Russia Satisfied with Safety Levels at Nuclear Facilities

The Russian Atomic Energy Ministry is satisfied with safety levels at Russian nuclear facilities, according to Gennady Novikov, the head of the ministry's Department for Emergency Situations. Novikov was speaking today at a conference entitled 'Strategic risks in emergency situations: evaluations and predictions.'

Novikov said that the ministry's enterprises rank 3rd in Russian industry for employee safety, and that Russia's nuclear power stations are the second most reliable in the world, trailing only Japan. He said that since 1993 the number of violations of working practice at nuclear power stations had fallen by two thirds, and the last accident at a nuclear power station was recorded in 1997.

Nevertheless, the Atomic Energy Ministry is concerned by the rising threat of nuclear terrorism and environmental safety problems arising from the decommissioning of nuclear submarines. Novikov stressed that the ministry's experts would be devoting their attention to these issues over the next few years.

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