Russian-German coalition demands to stop nuclear waste movement from Germany to Russia

# Russia is not a nuclear waste dump! #

Saint-Petersburg – Berlin, July 2020 – The appeal to the authorities of Russia and Germany was signed by 47 national, regional and municipal non-governmental associations of Russia, Germany and the Netherlands.  The appeal is signed by regional and municipal deputies of the nuclear regions of Russia, as well as by experts and citizens who live along the rail route of dangerous cargo (about 2,500 km) from the port of Ust‑Luga in the Leningrad Region to the Closed Administrative Territorial Unit of Novouralsk (Sverdlovsk Region).

On July 01, 2020 at 05:33 the cargo vessel Mikhail Dudin once again delivered another 600 tons of depleted uranium hexafluoride (UF6). Under the contract, 12,000 tons of UF6 – chemically aggressive radioactive material – may be transferred from Germany to Russia by 2022. 

Olaf Bandt, Chairman of the Organization for Environment Protection and Nature Conservation of Germany (BUND): “The federal government stands by while part of the unresolved nuclear waste problem moves quietly and secretly to Russia. German nuclear waste should not be disposed of in other countries, putting lives of people in danger. Germany must finally complete the nuclear phase-out. Germany must finally complete the abandonment of nuclear energy, but as long as the uranium enrichment plant in Gronau and the fuel cell plant in Lingen are allowed to work, this is out of the question”.

Mathias Eikoff, Muenster Alliance Against Nuclear Facilities: “The federal government allows Urenco and its shareholders RWE and E. ON to take nuclear waste abroad: it’s very cost-effective, but extremely irresponsible – manufacturers and profiteers have no personal responsibility. Therefore, we demand from the federal government a mandatory and complete freeze on the export of uranium waste and enriched uranium from Gronau and fuel cells from Lingen.”

Oleg Bodrov, Chairman of the Public Council of the South Coast of the Gulf of Finland, Decomatom network: “If the German nuclear industry does not have an economically and socially acceptable technology for processing depleted uranium hexafluoride, it means it is waste. According to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal of 22 March 1989, the German economy must find a solution to safely store these materials in the territory of Germany. Export of depleted uranium hexafluoride to Russia is export of the problem, but not a solution to this problem”.

Aija Caune, Chairperson of the Coalition Clean Baltic – CCB: “CCB, the network of 24 environmental NGOs from 11 countries of the Baltic Sea Region, throughout its 30 years of work has repeatedly raised concerns about safety of nuclear installations operating in the BSR. We are calling on both governments of the Russian Federation and Germany to stop shipping nuclear waste across the Baltic Sea and gradually phase-out nuclear facilities as posing immediate risk to natural environment”.

Andrey Talevlin, Chairman of the regional environmental organization ZA PRIRODU (FOR NATURE), Chelyabinsk, Coordinator of Decomatom network: “Russia should sign the Aarhus Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters and ratify the Espoo Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context. In this case, it will be possible to ensure equal safety standards for Russia with the countries whose businesses are trying to implement joint nuclear projects in our country”.

Vitaly Servetnik, Co-chair of the Russian Scio-Econlogical Union: “It is irresponsible and unfair to move such a problem to a country with lower environmental standards and public control. Rosatom must stop increasing their profits by turning a huge Russian territory into a dump. This crime against future generations of Russians must stop immediately”.

Marina Ljubushkina, Head of the public reception office of the Spravedlivaya Rossiya (Justice Russia) political party in Kingisepp District, Leningrad Region: “The reloading of toxic radioactive substances to rail cars in the port of Ust-Luga and their transportation through the radiation-contaminated “Chernobyl” territories of the Leningrad region creates additional health risks for thousands of residents along the train route. This is illegal and not fair! Public discussions should be organized with participation of the public concerned and the municipality of Kingisepp District to justify the license for handling radioactive materials during the transshipment in the port of Ust-Luga!”

Nikolay Kuzmin, Chairman of the Permanent Commission on Ecology and Nature Management of the Legislative Assembly of the Leningrad Region, Sosnovy Bor, Leningrad Region: “Additional regional legislative norms should be adopted in order to ensure the radiation safety of the inhabitants of the Leningrad region and provide for the real participation in decision-making of the elected deputies and the interested public representatives”.

Russian environmental and human rights organizations speak out against the import of uranium radioactive waste into Russia. More than 30 organizations signed a collective statement in November 2019.

In January 2020, environmentalists the signatures of 70,000 Russians against the importation of uranium radioactive waste to the German Ministry of the Environment.

In March 2020, residents of the coast of the Gulf of Finland who live in close proximity to the transshipment and transport facilities of hazardous cargo near the port of Ust-Luga expressed their protest against transportation of nuclear waste through the Leningrad region.  

The text of the PR and the Public Appeal to German and Russian authorities are available here.

We thank our colleagues from Germany and the Russian Socio-Ecological Union for their effective cooperation and support.

Oleg Bodrov
Tel. +7 921 74 52 631