30. Mai 2005

Baltic Sea NGO Forum 2005 in Gdynia / Poland - THE FINAL DECLARATION

The Baltic Sea NGO Network gathered to the V Baltic Sea NGO-Forum in Gdynia in Poland 12-13.5.2005 and brought together 190 civil society representatives from all the Baltic Sea countries.

The Forum is convinced that civil society is based on active public participation. We believe it strengthens citizens capacity to take part actively in democratic processes. Civil society facilitates public discussions and is a meeting place for people to define and formulate common interests in relation to the state, local authorities and the market forces. Civil society will have an increasing role to play in the region by enhancing peoples will to take part in their respective communities.

The Baltic Sea NGO network was established in Copenhagen 2001 and have since that developed cooperation for strengthening civil society in our common region. Forums in Lubeck, S:t Petersburg, Turku and Parnu have developed and stabilized the process and created networks in several fields. During the V Forum in Gdynia items like Baltic Sea state citizens – Third Sector contribution to Baltic Sea cooperation programs, EU financial policy and civil society development and Third Sector as a Bridge over Borders have been dealt with.
National platforms, thematic cooperation networks and other structures, like NGO-and information centers, of Baltic Sea region have been exchanging experiences in regional cross-border and cross-sector cooperation.

The Forum has with satisfaction noticed the report " The NGO Legislation in the countries in the Baltic Sea Region" by MP Mrs. Outi Ojala for the Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conference dealing with the situation of NGOs in different Baltic Sea countries.

Forum received reports and suggestions from four workshops:
Ecology and environmental protection,
Culture and education,
Human Rights and socially excluded groups,
Local and regional development.

The V NGO Forum agreed upon:

- the necessity of continuing the work of the Network based on the four previous Forum recommendations, with a view to further create closer contacts with the governments and increase information exchange.
- supporting the main suggestions expressed in the report " The NGO Legislation in the countries in the Baltic Sea Region", especially the need to create, in mutual cooperation, suitable infrastructure for NGOs and guarantee financial assistance and support systems for civil society development as a means of enhancing democracy
- readiness to cooperate with Council of Baltic Sea States and its working bodies, Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conference, Nordic Council of Ministers, Nordic Council and other public institutions in Europe and the Baltic Sea Region,
- to continue the efforts in gaining Special Participants Status in CBSS- Council of the Baltic Sea States,
- the importance of finalizing the work to increase cooperation with EU through INTERREG and other programs.

3. Mai 2005


April 26, 2005: 19 years have passed since the day of the catastrophe at Chernobyl NPP. The economic damage from it was three times larger than the economic benefit from the operation of all NPPs of the Soviet Union during 1954 - 1990. The radioactive fallouts of Chernobyl have been registered in 22 countries of Europe, America and Asia. Hundreds of thousands people had to move from the contaminated territories. Tens of thousands were killed by diseases caused by the Chernobyl contamination.

Have the Chernobyl lessons been learned in the Northwest Russia?


In Sosnovy Bor, 80 km West of St. Petersburg, the following potentially hazardous projects are implemented illegally (without the state environmental examination (EIA), without alternative options, without public participation, which are prescribed by the RF legislation):

Spent nuclear fuel assemblies (SNF) are stored twice denser than they should in the temporary "wet" storage facility of Leningrad NPP. About 4000 t of the fuel assemblies (equals to 50 "Chernobyls") are kept in the overcrowded building 90 meters from the shore of the Baltic Sea.
In 2004 the service time of the world-oldest LNPP power unit was extended by 15 years. The 30-year design lifetime of this Chernobyl-type reactor has expired. In July 2005 another similar reactor, which reached the design lifetime limit, will be shut down. Likewise, ROSENERGOATOM is intending to extend its lifetime without the state environmental examination and participation of those who take a risk of living next-door to this nuclear facility. These are the direct violations of Russian legislation.

The construction of a "dry" storage of SNF produced by LNPP is completed (illegally, without the state examination and public participation). It is also located near the Baltic shore. It is planned to store the spent fuel in metal-concrete containers following the new "dry" technology.
90 meters from the Baltic Sea the construction of a unit for cutting SNF of LNPP is close to completion. There exists a real hazard of Baltic ecosystems’ contamination with extremely toxic plutonium from more than 30.000 spent assemblies, which will be cut when transferred from the wet storage to dry metal-concrete containers.

The largest in Europe plant for melting the contaminated metal, ECOMET-S, operates on the territory of LNPP, it takes radioactive scrap metal from different regions of Russia. The ECOMET-S reconstruction is planned in order to accept radioactive metal from the decommissioned submarines of the Russian Northern Fleet. The shipment of radioactive metal from Germany is discussed. By this the Baltic shore starts to be used as the radioactive dump for Russia. It can become the all-European dump too.

Funding of the project for building a new NPP has been started illegally, without the state environmental examination and public participation. The planned NPP will have a new VVER-1500 reactor; its capacity will be 1500 MW. The project completion is planned for 2013, and site for a new NPP will be either on the territory of natural reserve Kotelsky, 50 km from Estonia, or near the LNPP.

The seabed power transmission line is designed for the export of nuclear electricity from LNPP to Finland. Such export of energy generated by one LNPP unit equals to the annual import of several tons of highly toxic waste containing Pu-239 from Finland. It is a threat to all living on the Baltic coast, and its impact may last dozens of millenniums. A reliable long-term isolation for this nuclear waste has not been found. That will have to be paid for by the future generations.


The regional ecological laboratory was closed in 2003, for almost 30 years it had provided the independent radiological and ecological monitoring data on the situation around Leningrad NPP. The long-term programs for the habitat and environment monitoring were terminated. The possibility of having independent data on the environment quality and to forecast its changes has disappeared. Such questions as ‘why the seeds and needles of pine trees growing near LNPP and in Sosnovy Bor have three times higher occurrence of genetic malformations’ asked by the environmentalists has been left without answer. This signal of ecological ill-being has not been heard.

The NEWSLETTER of LNPP (Vestnik LAES) newspaper was closed in autumn of 2004, it had been a periodical published for 7000 employees of LNPP and for the citizens of nuclear town. The newspaper covered the social issues and LNPP safety. "By this even the small fraction of truth, which we managed to publish and which excited negative reaction of the plant "elite", won’t be available for the public anymore. LNPP has become an informationally-closed community» - comment on the newspaper closure made by its former editor-in-chief, LNPP employees, Igor Kiselev (14.09.2004).

The Public council under the Minatom of Russia was disbanded in 2005; it provided a platform for discussions of relevant atomic engineering safety issues between the public and nuclear experts. At this the representatives of the public were accused of the espionage, the allegations were not supported by any proofs.

The documents on the scale and consequences of previous accidents at LNPP and other nuclear facilities of Sosnovy Bor continue to be classified. Because of this the lessons of the made mistakes are not learned and similar events may occur again.


ROSENERGOATOM has stopped the planning of emergency protection measures for the residents of 30-km zone around LNPP. In particular, the people are not provided with potassium iodide tablets, as prescribed by the Russian legislation. In case of a radiological disaster the timely iodine prophylaxis can reduce the risk of thyroid cancer by one order. Therefore, hundreds of thousands of the citizens of Russia living in the vicinity of NPPs are the potential victims of cancer.

Most inhabitants of the atomic neighborhoods of Russia have no access to radiation shelters, as they should in accordance with the regulations; in the atomic town Sosnovy Bor the availability of such shelters is 25 % from the norm.
Majority of inhabitants living in the 30-km zone around NPPs have no usable gas masks for personal protection in case of radioactive emergency. This also contradicts the valid regulations.
Plans for the evacuation of population in case of a radiological accident have not been updated since the time of the USSR, they are obsolete.

The governmental bodies – Agency for the Ecological, Technological and Atomic Supervision (former Gosatomnadzor – Sate Nuclear Regulatory Body), Ministry of Emergency Situations, Public Prosecutor and local authorities are funded by the tax-payers, at the same time they do not take measures to ensure their safety, do not provide compliance with the Constitution and RF legislation.

The state policy for supporting the development of nuclear technologies, which disregards the market mechanisms and violates the democratic mechanisms of public participation, brings Russia to new "chernobyls".

Being aware of this hazard the active citizens of Northwest Russia have united for the promotion of the ideas about the inevitable and gradual decommissioning of old and most dangerous nuclear reactors and about most effective use of energy efficiency potential (the available unused reserve is 40%) and sources of renewable energy (wind, sun, bio-fuel and geothermal energy).

In accordance with public opinion, steps in this direction should be made taking into account social, ecological and economic safety, and they should provide the basis for sustainable and balanced development of Russia and the whole Baltic and Barents Sea regions.

Additional information can be found on the site http://www.decomatom.org.ru/ , you can get it by the telephone and fax in Sosnovy Bor (81369) 72991

Oleg Bodrov, Alexey Yablokov, Alexander Nikitin, Grigory Pas’ko
Chairman of the Corr. Member of the RAS, Chairman of the Board, Chief Editor, Magazine
GREEN WORLD, President, CENTER Ecological and Civil ECOLOGY and LAW
International Socio- of ECOLOGICAL Rights Center BELLONA Moscow
Ecological Union POLICY of Russia St. Petersburg
Sosnovy Bor, SPb. Moscow