Russia's nuclear regulator has rejected its nuclear ministry's plans to turn the country into a nuclear dump for the world.
Former main street in Muslyumovo, near the Techa River, severely contaminated with radioactive waste from Mayak nuclear complex.
Minatom, Russia's cash-strapped nuclear ministry, wants to
import 20,000 tones of spent nuclear fuel in a deal it believes
will make US$ 21 billion.
Now the deal has been criticized by Yuriy Vishnevskiy, head of
the nuclear regulator Gosatomnadzor. In an extremely frank letter
to head of Minatom, Alexander Rumyantsev, Vishnevskiy condemns the
decision on both safety and economic grounds.
In the letter, which has been obtained by Greenpeace, the
regulator comments on a Minatom submission to President Putin that
details Russia's readiness to "import, store and reprocess foreign
Gosatomnadzor´s Yuriy Vishnevskiy warns that "a wrong conclusion
has been made on the existence in the Russian Federation of the
necessary administrative and technical possibilities as well as
sufficient regulatory basis for the acceptance of spent nuclear
fuel (SNF) from foreign reactors; the profit from the acceptance
has been calculated incorrectly and it contains a number of
Minatom's dangerous plans to turn Russia into the world's
nuclear dump should now be abandoned, as "only a fool would ignore
the regulators warning," said Greenpeace nuclear campaigner Tobias
"While it is possible that the Russian government will ignore
the advice of its nuclear regulator we urge the so-called client
countries to heed the warning and send Minatom's emissaries
packing," said Muenchmeyer.
The letter comes 11 days after Greenpeace launched a major photo
exhibition in Moscow that reveals the human cost of nuclear waste
dumping at Mayak, the world's largest nuclear complex. Should the
Minatom proposal succeed, Mayak is a likely site for more nuclear
Read the letter, and learn about the Mayak exhibit and the
severe nuclear contamination that already harms the people and
landscape of Russia, at a special Greenpeace website called Half Life