Signed by 46 Representatives of European NGOs

We, undersigned representatives of environmental organizations, scientists, politicians, are in strong opposition to proposed transportation of spent nuclear fuel from Bulgarian nuclear plant Kozloduy to Russia for the reprocessing. Spent nuclear fuel is high-level nuclear waste produced by nuclear industry and its transportation poses significant danger to the environment and population of the countries through which the spent nuclear fuel will be transported. According to the agreement between the governments of Bulgaria, Russia, Ukraine and Moldova, signed on November 28, 1997, in Sofia (Bulgaria) the Kozloduy’s spent nuclear fuel must be transported to Russian reprocessing facility “Mayak” through Ukraine and Moldova. There were already many protests by citizen’s groups in these countries against the proposed nuclear transport, even the Moldovian Environmental Minister asserted that the transportation through the terrotory of Moldova is illegal. These weren’t taken into account by the governmental institutions in all four countries. Citizens’ rights for healthy environment and access to information are totally ignored by the mentioned agreement: population of participating countries aren’t informed about the risk of nuclear transportation which, in case of an accident, could cause a great damage to the environment and public health. According to the statistical data of Russian Ministry of Atomic Power, 43% of all the nuclear incidents occurred during transportation in different stages of nuclear-fuel cycle. Reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel is the most dangerous process the nuclear-fuel cycle consist of – largest nuclear accident in USSR happened to “Mayak” reprocessing facility in 1957 when the amount of radioactivity that was released to the environment was 2,5 times more than during Chernobyl accident. Reprocessing creates additional liquid radioactive waste which quantity is 160 times more, compared to spent nuclear fuel’ amount before reprocessing. According to acting Russian legislative act – decree No. 773 signed by the President of Russia on July 29, 1995 – waste of reprocessing will be sent back to Bulgaria. The Bulgarian public isn’t informed about this condition. Total ignorance of public right by the governments of post-communist countries can seriously damage the process of establishing democratic traditions in Eastern Europe. The public will must be respected. Eastern governments should run the public participation procedures for such a controversial issues through which public may express its concerns.

We demand to cancel the plan for transportation of Kozloduy’s spent nuclear fuel through Ukraine and Moldova to Russia, as well as its reprocessing. No more spent nuclear fuel should be produced or transported by Bulgaria. Investments should be made into: the finding of a solution for spent nuclear fuel problem right at the Kozloduy’ site immediately; development of renewable sources of energy and energy-efficiency programs in Bulgaria in order to replace dangerous and unnecessary nuclear power reactors.

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