No to floating Chernobyl!

Greenpeace activists protested at the floating NPP in St. Petersburg

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Feature story - 27 April, 2017
On the day of the 31st anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster, Greenpeace Russia activists on inflatable boats have rolled out a banner reading “No to floating Chernobyl” before the floating NPP “Akademik Lomonosov”. They protested against the plans of the Russian nuclear corporation Rosatom to fuel and activate two NPP reactors right in the centre of Russia’s second biggest city.

Greenpeace demands that the city governor Georgy Poltavchenko call off his permission for dangerous nuclear operations, which he issued without having consulted with the St. Petersburg residents. The petition with this demand has already been signed by more than 5000 people.

“Greenpeace activists had no choice but to hold a peaceful protest action in order to draw attention to the danger that the planned activation of the floating NPP reactors poses for the city. The authorities ignore the danger and put five million city residents under risk”, says Rashid Alimov, Greenpeace Russia energy campaigner. “Rosatom says that Greenpeace is seeding radiophobia among people. But we just say that the risk of an accident is absolutely not justified. And the price to pay for an error is too high”.

Greenpeace's position is supported by the Russian Chernobyl Union, that unites liquidators, people who were fighting with the catastrophe in the first months, and got disabilities after that.

Until  recently it was officially forbidden in Russia to build NPPs closer that 100 kilometres to big cities like St. Petersburg. Now, the Baltic Shipyard plans to fuel and start the two reactors of the floating NPP in the very centre of the city, some 3 kilometres away from the Hermitage museum. That was officially confirmed by Rostechnadzor, the Russian nuclear regulator.  

Rosatom says that the operations are safe and Greenpeace seeds panic among the city residents. It insists that the company follows all the strict regulations. However, that is physically impossible, Greenpeace experts say. For example, all the population within five kilometres from NPP must be provided with gas-masks and respirators and there must be a possibility to evacuate people from that area within four hours, which of course is not the case.

Upon the completion of the tests, the FNPP is planned to be towed to Chukotka in the Far East and installed off the town of Pevek. The floating NPP is going to leave St Petersburg later this year or in early 2018 and the route is likely to go through economic zones of most of the Baltic countries and Norway. in case of a floating nuclear power plant, piracy and terrorism add to the usual risks of natural disasters or technological failures.

Apart from grave safety concerns, the construction and the usage of the FNPP poses a serious threat to the Arctic. Rosatom and its affiliated companies have made statements about their plans to use FNPPs and nuclear-powered vessels for the industrial exploration of the Arctic regions. The corporation signed treaties with big oil, gas and coal mining companies to provide its nuclear fleet to secure the transportation of the extracted fossil fuels along the Northern Sea Route.

Greenpeace demands that the St. Petersburg governor puts an end to dangerous experiments, calls off his permission, stops hazardous operations and rid the city of the risk of a new Chernobyl.

Contact person: Rashid Alimov, +7 962 695 66 41, 

Press contact: Andrey Allakhverdov, +48 737 461 381, 

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