Leningrad NPP case study report published on Bellona web

Publish date: February 3, 2005

"The Leningrad NPP as a Mirror of the Russian Atomic Energy Industry" report—written by the plant’s former worker Sergei Kharitonov and sponsored by Bellona Foundation—is published on Bellona web.

The report deals with the safety violations at the plant, analyzing them in several aspects. Bellona’s expert Alexander Nikitin wrote the foreword, emphasizing that everything in the report Kharitonov had learned at first hand.

"The 30 years of experience he had at the plant afforded him an abundance of facts and materials to bring forth to the public," Nikitin wrote.

"Bellona does not necessarily stand behind all the claims stated by Kharitonov in his report. Kharitonov, however,—an eyewitness with profound experience and an author in his own right—is entitled to such viewpoints," he added.

On December 11th 2004, the first Leningrad NPP reactor unit with a Chernobyl-type RBMK reactor, which exceeded its 30-year life-span in 2003, was put back into operation. The extension of the service term was made despite of protests of the European Commission and a number of Western politicians. Environmentalists—from Greenworld, local NGO, and other organisations—claim the extension is illegal without the state environmental evaluation, because the reactor unit underwent not just simple repairs, but a kind of total upgrade.

In 2000, Kharitonov was fired from Leningrad NPP for blowing the whistle on numerous safety violations at the plant. But he continues his struggle for safer environment and this report is a proof of that.