Staunton, August 27 – The Russian Federation currently generates far more hazardous wastes, including the most dangerous radioactive and chemical kinds, than does any other country (chartsbin.com/view/42087 and russian.eurasianet.org/россия-тонет-в-токсичных-отходах).
Its current disposal arrangements are inadequate, and environmental groups like Bellona and Greenpeace Russia have expressed serious concerns that Moscow’s plans to concentrate control over the disposal of such wastes in Rosatom will make the situation in that regard worse rather than better.
In a new, 28-page report, the Bellona Organization says that Moscow is not only understating the amount of such wastes it produces (and imports for profit) and also the dangers these wastes represent for the population. And it says that centralization of control over them in Rosatom won’t help (network.bellona.org/content/uploads/sites/4/2019/02/waste_07.pdf).
Bellona and other environmentalist groups, along with many in the Russian population, don’t believe the authorities are providing accurate information about waste disposal and its consequences for public health and think that Rosatom is seeking only greater profit through greater control rather than having an interest and commitment in improving things.
Given that environmental protests against the disposal of ordinary trash have broken out across Russia and that cases where the authorities have lied about the disposal of chemical and radioactive waste have become commonplace in the Russian media, the Bellona report’s arguments are likely to trigger both more concern and more demonstrations.
Whether such actions will have any impact on the Putin regime’s decisions, however, remains very much an open question.