Three arrested in Moscow protest against prolonging operations for aged reactors


Publish date: April 16, 2008

Written by: Vladimir Slivyak

Translated by: Charles Digges

MOSCOW – Three activists were arrested Tuesday during a demonstration outside the offices of RosTekhNadznator – the government body that oversees the nuclear industry – while they protested Russia’s policy of extending the engineered life span of the country’s aged nuclear reactors.

The detentions are part of a growing trend in which nearly every environmental protest for the past seven months has been dispersed by police and resulted in arrests.

The prefecture of Moscow’s central region had initially declined permission for the protests. But when the prefecture was asked a second time by organisers, they agreed pursuant to one condition – that the protest be limited to only three activists.

The demonstration, nonetheless, attracted the participation of 10 people from Moscow’s Ecodefence, Nizhny Novgorod’s Anti-nuclear Movement of Nizhny Novgorod, and Murmansk’s Nature and Youth environmental organisation.

At about 1:00pm local time yesterday, activists unfurled a banner reading “Old reactors are the new Chernobyl” near the entrance to the RosTekhNadzor building. In the minutes following, two activists scaled the four metre canopy over the entrance to the building and unfurled another banner reading “Close Old Nuclear Power Plants.”

bodytextimage_ingressimage_P1040512-web-1..jpg Photo: Ecoefence

A detachment of police arrived on the scene within 10 minutes and detained three of the activists. At current, one of them has been released and two remain in custody at the Basmannoe District Police Station in central Moscow.

“We are for the quickest shutdown of old nuclear reactors that have already exhausted their 30 year resources. There is not a single developed country on earth where such reactors would receive permission to operate at all,” said Ecodefence in statement.

“The further use of these energy blocks is extremely dangerous and threatens a repeat of Chernobyl.”

Ecologists confirm that permissions to extend the engineered life span of reactors at the Kola, Kursk, Novovoronezh, Leningrad and Biblin nuclear power plants have already gone through.

These energy blocks were designed long before the Chernobyl accident and it is possible to retrofit them to contemporary standards of safety that are the norm in Western Europe and the United States

By demand of the European Commission, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Ukraine, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, these old Soviet era reactors have been or are being taken out of service. However Russian authorities and the nuclear industry have not for the past 22 years realized all the dangers of the technology that led to the worst technical disaster in the history of the world.

Vladimir Slivyak is co-chairman of the Ecodefence environmental group.

More News

All news

The role of CCS in Germany’s climate toolbox: Bellona Deutschland’s statement in the Association Hearing

After years of inaction, Germany is working on its Carbon Management Strategy to resolve how CCS can play a role in climate action in industry. At the end of February, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action published first key points and a proposal to amend the law Kohlenstoffdioxid Speicherungsgesetz (KSpG). Bellona Deutschland, who was actively involved in the previous stakeholder dialogue submitted a statement in the association hearing.

Project LNG 2.

Bellona’s new working paper analyzes Russia’s big LNG ambitions the Arctic

In the midst of a global discussion on whether natural gas should be used as a transitional fuel and whether emissions from its extraction, production, transport and use are significantly less than those from other fossil fuels, Russia has developed ambitious plans to increase its own production of liquified natural gas (LNG) in the Arctic – a region with 75% of proven gas reserves in Russia – to raise its share in the international gas trade.