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Secret Floating Nuclear Power Plant to be fuelled all too close to city of St. Petersburg

Russia’s Secretive Floating Nuclear Power Plant Making Waves In St. Petersburg, Radio Free Europe, 20 Apr 17, ST. PETERSBURG, Russia — Ecologists in Russia’s northern capital are raising the alarm over government plans to fuel a floating nuclear power plant just 2 kilometers from the heart of the city.

Officials have been saying since December that they are nearly ready to begin fueling the Akademik Lomonosov, the country’s first-ever ship-borne nuclear-power station, which is scheduled to be deployed at Vilyuchinsk on the Far Eastern Kamchatka Peninsula in 2019. Because the process is shrouded in secrecy and the government has ignored requests for information, it is unclear what the status of the fueling process currently is.

“From this floating nuclear power plant to the city’s mining institute [for example] is probably only about 500 meters,” Rashid Alimov, director of energy programs for Greenpeace Russia, told RFE/RL. “The historical center is densely populated. We have to exclude even the thought of an accident. That is why we have written to the governor. … According to the law, carrying out such operations at the Baltic Shipyard must be approved by the city, evacuation plans have to be drawn up. We have asked the municipal authorities about this.”……..

Independent nuclear-energy analyst Aleksei Shchukin, who spent more than 30 years working on nuclear-powered icebreakers, told RFE/RL that the fueling operation presents risks. Although the reactors are based on designs developed in the 1960s, the configuration on the Akademik Lomonosov is unique and untested.

“That is why I think there is no point in taking a risk and fueling the reactors in the center of a huge city,” Shchukin said. “This is very dangerous. They could take the vessel to Murmansk or Arkhangelsk, where there are bases for repairing and refueling nuclear vessels. That would be much safer.”

Authorities have ignored requests to find out why they insist on conducting the refueling — and possibly other testing — in St. Petersburg, a UNESCO-protected World Heritage Site with a population of just under 5 million.

Previous Incidents……..
Soviet-Era Dumping

According to a 1993 report commissioned by then-Russian President Boris Yeltsin, the Soviet Union dumped 16 nuclear reactors into the Kara Sea and two into the Sea of Japan. According to the report itself, the findings amount to a startling confession of how international agreements “were consciously broken on numerous occasions” by Moscow………..

April 21, 2017 - Posted by | Russia, safety

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