Kola nuclear power plant

Kola nuclear power plant. Foto: Kjersti Album

Naturvernforbundet and Russian partners worried:

Official Russian report reveals safety problems at nuclear power plants

A report from Rosatom reveals safety problems at Russian nuclear power plants. Russian and Norwegian environmentalists are disturbed over the report’s conclusions. - This looks even worse than we anticipated, but at least presenting these safety flaws is an important step, says Yuri Ivanov in Kola Environmental Center.

Ivanov and the other partners in the international network DecomAtom - Green World, Za Prirodu and Naturvernforbundet - work together to promote decommissioning plans for Russia’s oldest operating nuclear reactors. Safety issues are one of the reasons these reactors should close as soon as possible.

Yesterday, the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten reported about a new report from the Russian nuclear agency Rosatom, describing major security flaws in its nuclear power plants. Aftenposten writes that the report was presented to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev personally last week. The safety evaluation was done after the earthquake in Japan and the subsequent nuclear accident in Fukushima.

Ivanov has not yet gained access to the report itself, but the conclusions presented in Aftenposten are dramatic. The Russian power plants have several security flaws that make nuclear power plants ill-prepared for earthquakes, tornadoes, accidents at the nearby power plants or other disasters:
• Most reactors do not close automatically downloaded by earthquakes. Automatic shutdown highlighted as a reason Fukushima accident did not have a worse outcome.
• Risk of earthquakes has not been evaluated by the location of nuclear power plants. This also applies to nuclear plants in earthquake-prone areas near the Ural Mountains.
• Seismic data is not updated and there are no contingency plans for major accidents triggered by natural disasters.
• Replacement solutions for the cooling of nuclear reactors is poor. Guarantees that have previously been given about cooling for at least one day, is not based on facts.
• Storage of nuclear fuel is inadequate with unclear rules, full bearings and poor storage conditions that allow nuclear fuel to leak out in the event of earthquakes.
• The tubes providing cooling of the reactors have flaws in the welding seams. There are weaknesses that can be fatal in a disaster, say experts.
• There are no plans for the resources management at nuclear power plants need to drive safely.
• It lacks competent repairers - and the supervisory authority Rostekhnadzor,  lacks inspectors  to monitor security

 

Link to the Aftenposten article (in Norwegian): http://www.aftenposten.no/nyheter/uriks/article4151087.ece