European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, A first series of public consultations to discuss the environmental, health-related and social impacts of a master plan for the decommissioning of 121 nuclear-powered submarines and ships in northwest Russia has been held in Moscow, Murmansk and Severodvinsk with the support of the Russian authorities.
The meetings were attended by representatives of local communities and NGOs who discussed various aspects of the programme with international experts and local and government officials.
The meetings were part of the effort to involve the general public in the discussions of an environmental assessment which complements the master plan for decommissioning nuclear-powered submarines which have been withdrawn from active service, nuclear-powered surface ships, technical support vessels and land-based nuclear fuel and radioactive waste storage facilities in northwest Russia.
Findings from these first public consultations reinforced the assessments and priorities of the master plan and environmental assessment. The draft report is now available for comments at www.ebrd.com/enviro/eias/index.htm.
A final version incorporating public comments will be published after a public consultation period of four months ending in September.
The master plan has been financed from the nuclear window of the Northern Dimension Environmental Partnership. The international community has so far committed EUR150 million to the EBRD-managed NDEP Support Fund.
The fund was established in 2002 by the EBRD to pool grant contributions for the improvement of the environment in northwest Russia. Contributors are the EU and 11 countries: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
The nuclear window complements Russian and bilaterally funded programmes to mitigate the legacy of the operation of the Northern fleet in Russia.