(December 4, 1994) As more Finnish spent nuclear fuel is prepared for shipment to Russia during November, a petition signed by 3,370 inhabitants of the south Ural Chelyabinsk region against the waste was presented to the Finnish government on October 26, by a local activist.
(423.4186) WISE Amsterdam - Natalya Mironova of the Russian anti-nuclear group Movement for Nuclear Safety presented the Finnish minister for the environment with the petition and held a press conference at the Finnish Parliament the Green League of Finland, and Greenpeace.
More than 12 000 signatures have been gathered in the Chelyabinsk region this year in protest against the waste shipments. Some 4300 signatures have already been submitted to the State Duma of Russia and 920 signatures to the Chelyabinsk regional Duma. The Movement continues to gather signatures.
The Chelyabinsk group and Greenpeace have demanded that the Finnish government stop supporting the secret and closed military reprocessing facility Mayak.
"Finland is helping to turn Russia into an international radioactive waste dump", said Mrs Mironova. "There is no reason why we in Chelyabinsk have to pay with the lives of our children for light and heat in Finland."
Mrs. Mironova's visit comes on the eve of yet another shipment of spent nuclear fuel from the nuclear power plant in Loviisa to the Mayak reprocessing plant in Chelyabinsk. The train from Mayak arrived in Loviisa on Tuesday morning, and will be loaded in the next two weeks. This time the Finnish IVO company will be transporting 26 tonnes of spent nuclear fuel.
The Finnish government stated last December that Finland should take responsibility for its own nuclear waste in future. "The fact that Finland is still sending spent fuel to Russia proves that the nuclear industry is in trouble with their deadly wastes," says Iida Simes from Greenpeace Finland. "II waste management was as easy as the industry is trying to convince us, the spent fuel from the Loviisa reactors would not be going to Russia now." The Mayak facility is still a threat to the environment and causes on-going contamination.
Source: Environet (Greenpeace BBS), 31 October 1994
Contact: Nuclear Safety Movement Chelyabinsk,
or contact WISE Helsinki, c/o EVY, Mecbelinikatu 36, 00260 Helsinki, Finland, Tel + 358 0 406 889, Fax +358 0 446 668