The European Union has pledged assistance to help the Russian Federation forge an “effective environmental administration and infrastructure,” which would be able to deal with pollution dangers posed by the disposal of nuclear waste. The promise has come in a special communication written by the European Commission, A Northern Dimension for the Policies of the Union, which focused action in the Arctic Circle bordering the northern Scandinavia region.

The report said that the Commission was prepared to work within the EU-Russia Partnership and Cooperation Agreement and the TACIS programme to help strengthen local environmental controls.

“Spent nuclear fuel and operational waste from submarines and ice-breakers are a primary source of concern…since they represent a high risk, treatment and storage facilities being absent, inadequate or significantly deteriorated,” said the communication.

The paper expressed particular concern about the storage of nuclear waste in the Russian Kola peninsula and also the safety of nuclear power plants in the Kola and St Petersburg regions and in Lithuania.

“Radioactive waste management in the region is an environmental hazard of global dimension and requires global cooperation,” it said.