs, as well as a model of integrated monitoring of the environmental situation and health condition of people living near the Leningrad NPP.

There is no the regional and municipal legislations, which is provide the effective mechanisms of interaction between the authorities, the operator of the nuclear power plant and the public concerned.

There is no enough money, accumulated for the decommission process of Leningrad NPP.

The experts’ recommendations will soon be handed over to the operator of LNPP (Rosenergoatom), the nuclear safety regulator (Rostekhnadzor), the Russian authorities, the local authorities of Sosnovy Bor, as well as the interested public.

Some of the recommendations of the Russian-Lithuanian expert group:

For the Legislative Assembly of the Leningrad region:

  • Develop and adopt a law on radiation safety of the Leningrad region with a deeper involvement of the legislative power in the decision-making process, a description of public participation procedures, as well as the need to coordinate with local authorities EIA projects of potentially hazardous facilities on the southern shore of the Gulf of Finland (and decommissioning of nuclear power plants);
  • To act with the legislative initiative to develop a Federal law on social guarantees to employees of decommissioned nuclear power plants taking into account the recommendations of the «Concept of decommissioning of nuclear installations…Rosatom» on creation of a complex of measures of social protection of personnel of nuclear power plants output, as well as taking into account the experience of Lithuania adopted a law on social guarantees for employees of the Ignalina NPP, decommissionedor the German experience in social adaptation of Nord NPP workers who will not participate in the decommissioning process of the plant.
  • To consider the establishment (together with the Legislative Assembly of St. Petersburg and local authorities of Sosnovy Bor) of an interregional laboratory for integrated socio-environmental monitoring of the Southern Coast of the Gulf of Finland, including the control of the safe decommissioning of power units of the Leningrad NPP and other nuclear cluster facilities. For the financial support of the laboratory, it is necessary to create a special Fund for the allocation of funds by nuclear enterprises.

For the Board of deputies and the administration of Sosnovy Bor urban district:

  • Develop and adopt a Regulation on the «Public Council» for social and environmental monitoring of the decommissioning of the LNPP, with the inclusion of representatives of all interested parties. Such «Advice» was created in the city of Visaginas (Lithuania) and Greifswald (Germany) in the derivation of the Ignalina NPP and NPP Nord.
  • Achieve construction(in the shortest possible time!) Of a reserve underground source of drinking water supply for the city of Sosnovy Bor (67 thousand inhabitants).The situation when the drinking water of Sosnovy Bor comes from the Sista River (5 km from the Leningrad NPP) is a violation of Article 34 of the Water Codec of the Russian Federation.

 

For the operator of the Leningrad NPP (Rosenergoatom):

  • To create a Pilot Demonstration Center for decommissioning of power units with RBMK — type reactors and solving the whole complex of technological, social and environmental problems on the basis of the LNPP and the city of Sosnovy Bor:
  • development, testing, improvement and implementation of new technologies for decommissioning of power units with reactors of this type;
  • accumulation of advanced Russian and international experience of NPP power unit decommissioning technologies;
  • organization of an industry training center for the training of NPP personnel and dissemination of experience gained during the decommissioning of NPP units to other sites (Smolensk, Kursk NPP) and contractors;
  • accumulation of experience in the development and improvement of mechanisms of interaction with regional authorities, local authorities, the public in the decommissioning of nuclear power plants.
  • In the preparation of the updated version of the «Concept of Decommissioning of Leningrad NPP Units with RBMK-1000» to complement it:
  • assessment of safety and socio-environmental acceptability of decommissioning of the LNPP under the «on-site disposal» scheme provided for by regulatory documents and implemented in Russia;
  • the conditions under which should be the revision (clarification) of the “Concept of Decommissioning of the LNPP” unit to ensure the maintenance of the concept of the actual state, as required by the Concern’s “Concept of Rosenergoatom”;
  • estimates of the total amount (volume and activity), type, category and classes of radioactive waste generated during the decommissioning of the unit and planned for transfer to the National Operator for Radioactive Waste Management for disposal at radioactive waste repositories (requirement of article 12 of the Federal law «on radioactive waste management and on amendments to certain legislative acts of the Russian Federation» and relevant by-laws, including the «Rosenergoatom concept»);
  • description of the types of radiation monitoring and controlled radionuclides in the sanitary protection zone and urban Sosnovy Bor.

The expert opinion will contain a number of technical recommendations describing the Russian and Lithuanian experience of decommissioning nuclear hazardous facilities.

Russian members of the expert group

The CALL for the 100th anniversary of the First World War: Down with war, let’s build peace!

We, women and men from all continents of the world want to develop a culture of peace on a global level, and know that for the future of humanity the only route is peace.

We also know that it constantly requires the action of citizens, people, and states, to maintain a state of peace.

That is why, faced with the dangers for peace that consist of: a globalization that puts the burden on the people of excessive military expenditure, nuclear weapons that threaten the survival of humanity, and climate disruption,

we call on all women and men, around the world, to mobilize for peace by getting all political leaders, elected officials, heads of state and heads of international institutions to create some form of multilateral disarmament measures (especially nuclear), to protect the planet and develop human rights and education for the culture of peace in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.

100 years after the armistice of November 11, 1918, down with war, let’s build peace!

The text is available in different languages: French, German, Spanish, Italian, Arabic, Russian, Japanese, Chinese, through the following link: www.mvtpaix.org

Putin’s green patriots enter Norway

Russian Ecological Chamber, an NGO created by former State Duma Deputies, invites to Barents EcoWeek, a gathering other environmental groups call «a highly questionable event.»

While several of the environmental organizations in northern Russia are stigmatized under the 2012 ‘foreign agent’ law, the Ecological Chamber was established within the frames of Vladimir Putin’s new policy program for NGOs.

 

On June 26-27, the organization invites for Barents EcoWeek, first at the ecological centre Bioforsk Svanhovd in Norway’s Pasvik valley. Then to Nikel on the Russian side of the border.

«This event will become a significant contribution to the expansion of the presence of the ecological organizations on the world stage,» Ecological Chamber writes in the program. Barents EcoWeek is dedicated to the 25th anniversary of the Barents Euro-Arctic cooperation.

Naturvernforbundet, the Norwegian branch of Friends of the Earth, is invited but will not go.

«This is a highly questionable organization with a questionable event, and Naturvernforbundet has chosen not to participate,» says Yngvild Lorentzen, Head of Department for international projects.

«We have asked for information about speakers and whom they have invited, but have not received any information about this from the organizers,» she says.

The Barents Observer has tried to get in contact with Ecological Chamber with a list of questions, so far without any reply.

In Russia, the organization is known for being outspoken about how environmental movements should primarily be patriotic and not interfere with business and industry development.

The smelter in Nikel near Russia’s border to Norway. Photo: Thomas Nilsen

Quoted by Kommersant, Co-Chairman of the organization, Vadim Petrov, was outraged that environmental NGOs exist in Russia whose «objective is not the economic development of the country, but the protection of the environment.»

Petrov, who is listed as contact person for next week’s Barents event in the Norwegian-Russian borderland said in the same fora: «Most environmental projects in Russia and other countries are financed from abroad and have highly negative connotations.»

Yngvild Lorentzen says her organization does not consider Ecological Chamber an environmental NGO. «It is sad to see how they actively discredit real organizations who are genuinely oriented towards nature protection.»

Financed by Kremlin

When established in 2013, Ecological Chamber got a presidential grant from Vladimir Putin of 2,2 million rubles (€30,000).

Kommersant is quoting Vladimir Semenov, the Chamber’s head saying «Today we form a new agenda for modern Russia, ecological patriotism as the basis of the national idea.» Semenov, who also is a former deputy in the State Duma, continued by urging his colleagues to resist the Western approach to ecology which «is based on such pillars as postmodernism, anti-globalism, radical feminism, green anarchism, anti-clericalism.»

Ecological Chamber claims international NGOs like World Wildlife Fund and Greenpeace get in the way of Russia’s economic development and should be replaced by «truly patriotic» environmental NGOs promoting the country’s growth.

Oleg Bodrov has been activ in Russia’s ecological NGO movement for decades. Photo: Thomas Nilsen

Oleg Bodrov, Chairman of an environmental network in the St. Petersburg region, says to the Barents Observer that Ecological Chamber has nothing in common with the Russian environmental movement.

«It is a show off, and nothing more than a poor attempt by president Putin to take environmental work seriously.»

Bodrov was formerly working for Green World, an NGO in the nuclear power plant town of Sosnovy Bor that had to close down after being declared ‘foreign agent’ some years ago.

Public diplomacy

Barents EcoWeek, though, aims at boosting cross-border discussions of nature protection through the Barents cooperation, including informal dialogue with public organizations. «… public diplomacy are especially important nowadays when the system of international relations is going through a difficult state…»

Board member of Russian Social-Ecological Union (RSEU), Alexander Fyodorov, writes in an e-mail to the Barents Observer that no such NGO as Ecological Chamber belongs to their network. «Be sure, they do not have a strong interest in environment.»

RSEU is an umbrella organization for ecological public organizations from all regions of Russia.

Anna Kireeva and Vlad Nikiforov works for Bellona. Photo: Thomas Nilsen

Bellona says no invitation is sent to them regarding participation. «We haven’t heard of it,» says Anna Kireeva from Murmansk. Vlad Nikiforov, also with Bellona, says they have a lot to share. «We have 25 years of experience in cross-border environmental cooperation and can contribute with a lot.»

The program does not list names of speakers, but the Ecological Chamber assures «Barents EcoWeek will become the main expert platform bringing together the most authoritative and qualified specialists whose competence is related to the theme of ecological and sustainable socio-economic development of the Euro-Arctic territories.»

Partners removed

In the program, several agencies and international bodies were listed as «Organizers and Partners», among them the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency. Contacted by the Barents Observer, Program Coordinator for Russia and the Arctic, Åke Mikaelsson, is surprised.

«The Swedish EPA will not have any representative in the Barents EcoWeek taking place in Kirkenes and Nikel next week and we did also not contribute to it financially,» Mikaelson explains.

«… we were not included or even informed about this event,» he adds.

The report «Decommissioning of Russia’s Old Nuclear Power Reactors. Status Update of the Key Process in 2017»

The report «Decommissioning of Russia’s Old Nuclear Power Reactors. Status Update of the Key Process in 2017« analyzed the situation with the withdrawal of nuclear power plants for 2017.
The report was prepared by Russian and Norwegian non-governmental organizations, which is 15 years working with this topic.
There are presented the current situation with the planning of the withdrawal of Russian NPPs, 75% of which are working in the mode of extending the project lifetimes. The situation with financing of decommissioning, as well as handling of radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel is analyzed.
The problems of energy efficiency, renewable energy, as well as changes in legislation related to nuclear energy are shown.
The authors of the report will be grateful for comments and criticism.

 

Business Game on Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) within the framework of the XIX International Environmental Forum «Baltic Sea Day 2018»

On March 23, a business game on Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) was held in St. Petersburg within the framework of the XIX International Environmental Forum «Baltic Sea Day 2018». Participants included representatives from Russia, Sweden and Finland. Around 25 people.
The aim of the game is to work out a model of participation in the compilation of a marine plan for a hypothetical water and coastal areas.
Teams are ready for the business MSP game
Each team, according to the rules, had its own development goals for the region. The «red» team has an economic goal, the «blue» team has a social team, and the «green» team has an environmental goal. Inside the team, each participant also had a role. For example: a planner, a sailor, a fisherman, a power engineer, a representative of the municipal government, a tourist, etc. Also, journalists and representatives of neighboring countries had supervisory functions.
N. Kuzmin, deputy of the Leningrad region Legislative Assembly, the captain of the «blue» team presents a report
The business game on MSP was very interesting and informative. The game allowed all participants to feel that the voice of EVERYONE is important in planning, and also that in the inevitable conflict of interests it is necessary to find a compromise.
Elizaveta Mikhailova is a participant of the «blue» team.
Winners — the «green» team — were awarded memorable diplomas.
Despite the fact that the legislation on the implementation of MSP in Russia is still «marking time», it is pleasant that the representative of regional authorities took active part in this game. (N. Kuzmin)
According to the Road Map of MSP which was established within the HELCOM-VASAB working group, by 2020, marine spatial plans coherent across borders and based on the  ecosystem approach should be implemented in the whole Baltic region.
Here is link to the short movie about this event.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-QKsuvLXh4A&feature=youtu.be

The Results of the Public Environmental Impact Assessment (PEIA) of Nord Stream 2 project

 

On Monday, January 15, 2018 in St. Petersburg in the Business News Agency held a press conference «The Results of the Public Environmental Impact Assessment (PEIA) of Nord Stream 2 project». The NGO Center for Expertise «ECOM» of the St. Petersburg Society of Naturalists presented the PEIA, which was launched on October 5, 2017. The expert commission included the Ph.Ds. (technical, biological, geographical, law) sciences, professors and leading researchers of various institutes of the St. Petersburg State University and the Russian Academy of Sciences.

The experts’ conclusions contained assessments of the choice of alternatives to the pipeline route, the completeness and reliability of engineering surveys, the impact of the planned activity on the environment, the compliance of project documentation and design solutions with current legislation and regulations, and conclusions on the feasibility of implementing the planned activity.

According to the expert commission, the pipeline route via the «Kurgalsky peninsula» Ramsar site can’t be implemented. This area contains a very high concentration of flora and fauna protected species.

Realization of the planned activity will inevitably lead to the loss of plant and animal worlds key habitats, including those listed in the Red Book of the Russia and/or the Leningrad Region. Also, the laying of the gas pipeline will provoke destructive processes (changing the hydrological regime, bogging) in the areas around the planned pipeline route, lead to the destruction or violation of the most valuable natural complexes and landscapes, for which the Kurgalsky nature reserve and the wetland of international importance «Kurgalsky Peninsula» were established.

The “ECOM” experts believes that «concealing information on the comparative value of natural complexes in selecting alternatives to gas pipeline routes, as well as underestimation of the value of natural complexes in the southern part of the Kurgalsky nature reserve, is a deliberate policy of the developer of project documentation.»

Based on the above opinion, the “ECOM” commission makes conclusions about the impermissibility of the project for the following reasons:

  • discrepancy of the documentation substantiating planned economic activity, in connection with incompleteness and unreliability of results of engineering-ecological researches;
  • discrepancy of environmental requirements established by legislation in the field of environmental protection, international Conventions and the RussianConstitution;
  • possible adverse effects of the proposed activity on the environment and related social, economic, environmental and other consequences.

Please find here and share :

 

 

Elizaveta Mikhailova

Project coordinator

Public Council of the south shore of the Gulf of Finland

e-mail: mikhailova@greenworld.org.ru

Phone: +7 921 3285626

Position paper of the “Public Council of the south shore of the Gulf of Finland” and NGO Indigenous people “Shoykula” about Nord Stream 2 project.

The Russian public ask the «Friends of the Earth Europe» to be solidarity with Russian NGOs. It’s necessary to persuade the European investors of the Nord Stream 2 Project not to finance the construction of the Trans-Baltic gas pipeline if it is laid via the «Kurgalsky Peninsula» — the international Ramsar site.

Position paper of the “Public Council of the south shore of the Gulf of Finland” and NGO Indigenous people “Shoykula” about Nord Stream 2 project.

Unknown Fire at Ecomet-S Facility Close to St. Petersburg

On Monday, December 18, 2017, in the evening, there was a fire in SosnovyBor, in the center of the nuclear cluster of the southern shore of the Gulf of Finland http://www.interessant.ru/people/pozhar-u-lieninghradskoi-at. Waste was burned on the territory of EKOMET-S, Europe’s largest recycler (by means of remelting) of metallic radioactive waste.

 

December 22, 2017, No. 1
NGO Public Council of the South Coast of the Gulf of Finland
Tel. +7(81369) 72991   e-mail:obdecom@gmail.com   www.decommission.ru

On Monday, December 18, 2017, in the evening, there was a fire in SosnovyBor, in the center of the nuclear cluster of the southern shore of the Gulf of Finland http://www.interessant.ru/people/pozhar-u-lieninghradskoi-at. Waste was burned on the territory of EKOMET-S, Europe’s largest recycler (by means of remelting) of metallic radioactive waste.

Nuclear cluster 40 km from St. Petersburg

According to media reports, fire-fighting forces extinguished the fire.

The same evening, Dmitry Boytsov, the head of the Department of Nature Management and Environmental Safety of the administration of Sosnovy Bor, in response to a signal from city residents, went to the bank of the Glukhovka River on the territory of Sosnovy Bor. There, he said, was a strong smell of burning plastic. At the same time, the wind blew from the side of Ekomet-S, 4 km to the west from the river.

The source of the combustion, according to Mr. Boytsov, was not found.

Measurement of the gamma radiation at the Ecomet-S radioactive facility.

Only on December 20, from Oleg Bodrov, the author of this message, did the responsible municipal official learned about the emergency at ECOMET-S.

On December 20, two days after the fire, representatives of the Public Council of the SouthCoast of the Gulf of Finland visited ECOMET-S. Measurements of radiation did not reveal an excess of background values.

A number of questions nevertheless arise:

  1. What kind of waste burned on the territory of the radiation-hazardous object ECOMET-S?
  2. Why did they catch fire?
  3. Were these wastes radioactive?
  4. How safe were the products of combustion that have reached the city limits?
  5. Why did the official responsible for the environmental safety of the atomic city of SosnovyBor fail to receive timely information about the fire at the radiation hazardous facility?

 

Currently, on the territory of theSosnovyBor nuclear cluster, several hundred meters from the site of the fire, a new experimental power unit of the Leningrad NPP-2 with the VVER-1200 reactor is being launched.

This means a higher probability of emergencies. At the same time, more than 6 million people living within a radius of 100 km do not have an independent operational source of information on possible emissions and discharges.

Rosatom ceased financing an independent regional environmental laboratory 15 years ago. It was closed.

As a result, the recent situation with increased concentrations of radioactive Ru-106 in the area of the Mayak reprocessing plant of the spent  nuclear rods in Ozersk (Ural Region, Russia), may be repeated in SosnovyBor, in the close vicinity of St. Petersburg.

An independent international system of operational information on radiation incidents is needed to protect nature and people.

 

Radioactive Waste and Spent Nuclear Fuel Management in Russia. View of Non-Government Organizations

Russian and international non-governmental organizations have their own opinion on the problem of RW and SNF disposal outlined in various documents. NGO members of the DECOMMISSION International Network have been analysing the experience of safe disposal of RW and SNF for over ten years.
This analysis is based on the official printed state documents and positions of the NGOs – members of the DECOMMISSION International Network.
The authors of this report would like to express their appreciation to Oleg E. Muratov, member of the Public Council of Rosatom, for his valuable observations and comments, many of which were included.
To read the booklet you can here.

Russian and international non-governmental organizations have their own opinion on the problem of RW and SNF disposal outlined in various documents. NGO members of the DECOMMISSION International Network have been analysing the experience of safe disposal of RW and SNF for over ten years.
This analysis is based on the official printed state documents and positions of the NGOs – members of the DECOMMISSION International Network.
The authors of this report would like to express their appreciation to Oleg E. Muratov, member of the Public Council of Rosatom, for his valuable observations and comments, many of which were included.
To read the booklet you can here.

Nuclear Geopolitics in the Baltic Sea Region: Exposing Russian Strategic Interests behind Ostrovets NPP

Is Russia furthering its strategic interests by facilitating and supporting the construction of the Ostrovets nuclear power plant in Belarus? Giedrius Česnakas and Justinas Juozaitis believe so. For example, they suggest that this project is not only enabling Moscow to increase its foothold in Belarus, but also undermine competing EU plans and regional energy projects in the Baltic. As a result, Česnakas and Juozaitis contend it´s high time for the EU and others to acknowledge geopolitical significance of the Ostrovets project.  read more….