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Special for the web-site of YABLOKO, March 4, 2004

Yavlinsky Convinced Putin Not to Import Spent Nuclear Fuel
Refutation of an article from rbc.ru

By Sergei Mitrokhin

In an article Putin Will Process the Nuclear Damp (from February 27) Alexei Vinogradov made a serious mistake. The author of the article stated that the President supports imports of spent nuclear fuel into Russia. This is not true. In the quotation used by Vinogradov as his source, Putin refers to the need to focus on waste from our [domestically produced] fuel. He implies here that spent nuclear fuel from domestically produced fuel rod arrays were exported to Europe by the USSR and then by Russia.

The main criticism made by the YABLOKO party referred to the idea of importing foreign nuclear waste rather than these practices. For example, Taiwan and South Korea want to export to Russia the nuclear waste produced from the rods supplied by the USA. This was Adamov’s idea (Ed. Former Nuclear Power Minister), suggested to him by an American scientist Thomas Kohran. At our meeting with the President Grigory Yavlinsky and I said that this idea raised political risks, on top of the environmental and financial risks, as 90% of foreign nuclear waste in the world is controlled by the USA and we would have to ask for their permission. In addition not a single country in the world retains foreign nuclear waste, something that Adamov was trying to achieve. Vinogradov’s words that the USA bury their waste and a considerable share of foreign nuclear waste on their territory have nothing to do with reality. After processing foreign nuclear waste, Britain and France return it to the country of origin.

Putin’s words actually demonstrate that Russia is rejecting the idea of importing foreign nuclear waste. The Head of the Nuclear Power Ministry Rumyantsev also made such statements on several occasions. The second depository in Krasnoyarsk is built for Ukrainian nuclear waste and not Japanese waste, and also for waste to be imported into Russia in accordance with the contracts concluded by Russia on new deliveries of the rods. Thus the conclusions made by author are incorrect: the President took YABLOKO’s point of view, and Adamov ’s idea did not prevail.

At the same time some false information released by Adamov has a long life. One such example was repeated by Vinogradov who stated that spent nuclear fuel is not really waste and can be processed into fuel. Under this logic the word waste can be deleted from dictionaries, as virtually any waste can be processed into valuable products.


See also:

YABLOKO for Nuclear Safety

YABLOKO for Environmental Safety

Special for the web-site of YABLOKO, March 4, 2004

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