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Russian Delegation to Discuss Nuclear Decommissioning

September 30, 2010

SOUTH ROYALTON, VT -- A group of Russian and Norwegian nuclear scientists, regulators and activists will visit Vermont Law School on Oct. 7 to learn more about decommissioning nuclear power plants in New England, including the potential closure of Vermont Yankee. The discussion is from 12:45 p.m. to 2 p.m. in Oakes Hall, Room 107.

The delegation is studying the political and regulatory process of decommissioning in other nations in an effort to create an official plan that involves Russia's government authorities, nuclear industry and general public in the dismantling of that nation's oldest nuclear plant reactors. The delegation previously has visited shuttered nuclear complexes in Lithuania and Germany and two in the United States—the Hanford Site in Washington state and Maine Yankee.

According to the Center for Safe Energy in Berkeley, Calif., there are no established common decommissioning practices in the world, and Russia and the United States have the oldest nuclear reactors that require clean up. Russia's Baltic Region has four Chernobyl-type nuclear reactors that have exceeded their 30-year operation limit.

The delegation will tour Vermont and Maine from Oct. 4-10 to study those states' approaches to nuclear closures and the relationship between state regulators, government authorities, the nuclear industry and community groups. Delegation members will share their experiences working with energy policy and nuclear power and weapons sites in Russia.

The VLS presentation, which is titled "Perspective on Nuclear Decommissioning in Russia," is sponsored by the VLS Environmental Law Society, the VLS International Law Society, the New England Coalition on Nuclear Pollution, and the Center for Safe Energy.

"The delegation wants to learn about all sides of the process and to see how the technical part of decommissioning goes along with the economic challenges, environmental expectations and communication between local activists, the media, politicians and the community," said Leslie Staudinger, a New England Coalition trustee.

The event is free and open to the public. More information is available from Leslie Staudinger at or 802-763-8459.

CONTACT: John Cramer, Associate Director of Media Relations

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