“Our cooperation with Russia on nuclear safety creates better safety for the citizens of both countries. This work is also important for the safe management of the large sea areas in the north, State Secretary Torgeir Larsen says.
Larsen was head of the Norwegian delegation to a meeting in the Norwegian-Russian Nuclear Safety Commission in St. Petersburg last week.
Cooperation on nuclear safety has an important place in Norway’s bilateral cooperation with Russia. A joint exercise focusing on information and warning of nuclear incidents is important to in order to establish new procedures.
Norway has on some occasions criticized Russia for not warning Norway about incidents on the country’s nuclear installations close to the border. For instance, no Norwegian authorities were informed by Russian officials when the nuclear powered submarine “Yekaterinburg” caught fire in December 2011 in a floating dock outside Murmansk.
When a five meter high oil voltage transformer exploded at the Kola Nuclear Power Plant during a hurricane in January 2010, the plant’s management called the episode “an incident” and failed to report it to the Ministry of Emergency Situations.
The meeting in St. Petersburg also focused on the ongoing Norwegian-Russian joint expedition in the Kara Sea, which is scheduled to end on September 23 in Kirkenes. The purpose of the survey is to gain new and updated knowledge about radioactive contamination, particularly in relation to the nuclear submarine K-27.
Norway and Russia will cooperate on arranging an international conference on continued international efforts to improve nuclear safety in Russia. The conference will be held in Moscow this autumn, the Norwegian Foreign Ministry’s web site reads.
Russia plans to resume testing of the submarine-launched ballistic missile Bulava this summer. The country’s two newest strategic nuclear-powered submarines will start trials as soon as the ice conditions in the White Sea will allow.
MURMANSK: Ecological groups gathered on Kola Peninsula fear that Barents nature will be the looser after Oslo decided to call off the environmental minister’s Moscow meeting in response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea.
TROMSØ: Since the first five specimens of snow crab were found in the Barents Sea in 1996, the population has exploded. There is now ten times as much snow crab than king crab in the area, and scientists are just starting to find out how this new species has adopted to life in the Barents Sea.
More than 900 reindeer die of hunger on the Russian Arctic island of Kolguyev following a critical lack of available local pasturelands. The reindeer stocks in the area are too badly managed, regional authorities admit.
The current situation in Ukraine makes cross-border cooperation with the neighboring countries even more important, Barents Secretariat leader Rune Rafaelsen says. At the same time, Norway has joined NATO’s condemnation of Russia’s military escalation on the Crimea peninsula.
Board member Amund Trellevik in the press network fears entry-denial of Kremlin’s controversial propaganda-journalist Dmitry Kiselyov could be retaliated by refusing Norwegian journalists access to Russia.