Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 99

The Duma’s Ecology Committee has scheduled hearings next month on the security of Russia’s nuclear power plants. Presumably the hearings are in response to recent charges from the International Chernobyl Foundation’s Information and Analysis Center for the Prevention of Accidents at Nuclear Power Installations, which has conducted its own independent appraisal. The Center concluded that 354 disruptions in the operation of nuclear power plants from 1 January 1992 to 31 December 1993 were registered on Russian territory, and traced their causes to a combination of poor equipment and lack of oversight. It said nearly 39 percent of all disruptions in the operation of nuclear power stations resulted from personnel error. Other frequent sources of trouble are failure to replace obsolete equipment and lack of planning for radioactive waste storage at many of the operating nuclear power plants. The number of rank and file inspectors also is only one-fifth of the authorized strength. (9)

The study describes a catastrophe waiting to happen, since most nuclear power plants in Russia are located in densely populated areas. Many long-standing problems in the nuclear power industry are now compounded by Russia’s present financial straits. Fewer scientists are working in the field of designing power generation equipment or able to modernize existing reactors; manufacturing plants are being converted or closed; and on-site inspections, which are supposed to be conducted by the State Committee for the Supervision of Nuclear and Radiation Safety (Gosatomnadzor), are costly and have become a thing of the past. Gosatomnadzor, for example, has not issued a report in more than three years.

Contract On Nuclear Power Plant In India.