Poor control over uranium hexafluoride is still a problem, Ecozaschita says

24 November 2008 (11:30)

‘A round table discussion on the problems related to import and storage of radioactive and highly toxic uranium hexafluoride in Novouralsk, Sverdlovsk Region, was held in Yekaterinburg yesterday. The discussion was attended by the representatives of Sverdlovsk Region Railways, the Ministry of Nature, the Ministry of Emergencies, and the head of Ural Electro-chemical plant,’ Co-Chairman of Ecozaschita (the international environmental group) Vladimir Slivyak announced at a press conference in Yekaterinburg.

‘The head of the plant and the representatives of the other authorities claim the problem regarding the improper storage of radioactive waste in Novouralsk does not exist. However, reality proves otherwise. The contracts that the European plants had with the region in terms of transferring uranium hexafluoride in the Urals were signed illegally, since they violate the existing federal legislation on the protection of the environment. Then, the uranium hexafluoride that has already been delivered to Novouralsk is now being stored right in the open, in some rusty containers on the asphalted ground, which is obviously a violation of the security regulations,’ he added.

‘Rospotrebnadzor’s (the state environmental, technological, and nuclear safety watchdog) representatives did not show up at the discussion even though they state in each of their annual reports that the storage of uranium hexafluoride in the Urals is poor and improper,’ Slivyak noted.

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