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Lawmaker concerned over lack of reaction to issue of ensuring nuclear security in Ukraine

April 26, 9:57 UTC+3
On April 15, the State Duma adopted a statement "On 30th anniversary of Chernobyl tragedy and ensuring nuclear security in Europe at current stage."
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Sergey Naryshkin

Sergey Naryshkin

© Alexander Shalgin/Russian State Duma press service/TASS Archive

MOSCOW, April 26. /TASS/. Russian State Duma Speaker Sergey Naryshkin is concerned over lack of international reactions at the Duma’s statement calling for ensuring nuclear security in Ukraine.

"Nuclear energy should develop only in conditions of strictest observance of security rules. No political factors can justify carelessness in this sphere. Negligence is criminal by definition here. Meanwhile, there was no appropriate reaction of the international community at the statement of the State Duma on the 30th anniversary of the Chernobyl tragedy," Naryshkin said.

On April 15, the State Duma adopted a statement "On 30th anniversary of Chernobyl tragedy and ensuring nuclear security in Europe at current stage." The statement says that a new nuclear threat has emerged for the whole of Europe over the situation in Ukraine and urges the Ukrainian authorities and EU parliaments to comply with international commitments in nuclear safety and take all measures to prevent the threat of accidents at Ukrainian nuclear power plants.

The document says that "nuclear safety in Ukraine and in Europe as a whole has deteriorated in recent years due to the irresponsible position of the Ukrainian leadership, which has rejected cooperation with Russia." "State Duma deputies are calling on the current Ukrainian authorities to comply with all international commitments in the field of nuclear safety," the document adds.

The document notes that "13 out of 15 nuclear power units operational in Ukraine have used up or will use up their statutory service life in the coming years." "In this situation, the Ukrainian government passes decisions in violation of the international standards and safety rules of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to extend the service life of some NPPs by ten years without the approval of the NPP designer and developer - the state corporation Rosatom - and without the confirmation of the availability of required financial resources," the Russian MPs said.

Ukraine is also breaching technological requirements for the operation of nuclear power plants, which may lead to incidents and pose an increased threat, considering the expiry of the warranty periods for the use of Russian-made nuclear reactors. Also, Ukrainian NPPs are switching to the use of unauthorized nuclear fuel made in the United States, which creates a situation when Russia won’t be able to guarantee safety at Ukrainian NPPs, the document says.

"Despite numerous promises by the European Union, works have not been competed after the stoppage of the Chernobyl NPP in 2000 to place a permanent sarcophagus over the blown-up reactor and withdraw halted nuclear reactors from operation," the document says.

"State Duma deputies are urging the incumbent Ukrainian authorities to comply with all international committeemen’s in the sphere of nuclear safety and security," the document says. The Russian MPs are calling on the parliaments and the peoples of EU member-states, the world public to give up situational political considerations in their assessments of nuclear safety in Ukraine and take all measures for preventing the threat of man-made disasters at Ukrainian NPPs and avoid creating a source of the uncontrolled spread of nuclear and radioactive materials in the center of Europe, the document says.

Lesson of Chernobyl tragedy should not be forgotten

Politicians should do everything not to allow the lessons of the Chernobyl tragedy to be forgotten, Sergey Naryshkin went on to say.

"Thirty years ago, a tragedy happened at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant," Naryshkin said in a video message published on the official website of the State Duma. "Modern politicians owe the whole civilization and should do everything to not allow the lessons of Chernobyl to be forgotten," he added.

The Chernobyl disaster was a catastrophic nuclear accident that occurred on 26 April 1986 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in the town of Pripyat in the Ukrainian SSR. As a result of an explosion in one of the reactors, over 57,000 square kilometers of the Russian SFSR were radioactively contaminated, along with 42,000 sq km of the Ukrainian SSR and 47,000 sq km of the Belarusian SSR. At that time, around 6.9 million people resided on that territory. After the Chernobyl disaster, an exclusion zone was set up and 116,000 people were evacuated.

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