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Radioactive heritage of Norway

23.05.2019 16:37

Environmental protection is becoming the most urgent problem in the modern world, because in the XXI century mankind has come to understand the need for joint environmental safety. Norway is considered to be one of the most environmentally friendly countries in the world and it opposes the development of nuclear power, but in the Kingdom until recently operated two nuclear reactors: "Jeep II" and "Halden".

Power plants "Halden" and "Jeep II" were launched at the research institutes of nuclear energy in Norway in 1958 and 1965, respectively. The main purpose of the operation of nuclear facilities was to conduct research on the possibility of using nuclear energy in Maritime transport.

Norwegian experts in the field of nuclear energy confidently declare the trouble-free operation of power units since the beginning of operation. However, public organizations have repeatedly called for the cessation of activities of nuclear facilities in the country.

In particular, the Bellona environmental law centre has been campaigning against the Norwegian research reactor programme for 30 years. Of particular concern was the imprudent approach to the storage of hazardous nuclear waste. According to the representatives of the organization, the burial of radioactive materials was carried out in the soil at a depth of two meters without special protection. For example, in 1993, a protest was held in the town of Kjeller, during which activists dug up 1,000 barrels of improperly stored radioactive waste, which caused a strong public outcry.

In fact, the concerns of environmental centers regarding the operation of reactors were not groundless, as in the work of power plants in the future repeatedly recorded dangerous failures.

In particular, in 2006, an emergency situation occurred at the Jeep II reactor complex, as a result of which all research activities were suspended for three weeks. In October 2016, a leak of iodine-131 was detected in the Halden reactor, which led to a dangerous injection of hydrogen inside the core of the power unit. In March 2019, during the security check of the power plant, corrosion damage to the hull was detected. 
Despite the many years of struggle of national environmental organizations with the nuclear industry, the country's leadership has not taken concrete steps to meet their requirements. Several decades later, the Norwegian government came to the conclusion that the state budget suffers annual losses of several million us dollars. In this regard, the Board of Directors of the Norwegian Institute of energy technology decided to close the research reactors on April 29, 2019.

Based on the above, it is obvious that the only argument in making important decisions is still a material benefit. Norway is no exception in this case, because it adheres to environmental ideals only in the international arena, while inside the country openly ignores the protests of organizations for the protection of the environment.