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ITAR-TASS - World Service Wire, November 28, 2003

Putin chairs meeting over nuclear safety

MOSCOW, November 28 (Itar-Tass) - President Vladimir Putin chaired a meeting on Friday over nuclear safety issues.

The meeting was attended by Nuclear Power Energy Minister Alexander Rumyantsev; deputy chief secretary of the presidium of Russia's Academy of Sciences (RAS), head of the radio-chemistry laboratory under the Institute of Geochemistry and Analytical Chemistry Boris Myasoyedov; RAS corresponding member, president of the Center for Environmental Policy Alexander Yabloko, head of the Yabloko faction at the State Duma lower house of the Russian parliament Grigory Yavlinsky, and Yabloko faction member Sergei Mitrokhin.

Opening the meeting, the president said he wanted to talk first and foremost about nuclear safety problems in a broader context - hence his proposal to meet in such a format.

"We agreed with Grigory Yavlinsky to meet and discuss these issues a long time ago," the president said.

Putin asked the nuclear power minister to describe the situation in this sphere and comment on the start of the work of the public commission which had been set up in line with a presidential decree that followed an accord reached several months ago.

Rumyantsev noted that the handling of spent nuclear fuel was the key problem in nuclear power generation. The success of development of this branch of industry foremost depends on how safely and correctly a country resolves this problem, he said.

According to Rumyantsev, some foreign states made considerable progress in this field. France, for example, generates 80 percent of electricity at nuclear power plants, and boasts excellent recycling technologies for used nuclear fuel. In addition, it pays great attention to environmental issues.

The presidential decree on setting up a public control commission gives it an opportunity to recommend for implementation various projects in nuclear power generation which it considers advantageous for the state, he said.

The ministry is ready for public control over the use of money -- derived from these projects -- in environmental programs, the minister said.

For his part, Grigory Yavlinsky said the decree on setting up the public commission had begun to operate. "It started the work which previously had never been done; it's rather serious openness," he said.

Yavlinsky said he wanted to discuss at the meeting a number of amendments concerning the safety of infrastructure and the burial of nuclear waste.

"We propose to consider the issue of energy tariffs, in order to create a special fund and fulfil the presidential decision on moving residents in the Techensky cascade district, Chelyabinsk region, to other areas.

Yavlinsky noted that the local population there was suffering greatly. A decision to resettle them had been made 50 years ago. "We reached common ground with the Nuclear Power Ministry on the financing of the project," he said, "but safety remains the key issue."

The lawmaker praised the Ministry's efforts in this field in the town of Krasnoyarsk-26.


See also:

YABLOKO for Nuclear Safety

RIA "OREANDA". November 29, 2003. Vladimir Putin Held Working Meeting Devoted to Nuclear Security Issues

ITAR-TASS - World Service Wire, November 28, 2003

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