New Bellona report on Russia’s nuclear industry to be presented in EU Parliament Wednesday

Publish date: November 22, 2004

Written by: Charles Digges

The Bellona Foundation and Member of European Parliament (MEP) Diane Wallis will co-organize a hearing where the latest Bellona report, The Russian Nuclear Industry—The Need for Reform, will be presented. The report’s presentation will take place at the European Parliament in Brussels this Wednesday, November 24th in room ASP 1 H1 at 14:30.

Interested parties are invited and can contact

The report, which comprises the work of six Bellona researchers and over a year and a half of research and study, is among the most comprehensive studies of the Russian civilian and military nuclear industry yet published. It distinguishes itself from other works in this field, however, by its in-depth scientific analysis of the environmental, economic and political aspects of the industry, and by making suggestions to aid in Russia’s recovery from its Cold War Legacy.

The report was written by Bellona’s Igor Kudrik, Charles Digges, Alexander Nikitin, Nils Bøhmer, for Russian nuclear regulator Vladimir Kuznetsov and environmental journalist Vladislav Larin.

The presentation of the report will be followed by addresses from some of Europe’s most eminent nuclear policy officials, including Jean Paul Joulia of the EC’s European Aid Co-operation Office, Barbara Rhode of DG Research’s Multi-lateral Co-operation Activities, Norbert Jousten, executive director of the International Science and Technology Centre’s Moscow office, and Vince Novak of the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development.

Policy responses will be delivered by MEP Terence Wynn (PES-UK), Bart Staes (Greens-BEL) and Wallis (ELD-UK). More responses will be presented by assistant to Russian State Duma Member Sergei Filippov, Nikitin, who heads Bellona’s Environmental Rights Center in St. Petersburg, and Bellona Foundation President Frederic Hauge.

The aims of the report

The goal of the report is to present and analyse new developments in the Russian military and civilian nuclear complexes based on open sources and independent research. The report also seeks to guide policy makers and nuclear authorities to solutions based on sound, objective reasoning founded on open information. We also hope to inform general readers about the hazards the world faces as a result of the Cold War legacy, and how these threats are being addressed. In the report you will find:

*The history of Russia ailing nuclear industry from its inception until today

*A description of the closed nuclear fuel cycle that Russia inherited from the Soviet Union;

*A description of the effects—both beneficial and detrimental—that international and domestic nuclear remediation projects have had on the Russian nuclear industry;

*A description of what drives the nuclear industry’s economy;

*Bellona’s conclusions on what should be done to realize the reforms the Russian nuclear industry so dramatically needs.

The report devotes a special focus to the Mayak Chemical Combine and the facility’s seemingly insurmountable problems of radioactive contamination, both within the facility, and via water sources into which the Combine dumps radioactive waste, spreading contamination through rivers and tributaries as far as the Arctic Ocean. It also investigates incidents and accidents at nuclear industry sites described in the report, as well as analyses the physical protection the Russian nuclear industry has against would-be nuclear thieves and terrorists.

The report’s analysis of assistance programmes, especially international ones, will be of special interest to states and organisations that provide funding for post Cold War nuclear remediation in Russia. Though much has been done with this funding to secure Russia’s nuclear legacy, the report also concludes that the funding will fail to meet its goals unless an international coordinating structure and domestic Russian master plan are in place to define Russia’s nuclear remediation priorities.

Conclusions for donor nations and the general public

The new report also concludes that the world’s currently massive donor potential will not be realised unless Russia possesses truly independent and transparent nuclear regulation that will not be hindered by the newly formed Rosatom.

Most of all, the report highlights not only the Russian nuclear industry’s problems, but suggestions for helping to solve them. Bellona believe this report to be required reading for every nuclear policy maker in Russia and in the West in order that environmental nuclear security problems are better addressed.

The report is also intended for the general public, with whom the ultimate power to pressure policy makers lies. For that reason the report will be available in both printed form by order, and eventually on Bellona’s web pages at The report will also be distributed to precisely those government policy makers who guide Russia nuclear dismantlement process.