Russian protesters condemn nuclear waste plan

24th August 2010, Comments 0 comments

A dozen supporters of Russia's opposition party Yabloko protested in Moscow Tuesday against a project to transport nuclear waste from Germany into Russia, the party leader said.

Protesters brandished placards with the slogan "Nuclear waste, no thank you!" in front of the German embassy in Moscow, Yabloko leader Sergei Mitrokhin said.

The demonstrators condemned a reported plan to send 951 containers of combustible nuclear waste from Germany's Rossendorf centre to the Mayak nuclear facility, 2,000 kilometres (1,242 miles) east of Moscow, he said.

"It is our corrupt government officials who have accepted this project which is to the detriment of the nation's health," Mitrokhin said in a statement.

The threat of "terrorist acts" and forest fires "risks transforming the nuclear waste into a source of radioactive contamination, not just for Russians but also for Europeans," he added.

Russian nongovernmental organisation Ecodefence said this month that German authorities were to send the waste, currently stocked in the northern German city of Ahaus, to Russia between the end of 2010 and early 2011.

The Mayak facility in Ozersk is a major nuclear reprocessing plant and was the site of a massive nuclear accident in 1957. A state of emergency was declared in Ozersk this month after Russia's wildfires blazed dangerously close to the plant.

The Rossendorf plant closed in 1991 and was one of the 20 research reactor plants set up across 17 countries in the former communist bloc.

© 2010 AFP

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