– Bellona finds it tragic to end our work in Russia. Bellona founder Frederik Hauge says the war is making it impossible to continue.
It is too risky for the participants.
One of the projects that Bellona has been involved in is removal Nuclear waste at the old naval base in Andreeva Bay on Russia’s Kola Peninsula – Only 50 km from the Norwegian border.
Hauge worries about what will happen there next.
– Some of them have been raised in specially made containers. But he says there’s still half left, and it’s a serious process to lift and move the process.
– It is the most difficult waste of the rest.
On Sunday he was a guest at the weekend morning Where he expressed concern about the situation.
Concerned about increasing nuclear risks
Hauge believes it is unfortunate that the international community does not have an overview of what is happening in Russia, and fears that Russia will prioritize spending money on war over nuclear security.
– The current situation increases the nuclear threat from Russia and there is a reason for this to worsen in the future.
He is also worried about Ukraine’s nuclear security after that Explosions at nuclear power plants.
Bellona considers these to be war crimes and is deeply concerned about the consequences. More security must be secured at Chernobyl, and all planned international measures have been halted. Zaporizhzhya is under tremendous load, and that goes for many other power plants that are under fire, says Hauge.
Bellona will continue to work with Russia’s environmental challenges, but now it must find new ways of working.
– Bellona will endeavor to maintain and update our documentation on environmental conditions in Russia, says Hauge.
So they set up a new office in Vilnius, Lithuania. There, Bellona experts will continue their work after leaving Russia.
– Hauge says we made sure to keep our expertise and will use it to help Ukraine.
Do not trust Russia
Tarje Jensen Piech is the district mayor in Troms, Finnmark. He worries about the consequences that might follow.
– It’s very annoying. At the same time, we must also remember that it is also in Russia’s interests to ensure that waste does not cause harm, he says.
– Do you trust that the Russians will handle this properly?
– No, I can’t say that I do. But I think it is important that we shed light on this so that it can be followed up on the Norwegian side in the ways that can be done in the difficult geopolitical situation we are in, says the county mayor.
The county council also has no contact with colleagues in Murmansk, says Besch, and fears that any nuclear emissions could affect the population in northern Norway.
There will still be great challenges
Per Strand is the director of the Norwegian Directorate for Social Security and Preparedness (DSB). He is also worried about the situation.
– We use the tools we have, but we are in a completely different situation now, he says.
Strand indicates that they still have some contact with the Russian authorities. But this is done mainly through a bilateral agreement on notification and exchange of information in the event of significant changes.
– We also tested that it works just as well after the war broke out, he says.
But I realize that it is unfortunate that you can no longer be physically present in Russia.
– This means we will receive less information and have almost no communication at the bilateral level, says Strand.
He points out that a lot of important work has been done in the past 25 years in cooperation with Russia and other international actors, but much remains to be done when it comes to the removal of radioactive waste.
There will still be major challenges and we should try to follow them up as best we can in other ways, says Strand.
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