Russian government developing federal program ”Nuclear and Radiation Safety of Russia”

By December 2005, the Cabinet of Ministers is to work out proposals on the blueprint for and draft of a federal targeted programme, entitled “The nuclear and radiation safety of Russia” 2007-2010 and by the end of the year is to work out proposals to list “The main threats to facilities that present a nuclear or radiation hazard and typical intruders in order to analyse the vulnerability of these facilities”. By November 2005, the Cabinet of Ministers is to come up with a draft plan of activities to carry out the second phase in implementing the bases of state policy in ensuring Russia’s nuclear and radiation safety until 2010, ITAR-TASS reported.

According to, it will be the second edition of the federal program. Obviously, the first edition of the federal special-purpose program ”Nuclear and Radiation Safety of Russia” did not improve the situation. It is necessary to secure two conditions to make the new program successful: effective and goal-oriented operation of the state and regional agencies responsible for the nuclear safety as well as their interaction with the NGOs, which can secure independent control in this field. The attempts of the interaction of the Russian Nuclear agency with the NGOs from 2002 to 2004 added negative experience and tensions in this relationship.

The main problems in the field of nuclear safety is spent nuclear fuel stocks, security of the nuclear sites, control of the dangerous substances and the first generation reactors, which are due to be decommissioned. The situation will not change for the better if Rosatom does not agree with the problems and starts close interaction with the NGOs. So, far no such signals were mentioned. Russia collected 17,000 ton of the spent nuclear fuel scattered around Russia in the reactor pools and at the various nuclear facilities. The first step to be made is to accept the conception on handling spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste i.e. to determine their future.

Ten Russian nuclear power plants operate 31 nuclear reactors, 10 reactors have exceeded their designed lifetime and should be taken out of operation. Instead, Russia is trying to get lifetime extension for the first generation reactors, the safety of which cannot be upgraded to the modern standards. To work out the schedule of these reactors decommissioning is another fundamental task, reported.