This web site is part of the project called “From closed room to openness: involvement of civil society in the future of the nuclear reactors in North West Russia”, a cooperation project between the NGOs Zelenyj Mir/Green World, Gaia Apatity Ecological Center, Za Prirodu and Norges Naturvernforbund/Friends of the Earth Norway. The aim of the project is more openness and public debate about the future of the old nuclear reactors at Kola and Leningrad NPPs. The long-term goal is that Russian officials establish plans and finances to decommission the old reactors. To involve civil society in the process, open and free information is vital, as well as dialogue between different sectors of society. We hope this web site will contribute to more openness by making more information easily available to organisations, politicians, administrators, and the general public.
On the problem of old nuclear power units of Leningrad and Kola Nuclear Power Plants which have reached their designed lifespan limit The first generation nuclear reactors are these days reaching their designed lifespan. The oldest existing Chernobyl-type RBMK-1000 unit of Leningrad NPP and the oldest model of VVER-440 power unit of Kola NPP have already reached their designed lifespan in 2003. The first generation reactors create a higher probability of nuclear accidents, and should be closed at the planned expiry date. They should not be granted permits for prolonged operation. Necessary funds for decommissioning must be established, and the preparation of decommissioning started. Nevertheless, Rosatom has the intention to extend the operation time of the outdated reactors. Any such plans must be considered a new project and therefore be subject to thorough examination, in a process open for the public.
Reactors operated beyond their lifespan limit must be shut down. Prolonged operation should not be allowed. A decommissioning fund must be established in compliance with legislative provisions, and made transparent for the public. Sufficient finances for decommissioning of the first generation reactors should be allocated in the fund. The present situation with surplus power capacity must not be used to offer temporary low tariff in order to create new power demand (for instance to planned aluminium factory near Leningrad NPP and for conversion to electrical heating in Murmansk). Political decisions about prolonged operation have been taken without comprehensive analysis of social, ecological, economical and political consequences for the people living in the North-West Russia and the whole Baltic-Scandinavian region, as well as without governmental environmental impact assessment examination prescribed by the Russian law. The participation of a concerned public was not provided in the decision-making processes. This is a violation of Constitution, laws and international commitments of the Russian Federation.