Putin discussed nuclear safety with Russian liberals

Publish date: December 11, 2003

In the end of November, not long before the elections, the Russian President discussed the issues of nuclear safety with the head of liberal Yabloko party and his deputy Sergey Mitrokhin.

Earlier Sergey Mitrokhin took part in the meetings of the Inter-Parliamentary Working Group established by Bellona.

The discussion concerned nuclear and environmental safety. The Russian Minister of Atomic energy Alexander Rumyantsev, Deputy Head Science Secretary of the Russian Science Academy Boris Myasoyedov, and the President of the Centre for Environmental Policy Alexander Yablokov also took part in the meeting.

The participants discussed safety problems of the Russian nuclear sites and nuclear submarines dismantling. Putin said Minatom signed a $100m contract with foreign partners concerning nuclear submarines’ dismantling, although he mentioned that the Russian state budget spent $68m on this issue in 2003. Yabloko leader mentioned that his party suggested in the Russian parliament to ban completely foreign nuclear waste import into Russia and provide maximum transparency for the revenues earned from foreign nuclear materials’ storage and reprocessing. They claimed that the nuclear waste import project is unprofitable and dangerous for environment. If one calculates all Russia’s expenses on handling foreign spent nuclear fuel (storage, reprocessing, waste treatment etc.), he will see that the expenses are much higher than the expected revenues. Moreover, the costs can rise due to possible accidents during storage or shipment of the spent nuclear fuel.