Russia Notifies Estonia on Plans for New Nuclear Waste Dump Across Border ({{commentsTotal}})

Construction of the Leningrad Nuclear Power Plant at Sosnovy Bor
Construction of the Leningrad Nuclear Power Plant at Sosnovy Bor Source: Photo: Postimees/Scanpix

The Estonian Ministry of the Environment has passed along to Parliament and technical agencies an environmental impact assessment for a depository for radioactive waste that Russia is planning just across the border in Leningrad oblast.

The report was received from the Russian Embassy in Tallinn, reported on Tuesday. The facility would house low and medium-grade waste from nuclear reactors in northwestern Russia. 

Russia had not previously notified Estonia of the possible activity, but at the current stage the plan is open to comment, said under secretary Ado Lõhmus.

The developer of the project is listed as a radioactive waste handling company, RosRAO. The facility would serve a number of nuclear power plants and would hold up to 250,000 m3 of nuclear waste, operating for 30-50 years.

The attached letter says four different sites are being considered - Lubanovo, Sosnoviy Bor and two in Kastivskoe. Sosnovy Bor - halfway between St. Petersburg and the Estonian border at Narva - is already home to a nuclear power plant and other nuclear facilities. In particular, the Chernobyl-style reactors have at times been called an area of concern to Estonia. The reactors, which have been involved in a handful of incidents and minor leaks over the past 30 years, are due to be phased out by 2020.

The Ministry of the Environment called for comments to be submitted by August 23.

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