Malfunction at Kola NPP shows the need of closure

- The incident at Kola nuclear power plant yesterday shows the need of closing the reactors, and start making plans for decommissioning, says Yuri Ivanov in Naturvernforbundet’s partner organisation “Kola Environmental Centre”.

The 3rd reactor at Kola nuclear power plant was automatically shut down yesterday after a malfunction in one of the elements in the system responsible for pressure control in the first compartment, reports Barents Observer.

The reactor started operating in 1982, and was originally intended to be closed in 2012. Lifetime extension is expected in 2011. Previously, the first and second reactors have received prolonged operation permits, and the current end-dates are 2018 and 2019. These prolongations have been granted in closed rooms, without public debate or environmental impact assessments.

Russia has no decommission plans, and only small money is put aside in the decommission fund. Naturvernforbundet is cooperating with Russian partners with the aim that an official decommission plan is made. The project has been going on since 2004.

The cause of the problem is under investigation by Kola NPP. Preliminarily the incident has been classified as a zero on the International Nuclear Event Scale (INES).

The two oldest reactors at Kola NPP are first generation reactors with inherent design flaws which mean they cannot be upgraded to western safety levels. The official Norwegian policy  is that these two reactors should be closed.

Artikkelen ble sist oppdatert: 30.09.2010