Medvedev met by Kola nuclear protest

“Close Kola nuclear power plant” was the message on the banner when Russia’s President Dmitri Medvedev drove up the road to the Royal Castle in Oslo.


Some 30 members of the organisation Nature and Youth were sitting by the entrance road to the Royal Castle. Since the Russian President arrived on his first State Visit to Norway on April 26th, the environmentalists remained that this was also the anniversary day of the Chernobyl reactor disaster in Ukraine back in 1986.

The protesters from Nature and Youth want the Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg to bring up the closure of Kola nuclear power plant in his political talks with the visiting Russian President. Jens Stoltenberg will receive Dmitri Medvedev at the Prime Minister’s office downtown Oslo later on Tuesday.

Safety concerns regarding the two oldest reactors at Kola nuclear power plant have been highlighted by the Norwegian government by many occasions. Last Friday the Government presented a White Paper to the Parliament saying the ultimate goal is to see the closure of the oldest reactors. The report also says about the importance for Norway to keep a good dialog with Russia in the sphere of nuclear safety and continue to cooperate on safety projects.

Read alsoNorway will continue nuclear safety cooperation

Nature and Youth, together with the tow other Norwegian enviro-groups Bellona and Friends of the Earth, ask Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg to discuss a realistic decommissioning for the Kola nuclear power plant with President Dmitri Medvedev.

Such decommissioning plan is a direct safety measure for people, nature and environment in the Barents Region, the statement from the green groups says. They claim radiation from an accident at Kola nuclear power plant can reach Norway within hours since the plant is located just some 200 kilometres from the border.

Norway has granted some NOK 200 million (€ 25 million) to safety projects at Kola nuclear power plant over the last 15 years. The Norwegian funded projects have mainly been devoted to reduce the risk of human-errors, while the construction of the reactors themselves makes it impossible to bring them up to western safety standards, according to the statement posted by the three environmental groups.

Read alsoProlonged life for Kola reactors

Another concern highlighted by the Norwegian environmentalists is the accumulation of radioactive waste in Russia.

All the three Norwegian environmental groups signing the statement about the Kola nuclear power plant are cooperating with environmental groups in the Russian part of the Barents Region.