Peace camp to protest Siberia nuclear waste facility

Via A-Infos, June 7:

In summer of 2006, during summit of the G8, Russian president Vladimir Putin promised that Russia will join to international program to spread nuclear energy. Russia’s role in this project is to be a storage of nuclear waste. Electro-Chemical Industrial Complex of Angarsk (AEHK) was founded 1954, it is located in South-Eastern border of the city of Angarsk, 30 kilometers from Irkutsk and 90 kilometers from lake Baikal. It is a company involved in nuclear fuel cycle, processing concentrate including Uranium to Uranium hexafluoride (UF6), which in turn is enriched to Uranium-235 for the Nuclear Industry. Complex is under administration of Rosatom, Russian Federal Agency on Atom Energy. AEHK is far from uranium mines, nuclear plants and other parts of the nuclear fuel cycle, thus both raw materials and final products of the company will be transferred by the Trans-Siberian railway. Transport of the radioactive materials means additional risks for the people and environment.

Accidents involving trains with radioactive substances may result serious pollution of the region. Products of AEHK are sent through all biggest Siberian cities to distant factories which produce nuclear fuel for nuclear power plants in the city of Elektrostal in Moscow Region, and Ust-Kamenogorsk in Sverdlovsk region, as well as abroad.

From 1996-2002 AEHK brought in nuclear waste, claimed to be valuable raw materials, from Urenco-corporation. Currently import of new waste is halted, but already imported waste is stored in the premises of the company, and amount of the waste is not announced as it is a “commercial secret”.

Currently plans are drafted to found an International Center for Enrichment of Uranium (MTsOU) to premises of AEHK. Main goal of the centre is to answer to demand of Uranium enrichment of companies abroad. Actually this means, that a new storage of nuclear waste is set up to premises of the company, but its contents are called “valuable raw-materials” in newspeak of the nuclear industry.

Since December of 2006, three public protest meetings have taken place in Irkutsk. Pickets have been organized during several months in the center of the city. In Angarsk, during a meeting between AEHK and IAEA, local activists, radical ecologists and anarchists showed up with a banner “Angarsk is not a nuclear dump”, made speeches in front of journalists and voiced their protest against this project.

Project is initiated by President of the Russian Federation, government of the Russian Federation represented by Ministry of the Nuclear Energy Rosatom, administration of the Irkutsk region, board of AEHK, administration of the city of Angarsk, mainstream media of Angarsk (first of all local pro-industry paper “Podrobnosti”) and a number of right-wing liberal parties.

Project is opposed by Baikal Movement, Baikal Ecological Wave, Autonomous Action of Irkutsk, local paper “Vremya” (Time) and ecologists from other regions. Ecological protest camp is organized by Baikal Ecological Wave and Autonomous Action of Irkutsk.

We are against nuclear energy as a whole, and we demand giving up exploitation of all nuclear energy, a transfer to economy of energy and to development of alternative sources of energy. We are against importing nuclear waste and against creation of an International Center for Enrichment of Uranium, we demand public ecological control over activities of the company.

Goal of the camp will also be to involve people from other regions surrounding Baikal to defend environment of the lake, and empowerment of the ecological movement of the Siberia and anti-nuclear movement in the whole world.

Protest camp will start 15th of July and it will last until victory.

You are welcome to join the camp! We may not cover traveling costs, but food will be free in the camp for those who may not afford it. Bring cutlery, sleeping bag and a tent if you have one.

Contact us if you need any more information:

Ecological Wave of Baikal
P.O. Box 21
664033 Irkutsk
phone: +7 3952 52 58 69
fax: +7 3952 52 58 70
e-mail: marina (at)

See our last posts on Russia and the nuclear threat.

  1. Arctic n-waste dump to “explode”?
    From AP, June 1:

    A nuclear waste dump in the Russia Arctic may be in danger of exploding because of corrosion caused by salt water in enormous storage tanks, the Norwegian environmental group Bellona warned Friday.

    Russian and Norwegian nuclear officials downplayed the danger.

    The three tanks are used to store spent nuclear fuel rods at Andreeva Bay, on the Kola Peninsula of northwestern Russia, just 45 kilometers (28 miles) from the Norwegian border, Oslo-based Bellona said in a statement.

    “We discover now that we are sitting on a powder keg, with a fuse that is burning, but we don’t know how long that fuse is,” said Alexander Nikitin, a former Russian navy officer who is now one of Bellona’s nuclear experts.