Stockolm, 18 October 2009
STATEMENT ON RUSSIAN BALTIC NUCLEAR POWER PLANT
We are deeply concerned about the Baltic nuclear plant project proposed by Rosatom, Russia's state nuclear corporation, in the Kaliningrad region near the Lithuania/European Union border .
The proposed VVER-1200 reactor is based on old Soviet technology from the 1960s that does not meet modern safety requirements and lacks many of the safety features of reactors under construction in Europe. Rosatom’s environmental impact assessment does not specify what technology will be used to dispose of the nuclear waste. It is widely known that the nuclear industry worldwide has not been able to come up with a safe and reliable technology for the disposal of nuclear waste produced over the last 60 years. How the reactor will be dismantled after it is retired from use and if it will be dismantled at all or just left near the European border as a huge nuclear waste dumping site also remains an unanswered question.
Another concern is the lack of democratic decision making. According to Russian environmental groups, many local citizens opposed to the project were not allowed to take part in official public hearings, while public access to documentation on Baltic NPP was complicated. "Rosatom" officials were distributing wrong facts on the eve of public hearings to falsify public opinion. A number of mass-media cooperating with nuclear industry organized massive' slander campaign against environmentalists opposed to the Baltic NPP.
Though the proposed location of the Baltic NPP is near the border with the EU, Rosatom has not organized public hearings in neighboring countries. Independent experts have had the opportunity to do an alternative assessment of the project.
We insist that implementation of the Baltic NPP project be stopped until an independent international assessment has been carried out with the participation of experts from neighboring countries (especially Poland and Lithuania). New, just and international public hearings must be conducted not only in Kaliningrad region but also in countries which have a common border with this Russian region.