Kola nuclear power plant

Kola nuclear power plant.

Lahnstein must speak up

Kola nuclear power plant needs a decommissioning plan

When Norwegian deputy minister Mr. Lahnstein is in Murmansk this week for the Norwegian-Russian bi-lateral nuclear commission, he must use the opportunity to demand a decommission plan for Kola NPP.

Russian “Kola Environmental Center” and “Norges Naturvernforbund” urges Norwegian deputy minister Lahnstein to promote decommissioning of Kola nuclear power plant’s oldest reactors. The plan should provide a safe, secure, socially acceptable and environmentally reliable way to dismantle the reactors, and set an acceptable time table for closure.

Kjersti Album and Yuri Ivanov visiting Kola nuclear power plant
Kjersti Album and Yuri Ivanov visiting Kola nuclear power plant
The two oldest reactors at Kola nuclear power plant were supposed to close down in 2003 and 2004 after 30 years of operation, but they have both received extended operation permits for additional 15 years. These reactors are first generation reactors that cannot be upgraded to match general European safety standards.

- The extensions have been given without environmental impact assessments and public debate. At the same time, no decommissioning plan is being made, and less to no money is accumulated in the Russian decommission fund, says Yuri Ivanov, chairman of "Kola Environmental Centre".

Norwegian authorities claim to use every opportunity to address the situation at old nuclear power plants with Russian authorities. Still, the director at Kola nuclear power plant, Aleksander Ionov, said to Norwegian magazine Teknisk Ukeblad last year that he had never heard anything negative from Norwegian authorities. In a meeting with representatives of the Norwegian government, where hepresented safety at the Kola nuclear power plant, he said there were no objections.

- Clearly, Norwegian authorities must speak up, says Kjersti Album, project manager in Naturvernforbundet.

Russian “Kola Environmental Center” and “Norges Naturvernforbund” proposes that Lahnstein use the opportunity to demand from Russian authorities to:

  • Decommissioning plans for old nuclear power plants must be prepared as soon as possible
  • Money must be allocated to the work of decommissioning.
  • A framework of laws that ensure safe storage of radioactive waste and spent
    nuclear fuel must be developed
  • Norway and Russia should enter into an agreement to alert the transportation of nuclear waste.