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Russia approves nuclear and radiation safety program

19.11.2015 09:48  |   World Nuclear News

The Russian government has approved the federal target program (FTP) for nuclear and radiation safety for 2016-2020 and the period up to 2030, Russian news agency Nuclear.Ru reported today, citing an unnamed source at Rosatom.

Sergey Kirienko, Rosatom director general, submitted the state nuclear corporation's report on the tasks of that program at a government meeting chaired by prime minister Dmitry Medvedev yesterday. Rosatom published a transcript of his presentation on its website.

"The key issue is the deferred liabilities accumulated during the 70 years of the nuclear industry, particularly during the time of the Soviet Union," Kirienko said. "The bulk of these is, of course, waste - a legacy primarily of the military nuclear project because most of the deferred liabilities were formed in the early years (between the end of the 1940s and the 1950s)."

In 2007, when the first FTP was adopted, there were "major risks" presented by the accumulated waste and used fuel, he said, since much of this had been stored for up to 50 years. And there was a "huge amount" of radioactive waste, he said, "which in the 1950s had simply been dumped into open reservoirs".

The main goal of the FTP was to remove the risk of large-scale accidents, to establish the safe condition of these materials and ensure their control and stable operation, he said. "A very important task was to create a legal basis that would delineate the authority of the state to business entities in order to deal with the waste accumulated from the Soviet Union."

The program involved eight federal departments and they had budget of RUB131.8 billion ($2 billion) between 2008 and 2015. The corporation has completed 108% of the FTP for 2008-2015, and despite a cut in state funding of RUB8.4 billion ($127 million), Kirienko said.

The bulk of the program's funding - about 73% - will be directed towards the decommissioning of commercial reactors, the withdrawal of buildings and facilities at Mayak Production Association, Siberian Chemical Combine, Angarsk Electrolysis and Chemical Complex and Novosibirsk Chemical Concentrates Plant - facilities once involved in state defence programs, Kirienko said. Nearly 20% of the funding will go on creating the infrastructure required for the processing and final disposal of used nuclear fuel and radioactive waste; 5% on monitoring and ensuring nuclear and radiation safety; and 2% on scientific and technological support, he said.

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