Russia could earn up to USD 20 billion a year by storing nuclear waste, according to an announcement made on Friday on Radio-1 by Maxim Yakovenko, the Russian Deputy Minister for Natural Resources and the head of the State Environmental Protection Service.
'It is a colossal business,' he explained. 'Judge for yourselves: it costs USD two thousand to store just one kilogram of waste'. According to the deputy minister, there is currently fierce competition between South-East Asian countries for this business. Bulgaria has also recently joined the fight. Yakovenko pointed out that most developed countries are currently increasing the proportion of electricity they receive from nuclear power stations. According to his figures, the US is planning to generate 60% of its electricity from nuclear power, and Japan intends to produce 100% of its electricity by this means.
In a reply to a question about the dangers involved in this business, Yakovenko declared that 'the Russian Ministry for Atomic Energy is the most important ministry in terms of technological development. Everything connected with nuclear energy in our country has traditionally had a very high level of safety precautions'.
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969