The third Russian National Dialogue Forum, titled “Nuclear Energy, Society and Security” was held 21-22 April in St. Petersburg. For the first time, the leadership of the nuclear industry was included as speakers and attendees. Representatives of the state run Rosatom answered questions on construction of new nuclear power plants and the impact on local communities.
Speaking at the Forum, Director-General of Rosatom, Sergey Kiriyenko, responded to the public concern over the proposed use of a “wet” system for cooling water in the construction of a nuclear power plant by saying special workshops on the professional analysis of opportunities and advantages of the use of a “dry” cooling system will be held during the next 2-3 months.
In regards to the opposition of the majority of the citizens of Tomsk Oblast to the building of a nuclear power plant, the Rosatom head explained the state corporation principle for choosing areas for the construction of new nuclear facilities. He stressed that deciding on the construction of nuclear power plants will not depend on individual appeals of citizens and NGOs but will rather be based on decisions of the authorities, referendums and public hearings.
Responding to questions about plans to build a nuclear power plant in the Kostroma region, Sergey Kiriyenko said the objective is to design more secure plants and therefore public dialogue is essential.
Nevertheless, the head of the nuclear industry noted that the specific plan to build a nuclear power plant in Kostroma had not yet been established. “There is an understanding that without the construction of 1-2 new nuclear power plants in a 200 km proximity of Moscow, the capital may be without sufficient electricity in the coming years. Decisions have not yet been taken, it will be discussed,” concluded Mr. Kiriyenko.
Considering the outcomes of the Forum, many participants agreed about the need to directly discuss specific problems and contradictions in the operation and development of the nuclear sphere in the next Forum-Dialogue. This can be achieved by defining a list of key issues and by performing a comprehensive analysis of the interests of industry and the principles of guaranteeing the ecological safety and welfare of the people living near nuclear facilities.
Concluding the event, GC Russia President Sergei Baranovsky said that in general the Third National Forum-Dialogue «Nuclear Energy, society, security» fulfilled its objectives and looked forward to the next dialogue in April 2010. The Public Council of Rosatom, the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Green Cross Russia organized the Forum.