The contentious issue of nuclear safety has been addressed in a white paper by the Norwegian government.
The draft bill, which outlines the High North co-operation with Russia, provides an overview of achievements to date.
“The main objectives of our co-operation on nuclear safety in north-western Russia are to protect human health, the environment and economic activities against radioactive contamination, and to prevent nuclear material from falling into the wrong hands and being used for terrorist purposes,” said Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store.
Store also pointed out that the government has already assisted in dismantling five decommissioned nuclear submarines and replaced batteries with solar panels in 180 north-western Russian lighthouses.
Norway has also provided safety equipment and training at both the Leningrad and Kola nuclear power plants, the results of which have seen a significant decrease in incidents, reports the Norway Post.
“Nuclear safety co-operation is a crucial element in our efforts to protect health and the environment and provide framework conditions that are conducive to long-term resource development in the High North. This is in the interests of both Russia and Norway,” said Store.
The international community has widely viewed the collaboration, which is closely audited by both countries, as a success. The Storting allocated around NOK 1.5 billion (USD 245 million) to nuclear safety cooperation from 1995 – 2009. A further alliance will receive NOK 95 million (USD 15 million) for 2010.