Baltic nuclear power plant (NPP) being built with violations of Kaliningradians constitutional rights

The order to start building of Baltic Nuclear Power Plant in the Kaliningrad region was signed by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in September 2009. The government decided that nuclear power station will start production  in 2016, and at full capacity will be released in two years – 2018. The object of increased danger to be built between the towns of regional importance – the Sovietsk and the Niemen, near the regional center (from the construction place to Kaliningrad is only 120 kilometers).

The fact that construction has caused concern among the public in our area, representatives of the organization “Ecodefense” opposed the building, attended the public hearings held in the city of Neman, said a lot of violations during these hearings. The work will affect the interests of all nuclear area residents from the Niemen to the Baltic, causing problems of environmental, social and educational issues that would need to be addressed. The decision to build nuclear power plants, without consulting area residents, the lack of information, facts, violations and corruption in the construction of nuclear power is not everything builds trust State Corporation “Rosatom” and cast doubt on the safety of the Baltic NPP.

In April, has organized an initiative group for holding the referendum question in the Kaliningrad region. The Action Team suggested that Kaliningrad in the referendum to answer the question “Do you consider it necessary, in order to ensure the constitutional rights of citizens to a healthy environment, to stop building nuclear power plants in the Kaliningrad region.”

The Action Group consists of 25 persons and it includes representatives of various community organizations, residents of different districts, the deputies of the Kaliningrad regional Duma, and members of municipal councils.

Most security concerns in the Baltic NPP are the cases of corruption and irregularities in the construction industry.

Instead of “Izhora plants’ reactor vessel for the Baltic plant will produce paper-making machinery factory Petrozavodsk (” Petrozavodskmash “). Reputation of “Petrozavodskmash” as a responsible partner rather doubtful, for example, the official site of the plant management to complain about-familiar theft committed by employees and jeopardize fulfillment of important contracts.

In August, former deputy director general of “Rosatom” Jevgenia Jevstratova , who is responsible “Rosatom” for nuclear and radiation safety arrested on suspicion of embezzlement of budget funds allocated for scientific research on the safety of nuclear facilities.

Petersburg holding “Titan 2” subcontracting has received a contract for Baltic nuclear power plant, took part in the construction of the first unit of Leningrad NPP-2, the same catastrophic collapse of steel constructions in July.

Nuclear waste is supposed to transport across the Kaliningrad region by rail and exported by sea from the port of Baltijsk to St. Petersburg. And no one asked the views of the residents of Baltijsk, there has not been any safety measures transportation of nuclear waste. According to some reports set to overexposure of spent nuclear fuel is based near the city of Chernyakhovsk.

The Action Group has written about 40 different requests for information with regards to the construction of the Baltic NPP and received few responses, and they contained a refusal to provide information or to unsubscribe, and were a reference to other institutions and organizations.

Unfortunately, we must note the fact that the process of construction of the Baltic NPP is closed in mystery: despite the fact that the very danger of industrial plant requires certain proof of the quality of works, publicity events and open management station to the people of the region.

It is surprising that the Government of the Kaliningrad region, „Rosatom“ and the Federal Service for Ecological, Technological and Nuclear Supervision no attempt to independently familiarize local residents with at least basic information on the construction of the Baltic NPP. In this case even more strange it seems that the representatives of Rosatom, said they send all possible materials to build nuclear power plants to foreign countries – Lithuania, Latvia, Poland and Estonia – completely ignoring the need to first of all to share them with people of the region, which actually station under construction.

It is unfortunate that the residents of nearby European countries are aware of the Baltic NPP and its impact on the environment more than the Kaliningradians – the citizens of the Russian Federation. Secrecy surrounding the building and ignoring the need to inform the population of the region is evident even in small ways: an international seminar “The Baltic NPP according to the latest safety requirements” is conducted by a strange coincidence in St. Petersburg, but not in Kaliningrad. The reason for changing the venue probably was due to reluctance to not have any information to the public, able to organize a mass protest actions.

The initiative group filed three documents in Kaliningrad Region Election Commission to register the first time in April, the second in May, the third in June. The reason for the failure of the official registration of initiative groups were completing the formal breach in personal data of participants of the initiative group. Only with the fourth attempt July 21 Kaliningrad Election Commission has declared the documents filed by a group corresponding to the requirements of the law and allowed to proceed for further actions on the organization of a referendum.

July 25 representatives of the Kaliningrad Regional Duma and the election commission of the Kaliningrad region and the leadership of the Baltic NPP held a closed meeting, according to material information provided to the meeting, we can conclude that they have discussed issues of further action to prevent the referendum. Representatives of the initiative group, public, works to ensure that the voice of the region’s inhabitants had heard about the meeting were not informed and did not participate.

In August 4 Kaliningrad Regional Duma passed a resolution of non-compliance issues with federal legislation handed down, deciding that the region’s residents can not challenge the decision of the Government of the Russian Federation at the provincial referendum. Resolution of the legislature of the Kaliningrad region was made by absentee ballot, and is based on the negative findings of the State Legal Department, prosecution and administration of Justice. We believe that these conclusions are not based government on law, are far-fetched nature, violating the right of citizens prescribed in the Constitution of the Russian Federation, at a favorable environment, access to information. Even the fact that absentee voting is a serious violation of the right of initiative groups to convey their position to the MPs and the public.

August 11 a meeting of the Election Commission of the Kaliningrad region, where it had been a formal decision on the refusal to hold a referendum. At the session of the members expressed a dissenting opinion regarding the decision of the commission and voted against the refusal to hold a referendum.

We will appeal the decision of the Election Commission of Kaliningrad and the Kaliningrad regional Duma in court again prepare the papers for the referendum and continue to fight for our right to express their views on the referendum question regarding the construction of the Baltic NPP.

Conduct a referendum among the inhabitants of the Kaliningrad region is an essential condition for the further construction of the Baltic NPP. The referendum will allow to take into account the views of all kaliningradians will help society to obtain objective information on the construction of nuclear power plants, plans for its operation and on many other issues.

Based on the results already four months of the initiative group for holding a referendum, it must be recognized that the power of the Kaliningrad region and Russia struggling to prevent the free expression of the inhabitants of the region and a referendum on such an important and strategic for the development of the enclave issue.

We ask you to help us convey information about the status of the Baltic NPP and the activities of the initiative group to the European public, by organizing meetings with interested non-governmental organizations, political parties and environmentalists. At the meetings we will be able to expand on this topic, to provide documentary evidence referred to in this appeal the facts, answer all questions.

We call on you to not contribute to the project Baltic NPP, to refuse any cooperation with  “Rosatom” both in terms of participation in the construction of Baltic Nuclear Power Plant, and the issue of purchasing electricity produced Baltic nuclear power plant until a referendum on nuclear plant construction in the Kaliningrad region, and the publication of its results.

Chairman of the initiative group for holding a referendum on ending the construction of the Baltic NPP

Michael Kostyaev